Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Leopoldstrasse, Ludwigstrasse, and Maximilianstrasse

Early dismissal from class today. Instead of going back to the hotel, I took the U3 straight to Giselastrasse. Walking down the wide avenue of Leopoldstrasse, I pass by Siegestor (Victory Gate) in the middle of a big roundabout. The Siegestor is a three-arched gate topped with a sculpture of Bavaria on a chariot being pulled by four lions. Cars were going all around me, while I stood in the middle of the roundabout, in knee-deep snow, taking pictures of the gate. Further on along Ludwigstrasse, I pass by the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), Ludwigskirche (Catholic Parish and University Church St. Louis), and the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek). Too bad I didn't go in Ludwigskirche. Its altar fresco is supposedly the largest in the world.

Walk, walk, walk, I end up again at Odeonsplatz. Last time I was here on Sunday, my camera batteries shut down due to the cold weather, so I wasn't able to take any pictures. Time to explore the Hofgarten again. In the middle of the Court Garden is the Diana pavilion. If you look closely, on top is a replica of the sculpture Bavaria. On one side of the garden is the Festsaalbau of the Munich Residenz. On the eastern end is the Bavarian Staatskanzlei (State Chancellery), which used to be the Army Museum.

I continued along the shopping street Maximilianstrasse with its posh boutiques and luxury shops until I got to Maxmonument, dedicated to King Maximilian II of Bavaria. The statue was sculpted by Kaspar von Zumbusch. I could've pushed on to the palatial Maximilianeum, which is right across river Isar, but I decided to double back. Leave some interesting places to explore next time.

Back at Max-Joesph-Platz, where the royal avenue of Maximilianstrasse started, I loitered around to take more pictures. In the middle of the plaza is a monument called Max-Joseph Denkmal, as a memorial for King Maximilian Joseph. Behind the statue is the Bavarian State Opera. On the left is the Munich Residenz and the Residenz Theatre. Beneath the plaza is a subterranean garage.

With that, I took the train to Marienplatz for more shopping.

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