New Town Hall (Neue Rathaus) is the most impressing building on Marienplatz. It was built between 1867 and 1908 in neo gothic style. Although it houses the administrative offices of the City Government you can visit its tower and have a panoramic view. It also houses the Touring Information if you need some free maps, leaflets and any help about the city.
The Town Hall is famous for the mechanical clock (Glockenspiel) which is a carillon with 32 life-size figures that go round and dance with music for some minutes (about 15’) daily at 11.00 and 12.00 (summer in 17.00 too). It’s nothing special but tourists gather in front of the building to see the small figure parade and take pictures/video of it. The clock was created in 1908 and is divided in 2 levels that tell 2 different stories from Bavarian history, the first one a wedding of duke Wilhelm V and the second one the dance of coopers during 16th century to get rid of the plague!
When you get bored with it start check the numerous statues of the façade, most of them are historical figures (kings, saints) or mythological ones (dragon included!). Or you can just walk through the arched entrance at the inner courtyard.
This is where the famed clock-Glockenspiel is located, which plays the scene at 11AM, 12 noon, and 5PM. The rest of the building is for administrative offices of the Government, but there is a tower in the rear that can be accessed for a view of the area. It costs Euro 3 to enter, and you pay at the 4th level. This is also where the main Information center is located.
While we were there this year, the west side was being renovated; and that process continues constantly. The tower is 79 meters, and the architecture style is Flemish Neo-Gothic, with construction between 1867 and 1909. The building contains 400 rooms, and is 91,000 square feet.
The New Rathaus (town hall) is in the heart of the pedestrian district in the old town. Built in the late 1800s, with its neo-Gothic façade it pretty much stands out against the many shops in the area. The façade has 40 statues of figures from Bavarian history and legend (kings, saints, mythological) including a complete equestrian statue that sticks out from the side of the façade. On the left corner of the New Rathaus is a unique dragon climbing up the building. I remembered him from my first trip to Munich and hoped to get a good photo this trip, but renovations made that impossible since scaffolding was blocking the dragon.
In the very center of the façade is the clock tower that stands 260 feet high and is the home of the Glockenspiel, in which mechanical characters reenact a jousting tournament from a wedding celebration and men dance to rid the city of the plague.
We thought after seeing how crowded the Marienplatz was in the evening that we would come early in the morning to get photos when there were no crowds. I guess many others had the same idea as us because there were still lots of people in the morning as well!
At the bottom of the clock tower is an arched entrance to the central courtyard of the New Rathaus. This was interesting to see the older interior (and not so Gothic looking). On the walls leading to the courtyard were interesting plaques of different events or historical periods. It is free to walk through this area and look at everything. There are tours you can take of the clock tower and the entrance is in this area – it costs €2 to take the elevator up (daily from May-October, and weekdays only the rest of the year).
The New Rathaus was not destroyed during the bombings in World War II and was used as headquarters for the US forces in 1945.
Later in the day, we looked our watches and noticed that we were nearby and it was Glockenspiel time. So we joined the thousands of people in the Marienplatz to watch the show, which lasted about five minutes. It started off very slow, but then it livened up and we enjoyed the joust the best.
You can also get a good view of the New Rathaus from the top of the tower in St. Peter’s Church. After it was too late, we thought it might be a neat place to watch the Glockenspiel show.
The Glockenspiel (which means carillon or bells) is in the center of the clock tower of Munich’s New Rathaus, added to the building in 1908. Famous for its twice daily shows (three times in the summer) of two events in Munich’s history: on the upper level, mechanical knights celebrate a royal wedding with a jousting tournament – root for your favorite knight (but remember that the Bavarian colors are blue and white!); and just below the jousting are coopers, or barrel makers, doing a celebratory dance for the ending of the plague.
There are 32 life-sized mechanical figures that participate in the Glockenspiel’s shows – easily seen from the Marienplatz below. When we watched the show, the square was filled with several thousand people watching (and this was low season for tourists).
You know it is time when the bells begin to play. At first, we stood there listening and nothing was happened – and we were beginning to wonder if this was all there was. And then the joust began and the dancers celebrated. When it was all over, the bells played some more before it was all over. The entire show lasted about five minutes.
If you won’t be in Munich to see the Glockenspiel, you can watch the show on this YouTube video and hear the bells play.
Daily at 11:00 am and noon all year long with a third show at 5:00 pm from May to October.
Munich’s Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), located on the east side of Marienplatz, is the original city hall building, dating back to the 14th century. In 1874, when the building became to small, Munich’s municipality moved into the New Town Hall on the other side of the square. Completely destroyed in World War II, the Old Town Hall has been rebuilt after original plans in neo-gothic style and now houses Munich’s toy museum, a collection of unique historic toys from Europe and the U.S.
The first thing you see when coming to Munich's Marienplatz is the impressive New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus); its over 300 feet long and elaborately decorated façade with hundreds of statues, turrets and arches dominates the whole square. Although it seems like the New Town Hall dates back to the middle Ages, the building was constructed between 1867 and 1909 in Flanders Gothic style. The New Town Hall is home to the city government, the Munich Tourism Office, and the restaurant “Ratskeller” on the ground floor of the building.
The Neues Rathaus, [ new town hall ] is in Marienplatz . In the tower is a glockenspiel that plays 2 or 3 times a day. The building is festooned with statues and gargoyles. The tower has a free lift to 4 th floor, then to top from 4 th a charge of 1 euro 50. Great view but a bit windy.
The New Town Hall situated on Marienplatz is a stunning example of Gothic style architecture created by architect Georg von Hauberrisser. It is a grand building housing a restaurant and tourist information office.
The main point of interest on the town hall is the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, a clock that charms the audience below with performances at 11am, 12 pm and 5pm in summer months. It is a very strange spectacle as everyone in the Marienplatz stops and looks up to see the stories unfold above!
One of the first things you will notice when you enter Marienplatz is the spires and towers of the Neues Rathaus. Definately a building that captured my attention, and even though I have spent quite a bit of time studying the building, I still have this feeling that I was not able to take it all in and have missed some details.
Dominating Marienplatz is the Neues Rathaus attracting millions of visitors to watch the Glockenspiel whose 43 bells play a 15 minute carillon at 11h00, 12h00 & 17h00. Whilst the bells are playing, 32 mechanical figurines re-enact the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V to Renate von Lothringen in 1568.
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