In Munich people know how to live!

The Austrian writer Hermann Bahr once said: ‘For the people of Bavaria, every day is a holiday.’ This is doubly true for the people of Munich. Just take a look around, and you’ll see that beer gardens are a part of local folklore, BMW cars are almost everywhere in the streets, and modern buildings contrast with romantic architectural interludes and greenery. Munich is simply a pulsating global metropolis with green lungs.

Bavarians recognize the taste of the good life, also thanks to the golden drink for which they’re famous. It’s no wonder, because with 620 breweries, they’ve got the number one density of breweries in the world. All breweries follow the Reinheitsgebot – the German Beer Purity Law. This act from 1516 is actually the oldest still valid law regulating food quality in the world. It states that beer can only be brewed from hops, water, malt and yeast. Just like it was made 500 years ago.

Beer Flows Freely

There are 6 large breweries in Munich itself – Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten-Franziskaner. Every two years in June, a festival parade called Brauertag starts at Viktualienmarkt and concludes at Odeonsplatz, where the Mayor names new brewers. They swear they will obey the Purity Law. During these celebrations the beer flows freely, literally so, since all Munich’s breweries serve it free of charge! The next Brauertag is planned for 29th June 2019.

More proof of the land’s long beer history are its beer gardens. Without exaggeration, in the summer time they become the living rooms of Munich people. You can choose from three types of beer – light, dark and wheat, called Weissbier. What’s interesting is that every visitor is allowed to eat their own snacks as long as they purchase drinks. If you feel like eating something traditional, try grilled chicken, pork knee or white Bavarian sausage. It’s made of veal and pork meat, spiced onion and fresh parsley. Beware! The skin is not consumed, and locals enjoy eating it with their hands. They dextrously suck the contents of the sausage in a true Bavarian manner (zuzeln). The northern Bavarian border is jokingly called the ‘White Sausage Equator’. With their sausages Bavarians consume lye pretzels, which were accidentally ‘invented’ by a baker called Anton Nepomuk Pfannenbrenner. Previously, pretzels had been coated with sugar water, but on 11th February 1839, he accidentally reached for the soda lye used for cleaning metal trays – and that was the birth of the lye pretzel.

The Pavement of Fame

A lot of events are held at the Olympic Park, which was completed in 1972 on the occasion of 20thSummer Olympic Games. The timeless construction and design of the tent-like structures still enthral today. The driving idea behind the revolutionary architecture of the Olympic stadium was to diversify away from the existing building style and become a symbol of the new Germany. It succeeded! The stadium became one of the pre-eminent features of Munich and unlike many other Olympic complexes, it’s still being used to this day for hosting concerts, festivals and sports events. Before the Allianz Arena was built, it was also the home ground of the local football team, FC Bayern Munich.

The Olympic park is surrounded by lush vegetation, with a lake and numerous paths. The pride of the park is its ‘pavement of fame’, featuring handprints of the world’s most famous sportsmen and women, or the 291-metre tall viewing and television tower Olympiaturm, which offers another incredible overview of the whole area and the city. If you haven’t managed to secure tickets for your favourite artist, don’t despair – take a hike up Olympic Hill, where a great experience is guaranteed.

text: © Lucie Kalousová

the whole article can be found in the January edition of the Leo Express magazine

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