Beer. If I could only pick one thing that München adores, it would be Beer.
Took the walking tour of Munich today. It’s arranged through the hostel but it is it’s own separate business. Our guide took us on a large tour of the whole city and we learnt about the history, the kings (always called either Maxillian or Ludvig), the development of the Third Reich from Munich and also the creation of the original Beer Garden.
There were quite a few Kings throughout the history of the town. The premier King, the one who first established Bavaria as it’s own Kingdom was King Max-Josef and he was good friends with Napoleon which was how he was able to get a region of his own. Next came Ludwig I, his wedding was actually the very first Thereseinweiese or, Oktoberfest. They enjoyed the party so much, they decided to have one every year. After the second Max, came Ludwig II, the Mad King; he was very uncomfortable with a lot of people and so he built the Neuschwanstein Castle, a fairytale in the mountains. There was a lot more information, including folklore stories, but I can’t remember everything.
A certain unrecognised painter from Austria, Adolf Hitler, actually used Munich as the start of his movement and it was from here that the Dachau concentration camp was first initialised. Hitler’s “Beer Hall Putsch” was also stopped here in 1923 before he spent 8 months in prison. It was from that point on that he started his infamous rise to power.
The main subject he touched upon was beer. Not only is there a good amount of local breweries in Munich but also a couple of them are completely independent. And nowadays, most pubs have a beer garden, an area outside where you can drink, usually frequented in the summer months. But Munich claim they were the ones to invent it. Originally, the regulars in pubs would take their own steins there (nowadays they usually have lockers at the bar) but on really hot days they got really annoyed with having to walk to the pub. Beer cellars at the time were underground and to further reduce the cellar temperature during the warm seasons, brewers planted chestnut trees for their dense canopies. Soon after that, serving cool beer in a pleasant shaded setting emerged and simple tables and benches were set up among the trees, creating the beer garden we know of now.
Having done the tour, which lasted nearly 4 hours (!), I wandered back to my hostel to sort out my next few days. While laying in my room, I got into a conversation with a group of British guys who were both tour mates and now my roomies. Went to the bar with them and had a few drinks.