Signs around Munich
As with many Bavarian cities and towns, signs for local businesses are a photographer's heaven. Munich is no exception. I am only using five pictures here, but I have quite a collection. Basically, the signs depict what service the shopkeeper provides, which was necessary in the period before literacy. Now, the various signs are more decoration than anything else, but the visitor can somewhat visualize a time long past.
Parenthetically, Rothenburg ob der Tauber requires all shops to display these beautiful signs, and that includes McDonalds.
Photo 1 Although this is not a business sign, I include it because I find these things fascinating. It is a braille "map" of the old city of Munich for the blind.
Photo 2 Das Münchener Kindl (the Munich Monk). This is Munich's coat of arms and the symbol of the city. It dates back to the twelfth century. The story behind it is fairly involved and I suggest a "google" search to read the story.
Photo 3 This is a restaurant with a sign depicting the Munich Child.
Photo 4 This sign is for the "Altes Hackerbrauhaus"
Photo 5 The Hundskugel is Munich's oldest tavern dating from 1440
The Munich Lion(s)
The lion is the symbol of Munich. They are found everywhere, from statues and monuments to brightly colored pieces in the pedestrian zone. One of the most prominent monuments in Munich is the Siegestor (Victory Gate), which is based on the Arch of Constantine in Rome. The monument was built in the mid nineteenth century in celebration of Bavaria's role in the Wars of Liberation, 1813 - 1815. The chariot and lion sculpture on the top was created by Martin von Wagner.
The lions can be found everywhere in Munich and it is obvious that the city is quite proud of its association with the lion.
- Historical Travel
Uncover your head in churches
usually i visit the religious temples of each country i visit, so i've been to many churches as many as the number of my hair,lol. so my friend took me to this church, as she knows how much i love architecture. i was wearing my winter hat and she asked me to take it off. i was surprised.
"it's a sign of respect to take it, and there should be nothing between you and god", even the hat was a barrier. i was really amazed, how religious (or traditional) she was, very amazing!
in contrast to the culture i originally come from, covering the head is a sigh of respect and modesty and if someone want to show their arrogance off, then they'd take it off.
isn't it fascinating how one thing can be seen as respectful to some and disrespectful to other? so uncover your head if you are in a bavarian church. make sure to listen before you jump into deep waters and judge everone around
- Arts and Culture
Football Crazy Fans
i had this impression at the first sight my eyes lied on the lufthansa airplane at heathrow london! the airplane front nose actually took the shape of a black-n-white football. was it a real attached football?
when i arrived in munich, i found out that the football fever was taking everyone walking in the street; people wearing sports t-shirts of the german team, souviner shops were full of football keychains and scarves, and basically i was almost converting to become a football-er!
- Arts and Culture
munich is a small town and thus it's easy to tease out and notice the huge number of lion figures everywhere. you can find lions in every pose and shape possible, dressing up in different costumes; a lion with a beer, a ice-skater lion, a football lion player, chess lion and even a vodafone lion.
lion is the symbol of bavaria, not sure what it stands for but perhaps it was originated after Henry the Lion who founded Munich, the capital of Bavaria. even the bavarian flag consists of a few lions and a crown representing different parts of bavaria and its inhabitants.
i dont pay much attention to history but i was taken by how strong the bavarian identity was...it was just everywhere! interesting!
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Reduced admission prices on sundays !
On sundays, many Munich museums only charge a symbolic admission fee of 1,- € (which is laughable cheap). So if you are on a tight budget, you might decide to visit the museums you are interested in on a sunday.
"Ist Dieser Platz Noch Frei?"
OK, so now you found a beer hall or beer garden. Where do you sit? In general, it's open seating at large common tables. If a table's empty, it's usually OK to sit down. If there are open seats at an occupied table, ask the occupants if the empty chair(s) is/ are free (e.g. "Entschuldigung, sind Diese zwei Plätze noch frei?") Don't speak German? (or can't fake it like me?;) Be creative with a combination of simple English, gestures, and smiles. You'll generally be tolerated, if not welcomed.
Exceptions to the above: The most common exception to the common seating protocol is the "stammtisch." Tables with this marking (usually marked by a sign on the table or hanging above it) are reserved for "Stammgäste," or regular guests. Even most regular guests don't get to sit at these tables -- only those who are specifically invited. Most establishments have at least one stammtisch -- some (such as the Hofbräuhaus or the Augustiner Keller) have several.
- Beer Tasting
Germans LOVE their mayo. If you happen into one of the Burger King's or McDonald's for a cheap eat-be advised that there will be an abundance of Mayo on your grub. Thirsty for a soda? You must specify that you would like some ice in your beverage. Otherwise you get it straight up!
- Budget Travel
I did much beer drinking with locals during my stay. One valuable lesson I learned is that during one of the many 'Prosts', it is important to make eye contact with each person you clink beersteins with. It is considered rude to not make eye contact.
Oktoberfest, perhaps Munich's most famous attraction. A 2-week-long fair, it offers a wide selection of rollercoasters and several large beer tents ("Bierzelte"). The Oktoberfest was first held on October 12, 1810 in honor of the marriage of crown prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities were closed with a horse race and in the following years the horse races were continued and later developed into what is now known as the Oktoberfest. Despite its name, most of Oktoberfest occurs in September. It always finishes on the first Sunday in October unless the German national holiday on 3 October ("Tag der deutschen Einheit" - Day of German Unity) is a Monday or Tuesday
Beer Gardens: Full Service or Self Service?
Another issue that confounds some tourists is figuring out which tables get what kind of service in beer gardens. I remember sitting at a table for 45 minutes one time, only to discover I was sitting in the self-service area!
There are three types of beer garden service: I'll call them "Full Service" (you get beer and food from a server), "Mini Service" (you get only beer from a kellner/kellnerin and buy your own food at "schmankerl" stands), and "Self-Service" (you get up and get everything yourself). Many smaller beer gardens are one type exclusively. The clues to look for are stands serving food and/or beer to customers. If you don't see any "schmankerl" stands, it's probably full service. If that doesn't work, sit down and observe what the other guests are doing: e.g. if they're getting up empty-handed and coming back with beer, you do the same.
On the other hand, many larger beer gardens have a combination of service. If you see an area marked "SB" or "Selbstbedienung," this is the self-service zone. If all of the tables in an area are covered with tablecloths, then these tables are full service.
One final note: some beer gardens allow patrons to bring their own food, as long as they buy beer. Some don't. When in doubt, observe the regular customers and see what they do to figure out what's acceptable.
- Beer Tasting
Beer for all Personalities
According to a local who was feeling friendly, there are three beers/breweries in Munich for three major groups.
1. Hofbrauhaus: All around beer. Popular with tourists and locals of all ages.
2. Augustiner: The beer for the young, hip crowd. Also the brewery with the highest rated beer garden in Munich. (walk left out of the Westbahnhof toward Nymphenburg palace to find the Augustiner beer garden.)
3. Lowenbrau: The beer for bitter old men as it has a slightly bitter aftertaste.
- Road Trip
The Heraldic Arms of the City of Munich
The city of Munich presently only uses the right arms as the official arms. Until 1957 the left arms were the official great arms, the right arms the arms for daily use.
The monk (Munch) is a canting symbol. The monk already appears as a canting symbol on the first seals of the city, which date from 1239 and 1268. The seals show a gate with the mink and above the gate an eagle, probably derived from the arms of the Bishops of Freising, to which the city belonged. Since 1313 the lion replaced the eagle, as the city now was a possession of the Wittelsbach family, Dukes of Bayern. The lion is the oldest symbol for the Wittelsbach family, which commonly used a blue shield with silver diamonds (see the arms of Bayern).
The arms with the gate have not changed since and were officially granted as city arms in 1834 by King Ludwig of Bayern. Form 1936-1945 the lion was replaced by the eagle used by the Third Reich.
The use of the great arms was abolished by law from December 17, 1957 and only the small arms have been used since. The monk as a single figure has been used on a small seal dating from 1304, and on the banners of the city since the mid 14th century. The shape of the monk has changed considerably during the centuries. The figure as shown above is according to the official drawing of 1957.
Some German words
I got excited when I learned some German. Hoping you too.
Thank you=danke (pronounced as 'dan-kay')
Cheers (for beer)=broost
Good morning=guten morgen (pronounced as 'goo-ten mor-gin')
Train=bhan (read as 'baan')
(i found these two fascinating, you know I am Arab not European to understand why German websites end with 'de.' instead of 'ge'),lol.
I will add more words as soon as I remember,lol.
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
washing dishes in Germany
When I was staying with my friend in Germany and was ready to wash the dishes, I was looking for some plastic bowl/tray/box to mix the soap with some water. So I asked my friend and it turned to be that the German way of washing is different from the Saudi one.
In Germany, many people would block the basin, fill it with water, then mix it with some soap. All dishes and silvers will be placed into the filled basin. Bring some sponge and wash the dish inside this water. Then dry it with another piece of material or clothes.
I couldn't understand this as it were different from what I know back home in Saudi. My friend told me it reserves water more than my own way;^)
See the washing dishes tip in my Saudi page.
It might sound very funny, i know but very interesting. Cultural diversity even in dish washing!!
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
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