Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), Munich

Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), Munich

Before the construction of the Neues Rathaus in 1874, the Altes Rathaus, also known as the Old Town Hall, used to serve as the seat of the Munich Municipality. It's situated on the eastern side of Marienplatz and has a unique history. Unlike many other buildings that were demolished to make way for the Neues Rathaus, the Old Town Hall was left untouched.

The construction of the Old Town Hall took place between 1470 and 1480, and its design was created by Jörg von Halsbach, a renowned architect responsible for the Frauenkirche in Munich as well. Initially, the building exhibited Late Gothic architectural features, but it underwent several remodeling phases, ultimately adopting a Neo-Gothic style between 1861 and 1864. To accommodate traffic flow, two tunnels were constructed through the building from 1877 to 1934.

During World War II, the Rathaus endured significant damage from bombings, but extensive restoration work was carried out, aiming to restore its 15th-century design.

Today, the Old Town Hall serves as the location for city council offices, certain administrative departments, and even houses a Toy Museum (Spielzeugmuseum) situated in four rooms within its tower. Additionally, visitors can explore a souvenir and gift shop on the first floor, where they can find unique items such as replicas of The Morris Dancers, which are wooden sculptures created by Munich's Erasmus Grasser.

***Third Reich Walk***
This stately complex in the heart of Munich played a key role in the Nazi’s seizure of power. It is here that Joseph Goebbels gave his infamous speech that inspired Kristallnacht, or “the night of broken glass,” on November 9, 1938, a nationwide pogrom that led to the destruction of numerous Jewish businesses and arrest of thousands of Jewish citizens. Kristallnacht is generally considered to be the start of the “Ultimate Solution of the Jewish Question”, i.e. the Holocaust.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the finest historical buildings to see in Marienplatz. Just as the neighboring New Town Hall, it is open to climb upstairs to the top. Inside, the ground floor is just as gorgeous, exactly as one would expect a typical German building to look like.

Tip:
In addition to the Toy Museum, the Altes Rathaus offers yet another bit of fun in the form of the Juliet Capulet Statue, located on the side of the building, a gift from the city of Verona to Munich in the 1970s.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Munich. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) on Map

Sight Name: Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
Sight Location: Munich, Germany (See walking tours in Munich)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Munich, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Munich

Create Your Own Walk in Munich

Creating your own self-guided walk in Munich is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Town Souvenir Shops

Old Town Souvenir Shops

"Collect moments, not things," wise men say. In reference to travel, this may be interpreted as the prevalence of experiences and memories over material gains. Still, when it comes to travel mementos, albeit material they are, memories and experiences are primarily what these little (or not so little) tokens are all about.

And it would be a pity to leave Munich without bringing home...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The Old Town of Munich, sprawling on the west bank of the River Isar, is a treasure trove of architectural splendor and cultural heritage. Also known in German as Altstadt, this medieval area forms the historic core and cultural heart of the Bavarian capital. The entire Old Town is listed as a historical monument and is a living museum – “where the past harmonizes with the present in a grand...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Munich Introduction Walking Tour

Munich Introduction Walking Tour

Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps, Bavaria’s capital Munich is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous attractions.

The city was first mentioned in 1158. Its name is usually interpreted as the Old/Middle High German term Munichen, which means "by the monks", deriving from the monks of the Benedictine order, who ran a monastery at the place that...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Third Reich Munich Walking Tour

Third Reich Munich Walking Tour

In the first quarter of the 20th century, the capital of Bavaria, Munich, was ill-fated to become the birthplace of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (aka NSDAP or Nazi Party) and the site of its early activities. The city played a significant role in the rise and consolidation of power of the Nazi Party and, ultimately, the establishment of the Third Reich.

The Third Reich went...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles

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