Kreuzviertel Walking Tour, Munich

Kreuzviertel Walking Tour (Self Guided), Munich

One of the four quarters of Munich Alstadt, Kreuzviertel is located in the northwestern part of it. Historically the center of local clergy, it once housed a high number of monasteries. Some of these buildings have withstood the test of time, either in their original capacity or converted to secular purposes. Take this self-guided tour to explore the beautiful historical locations in the area, palaces, churches, museums and more.
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Kreuzviertel Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Kreuzviertel Walking Tour
Guide Location: Germany » Munich (See other walking tours in Munich)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Author: alexei
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Karlsplatz
  • Burgersaal
  • Richard Strauss Fountain
  • St. Michael's Church
  • Museum of Hunting and Fishing
  • Kaufingerstrasse/Neuhauserstrasse
  • Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
  • Palais Porcia
  • Palais Holnstein

1) Karlsplatz

Karlsplatz, situated near the 14th century Karlstor gate, is the second largest square in Munich, after Marienplatz, and is popularly known as Stachus.

The square was laid upon the instructions from the Elector Karl Theodor in 1791. Reportedly, its popular nick “Stachus” derives from a pub, called Beim Stachus, owned by Mathias Eustachius Föderl, that used to be here before the square was built. Another theory suggests that its name is a corruption of the word “Stachel” which means the arrows of marksmen who practiced their skills in the area. As for the Karlstor, this Gothic-style gate was once part of a large fortification. The Rondell buildings on both sides of the gate were designed by renowned architect, Gabriel von Seidl.

The main pedestrian shopping area of Munich lies between Karlplatz and Marienplatz. Among other things adorning Stachus today is a modern fountain, built in the 1970s, with seats for shoppers and visitors to rest their feet in the summer. In the winter, the area surrounding the fountain becomes an ice skating rink. Kaufhof, the very first department store established after WWII, is found on the west side of the square. Underground there is another large shopping center and Stachus Square itself serves as the major hub for Munich’s tramway system.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

2) Burgersaal

The Bürgersaal or Citizen’s Hall is a small, two-storey, Baroque-style building, located in Neuhauser Strasse towards the north of Marienplatz. Constructed between 1709 and 1710 to the design by Giovanni Antonio Viscardi, it started off as a meeting hall for a group, called the Marian Congregation of Men, affiliated to the Jesuit order. It has been used as a church since 1778.

Nowadays, people come here often to pay homage to the anti-Nazi Jesuit priest, Rupert Mayer, who was later canonized by Pope John Paul II. The shrine of Father Rupert Mayer located in the church is a well known place of pilgrimage. The building was severely damaged during the World War II bombardments with only a handful of the original frescoes survived.

The lower part of the church consists of a low-vaulted hall lined with statues, placed in alcoves, and a small chapel. The best part of the building is the upper floor which houses some beautiful religious artworks. The relief in the altar, Mariae Verkündigung, regarded as a Baroque masterpiece, is the work of sculptor Andreas Faistenberger. Another treasure found here is the sculpture of a guardian angel by Ignaz Günther. Thirteen oil landscape paintings by Franz Joachim Beich, depicting places of pilgrimage in Bavaria, adorn the walls of the upper floor of the Bürgersaal.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Richard Strauss Fountain

3) Richard Strauss Fountain

The Richard Strauss Fountain, located near St. Michael’s Church on Neuhauser Strasse, is a memorial to Richard Strauss, a renowned composer and one of Munich’s most celebrated sons.

It was created by Hans Wimmer in 1962. Richard Strauss was born in Munich in 1864. His father, Franz Strauss, was the main horn player at the court opera. The yonger Strauss is known for having revived the art of opera and for famous musical works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks and Also Sprach Zarathustra. In particular, the fountain pays tribute to his most celebrated work, the opera ‘Salome’.

The Richard Strauss fountain consists of a bowl placed on a six-meter high bronze column. Water falls from the bowl in different directions, according to the direction of the wind. The reliefs, carved around the pillar, are divided into six sections. Each section depicts scenes from Salome and unravels the plot of the story. The falling water looks like a wet veil portraying the final dance in the opera, called the Dance of the Seven Veils, which is widely considered Strauss’s masterpiece. The fountain is frequented by music lovers from around the world who come to pay their tribute to the great composer.
St. Michael's Church

4) St. Michael's Church

The St. Michael Church in Munich is the largest Renaissance-style religious building north of the Alps. It is managed by the Jesuit order and was built by the Duke of Bavaria, William IV, as a center for the Counter Reformation in response to Martin Luther’s protestant reforms of Christendom.

The church was first built between the years 1583 and 1588 and was designed by an unknown architect. It had an extensive barrel vaulted roof and a tower. The latter collapsed and damaged the newly constructed choir in 1590. After the accident, a grand choir and transept were added to the original structure and the church was consecrated in 1597.

The St. Michael Church is a masterpiece of design. Its façade is divided by three cornices horizontally with figures portraying the agenda of the Counter Reformation. The figure of Archangel Michael, by sculptor Hubert Gerhard, is placed on the ground floor niche. The stone figures in the other niches are of Dukes and Kings of Bavaria. The interior has a nave without aisles that gives it a bright and airy appearance. There is a magnificent Triumphal Arch in front of the choir. The three-story high altar has another sculpture of St Michael fighting the devil, by Christoph Schwarz, as the altarpiece. The crypt holds the graves of members of the Wittelsbach Royal family who ruled Bavaria and those of the sculptor Giovanni da Bologna and Eugène de Beauharnais, the son of Napoleon’s wife Josephine.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Museum of Hunting and Fishing

5) Museum of Hunting and Fishing

This museum, housed in a former Augustinian Church, showcases exhibits dedicated to the history of hunting and fishing in Europe. The 13th century Gothic building was once the Augustinian monastery Church of St. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, one of the oldest churches in Munich. After the monastery closure in 1803, it was converted to a toll office. The World War II bombings caused extensive damage to the building. Carefully restored after the war, it was reopened as the Museum of Hunting and Fishing in 1966.

Visitors to the place are welcomed at the entrance by a bronze boar sculpture, created by Martin Mayer in 1976, and a bronze catfish, sculpted by Claus Nageler in 1982. The proud owner of the world’s largest taxidermy collection, the museum has over 500 stuffed animals including a 12,000-year old extinct Irish giant elk, a North American grizzly bear and a Wolpertinge, an extinct native Bavarian hare. Hunting weapons from the 15th century and fishing equipment from the Stone Age to the present are also on display. Other notable exhibits include the antler collection of Count Maxmilian Garf Von Arco-Zinneberg and a rare collection of fish hooks. The museum also has game stations for the enjoyment of young visitors.

Operation Hours:
Daily 9.30am-5pm
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

6) Kaufingerstrasse/Neuhauserstrasse (must see)

Bordering Marienplatz on the west is one of the oldest streets in Munich, the Kaufingerstraße. Its name is also considered to be the oldest street name in the city, and was probably taken after the patrician Chunradius Choufringer who owned a stately house in the area which was historically mentioned for the first time in a document dated 28 May 1239.

Kaufingerstraße is part of the large west-east axis of Munich's Old Town. At some point, it transforms into Neuhauser Straße, thus forming one huge thoroughfare. The latter is the first and the largest pedestrian zone in the historic part of Munich, and was established in 1972. It also is the top-selling shopping street in entire Germany.

The Neuhauser Straße itself has been in existence since at least 1293 (first documentary mention) and, from 1815 to 1828, was known as Karlstraße, and then renamed Neuhausergasse. The street was rebuilt in 1972 from a main traffic connection with two tram-rails into a pedestrian zone; the reason for that was the 1972 Summer Olympic Games expected to bring a huge influx of additional traffic. The name “Neuhauser” derives from the former village and today's Neuhausen district, where the road leads out of town.

During the Second World War, the fabric of Kaufingerstraße was largely destroyed. During the 1990s and the following years, all the 1950s' and 1960s' constructions were replaced with postmodern architecture.

Today, the Kaufingerstraße/Neuhauser Straße is home to many shops and restaurants. Top international retailers, such as Zara, H&M, C&A, Mango, Karstadt, Kaufhof, Zero and others, have set up their presence here to keep company for the numerous streetside vendors who sell flowers, fruits, vegetables, roasted nuts, and souvenirs. Also adding to the area's appeal are the multiple outdoor cafes offering comfortable respite from a shopping spree with a chance to sit, drink or have a bite, or just to watch people or admire the surrounding architectural splendor.

If you're in the city center but want to shop away from the mainstream stores, consider Sendlinger Straße as a good alternative.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)

7) Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) (must see)

The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) is the seat of the Archbishop of Munich and Freising. Its two towers are the landmarks of the city and command spectacular views over Munich and the neighboring Alps.

The church sits on the site of a former 12th-century Marian Chapel. In 1468, Prince Sigismund of Bavaria ordered that it be replaced with a larger temple, dedicated to the Holy Virgin. The simple, red brick Gothic structure was designed by Jörg von Halspach and Lukas Rottaler, and was completed and consecrated in 1494. Its two towers with onion domes were added in 1525. The building suffered great damage from the World War II bombings: the roof collapsed and the north tower was heavily destroyed. Carefully restored after the war, the Frauenkirche once again became a popular place of worship in the city.

The striking Gothic structure is simple and dignified with little ornamentation. The vaulting over the nave and chancel are supported by two simple octagonal pillars. Windows are masterly hidden behind columns, making it look as if the church has only one window above the chancel. Among the treasures that have survived WWII bombings are the painting, called The Protecting Cloak, by Jan Polack, and the cenotaph of the Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV, created by Hans Krumpper.

As this is the city's mother church, no photos are encouraged in consideration of those who come to pray here regularly.
In the nave of the church, there's the Devil's Footprint or Teufelstritt. If you step in it, you're likely to be engulfed in flames that will hollow your skull and cause your head to shrink, a la Herman Dietrich in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
Visiting the church is kostenlos (free), but be prepared to pay a small fee if you want to take the lift up the south tower, instead of hoofing it.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7:30am-8:30pm
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Palais Porcia

8) Palais Porcia

Palais Porcia is a large mansion located near the Residenz Royal Palace in Munich, and is the city’s oldest surviving Baroque-style building.

The mansion was built in 1693 as a family home for the wealthy Fugger Counts, among whom were many bankers and generals, originated from Augsburg, Bavaria. It was designed in Italian Baroque style by the Swiss architect, Enrico Zuccalli, and was the first structure in such style built in the city. The Palais Porcia was purchased in 1710 by the scion of yet another wealthy Bavarian family, the Count Torring. The Elector Charles Albert bought Palais Porcia in 1731 for his mistress, Countess Topor-Morawitzka. In 1736, he commissioned François de Cuvilles to redesign the interiors in Rococo style. The building gets its name from the husband of Countess Topor-Morawitzka, Prince Porcia. Jean Baptist Métivier integrated a concert hall in the palace in 1819. He was commissioned to do the task by ‘Museum’, a cultural organization that had, at that time, purchased the building.

From 1932, the Palais Porcia has housed the headquarters of a prominent Bavarian-based German bank, the Bayerische Vereinsbank. The building was severely damaged by the World War II bombings, but was carefully restored after the war, between 1950 and 1952.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Palais Holnstein

9) Palais Holnstein

The Palais Holnstein is a large historic mansion commissioned by the Elector Charles Albert in 1733. It is regarded as the finest Rococo-style building in Munich.

The architect François de Cuvilliés, a Belgian-born Bavarian decorative designer, who popularized the Rococo style of building design in Bavaria, architected the mansion between 1733 and 1737. The Elector Charles Albert had it constructed as the residence for his mistress, Baroness Sophie Caroline of Ingleheim, and his illegitimate son through her, Count Franz Ludwig von Holnstein. He commissioned Johann Baptist Zimmermann, a well-known painter and master stucco plasterer, to decorate the interiors.

In 1821, the Palais Holnstein became the Archiepiscopal Palace, the Archbishops of Munich and Freising using it as their residence. The best known resident of the palace is Cardinal Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger who lived here after being appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising by Pope Paul VI between 1977 and 1982. Later, he served as Pope Benedict XVI, from 2005 until 2013. As a Pope, he stayed at the palace once again during his visit to Munich in September 2006. Visitors are not allowed to view the interiors because of the building’s function as the Archbishop’s residence, but the magnificent Rococo façade is available for all to see.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Munich, Germany

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Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
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Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles

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