Sunday, December 12th

We woke slowly, dressed and headed down to breakfast.  The breakfast room is on the second floor facing the street.  In each window, stood a tall glass vase filled with red ornaments and a slender tree branch embellished with white lights….it was lovely…..and became even more so when snow started falling outside. 

After a quick breakfast, we bundled up and headed toward the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) to see the Glockenspiel in action. 

The Glockenspiel is a mechanical carillon with 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures that portrays two 16th century stories.  The top half honors the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V to Renata of Lorraine with the re-enactment of a joust between two knights….the Bavarian knight wins every time, of course.  The bottom half portrays the Schäfflerstanz (the coopers’ dance)….named in honor of the coopers who danced in the streets in the Middle Ages to bring joy back into people’s lives after the plague.  This tradition continues…..every seven years, Munich’s coopers recreate their dance of joy.

By the end of the Glockenspiel’s performance, the clouds were clearing and a beautiful blue sky was overhead.  We walked to the Residenz…..the royal palace of the Wittelsbach’s, Bavaria’s former monarchs and the longest ruling family in European history (1180-1918).  We’ve heard of the Habsburg’s (1278-1918) and the Medici’s (1230-1743)….why haven’t we heard of this Bavarian family?  Were we both sleeping through our history classes?

There are two museums in the Residenz:  the Treasury (home to the Wittelsbach’s crown jewels) and the Apartments (their private and state rooms). 

The items in the treasury were exquisite….crowns, swords, jewelry, trinkets…..some jewels replaced by glass as the Wittelsbach’s sold off parts of their treasury before they lost power in 1918.

The royal apartments were breath-taking and rivaled Versailles.  Although the palace has been reconstructed and looks much as it did before 1945, we were saddened that so much of it had been destroyed in WWII but we were absolutely amazed that the bombs that felled so much of the palace miraculously left some structures and paintings intact. 

On a purely narcissistic basis, the very best part of the tour (for me) was that it encompassed only two floors!  And they were connected by staircases with banisters!  My feet can confirm that 90 of the palace’s 120 rooms were open for viewing today. 

We left the museums shortly before closing time and, most fortuitously, walked across the street and directly into a restaurant….beer hall?….who knows?  There were multiple rooms with wonderful aromas and the sounds of happy diners. We were seated at a table with another couple….this seems to be the norm.  Craig ordered goulash with spätzle and cucumber salad; I happily dined on stuffed cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes and vegetables.  It was absolutely delicious and so reminded me of the comfort foods made by my grandma for my mom and by my mom for me. 

As we walked back through the Christmas market, snow started falling again…creating a magical atmosphere. 

After a stop for glühwein in warm mugs, it was time to call it a night. 

Gute nacht….good night

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About Languedoc Lady

I'm a newly retired woman from California getting ready to spend a year (or more) with my husband living the good life in Languedoc in the southwest of France.
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One Response to Sunday, December 12th

  1. Susi Folks says:

    Oh my gosh Gayleen,
    You are bringing back such memories for me! I lived in Germany for 18 months and remember it fondly. The Oktoberfest parade in Munich was a favorite and the Christmas Market in Rothenberg still makes me smile. We lived on the economy for a time and the bed in your pension is exactly what we had in our 200 year old farmhouse! I remember the snow and ice making the countryside look like something out of Dr Zhivago. It was spectacular! One very favorite treat for my children who were then one and two, was Kinderchocolate. They were egg shaped chocolates with delightful toys inside. (Slightly reminiscent of Cracker Jack prizes but much, much better.) One of the Directors I support, who travels to Europe monthly, brought some back last year for me to put in my now grown children’s Christmas stockings. It was a fun walk down memory lane for them, and me! – Keep the memories coming!

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