Munich is located in southern Germany and is the capital of Bavaria. 30 miles north of the Alps mountain range, one of the city’s main physical features is the Isar River, which flows through its middle. Interestingly, Munich, which literally means ‘home of the monks’, began as a monastery and slowly grew into a fully developed city.
The best time to visit the city is between March to May, which happens to be the period just before the peak season of summer. However, the Oktoberfest in late September and early October also sees scores of crowds coming in to join in the festivities.
Munich is one of the rare cities where the old and the new coexist in perfect harmony. If there are old historic relics and buildings that take you to the realms of the past, there are also awe-inspiring futuristic buildings. Traditional market squares, churches and historic museums and spaces get as much attention as world-class exhibition centres, sports complexes and modern buildings.
Flushed with wonder
The name “Flushing Meadows” evokes a sense of nature. However, this wonderfully designed hotel, a member of Design HotelsTM, covers the top two floors of an industrial building. While vintage industrial charms envelop the place, one of the highlights of the hotel is that local artists and personalities have interpreted each of the loft studio rooms in their own way, making each room a kind of a design haven.
The spacious penthouse studios are flooded with natural light and display exclusive illustrations and paintings by the young Berlin-based artist Maximilian Rödel. In a way, this puts an individual stamp on each room, which is quite dissimilar from the others.
It also provides a peek into the throbbing art scene and creativity that is characteristic of the city. The Flushing Meadows Bar, located on the hotel’s top floor, is where the pulse of the hotel lies. This sunny terrace turns into a romantic buzzing location by night. Fantastic views add to the aura of the place.
The Golden Bar in Haus der Kunst exudes opulence and may serve up the latest gourmet delicacies, but it has a history that links it to the ‘House of German Art’, a monumental structure that hosted art exhibitions.
It was in these arty environs that the posh and cosy cafe with an outdoor terrace and views of the English Garden developed into something in its own right. It was originally designed as the ‘Artists’ Festival Hall’ by the building’s architect, Paul Ludwig Troost.
The clear décor highlights are the murals painted by Karlheinz Dallinger. Depicted on gold leaf, they carry maps of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Italy South Tyrol, Champagne, Bordeaux, Portugal, Spain, England, Ireland, Hungary, and Germany. Collectively they present an illustrated history of the origins of rum, cigars, tobacco, champagne, whisky, and wine.
With furniture from the 1950s and 1960s, including a 1920s chandelier it exudes an old world vibe. Yet, modern elements such as a large, luminous painting by painter Florian Süssmayr, add a modern touch.
Squares are prominent elements of European cities. The Marienplatz lies in the city centre of Munich. It has been witness to numerous markets and tournaments set up over centuries.
The Neues Rathaus, or the New City Hall lies on the North side. The gothic Old City Hall or Altes Rathaus lies on the East. A notable architectural feature is the Mariensäule, a Marian column that was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation.
History in modernity
The BMW Museum chronicles the history of the automobile brand in a surprisingly futuristic building. Designed by Karl Schwanzer, the white cauldron-like structure traces the technical development of the automobile giant through a variety of actual and futuristic models and prototypes. Sound and light play a vital role in the exhibit and in enhancing the viewing experience.
The design makes way for a “spiral path” that guides the visitors to start at the base and explore their way upwards by looping on four “islands” inside the building before finally reaching the top. For the descent, however an escalator is available.
Text By Dhanishta Shah