Karlstor and Karlsplatz - Stachus, Munich
The medieval center of Munich is bounded on each side by gates which are still standing today. On the east and west sides of the city center are Karlstor, in Karlsplatz, and Isartor near the river. Between these two gates runs Munich's main pedestrianised shopping street. Sendlingertor can be found to the south of the city, but on the north side Siegestor is far north of Odeonplatz, near the University, on the way to Schwabing. Karlstor is commonly referred to as Stachus, after Eustachius Foederl who ran a beer keller there in the 18th century.
Karlsplatz is known locally as Stachus. It is a large square in the center of Munich, On the square there is a big fountain in the summer. In the winter there is an open-air ice rink. Underground there is a shopping center.
At the entrance to this square there is an attractive looking gate called Karl's Tor. Nearby there is an interesting spitting fountain. During our visit an event involving Turkish youth was taking place here.
During medieval times the City of Munich was surrounded by gates. There were four large towers and five smaller gates. These gates remained generally in tact until the late 18th century when Munich's growth was so great that Karl Theodor, Elector of Bavaria decided to tear down most of the old gates to the city.
Despite these actions to destroy the gates, several of them exist in some form or another today. It is enjoyable to walk parts of old Munich and see some of the better examples of these gates. Karltor, named after Karl Theodor, and Isartor are two of the three most impressive of the remaining three large gates in Munich.
Directions: Karlstor Gate is located in Stachus Square and Isartor is located just west of the Marienplatz.
One of Munich's popular square located westside of Marienplatz. You won't miss it there's a McDonalds right on that old yellow building surrounding the fountain. People sits around the fountain. Also, there's a U-bahn and S-bahn station below the square.
There is a royal-looking gate just beside the fountain or just before entering the square called Karlstor, it's a gothic style fortification gate of sort.
The Second major square in Munich after Marian Platz, this is referred to as Stachus by locals. On the end towards kaufingerstr is the last remaining Medieval gate of Munich. The Justice Palace sits on the other end of the square.
Address: Karls Platz
Not sure if this is open all year but during the winter its definitely full of all ages. This lovely Ice Rink is bang in the middle of Karlsplatz and at the entrance to the pedestrianised thoroughfare that winds along to Marienplatz and the amazing Frauenkirsche, the twin towered church.
For children there are these great animal shaped trolleys to hang onto so as not to fall over on the ice....but theres also bigger ones for the older person who may still need that support. What fun to see a grown man hanging onto a disney shaped pig as he was pushed around the ice by his kids!
At the side of the rink are several wooden cabins selling that wonderful hot gluhwein. Mugs of steaming hot wine and spices chase the cold away from the inside out!
Directions: End of Bayerstrasse
Approaching the Karlstor (one of the three surviving 14C town gates) while walking west on Neubauer Strasse, one see the fountains in the square beyond (plus the late 19C Justizpalast). Outside the gate is the everyday world of Munich with McDonald's, the underground station and the Hauptbahnhof where we arrived and left and the traffic separating us from our hotel. One hesitates to go beyond the gate and leave this comforting tourist haven.
The great thing about this area in Old Town is that there are several things to see within walking distance and a plethora of restaurants and shopping. The medieval Karlstor is a gate that stands to the western entrance to Old Town in Munich. This gate was originally built in 1781 but had to be rebuilt later in 1861 though it looks new. There are also very cool statues and fountains you will want to get photos of. Michaelskirche, a church built in 1559, is right around the corner. Great shopping area...just about anything you could want....local souveniers, clothing from famous manufacturers, decent prices. Close to Marienplatz
Directions: Old Town
In behind the Karls Tor (Karl's Tower) lies the throbbing hub of central Munich. In this vast pedestrian area you will not only find many locals but hordes of tourists as well, one particular language and accent standing out.
I had hopped off the tram on my way back from Nymphenburg just out of curiousity and it led me to such a wealth of interesting things to see, and that's excluding the shopping!
The Karlsplatz and the Karlstor represent the entrance to the historic city centre and, since 1972, to the pedestrian only precinct, which makes this the ideal starting point for a shopping spree along Neuhauser and Kaufinger Straße, winding up at Marienplatz.
The Karlsplatz takes its official name from the Elector Karl Theodor, who had the square laid out in 1791. It is better known as Stachus, supposedly named after the popular innkeeper Eustachius Föderl. The name might however also originate from the expression 'Stachel' (prickle). This was the term given to the arrows of the marksmen who used to try their combating skills in front of the Karlstor during the Middle Ages.
During summer you will find respite next to the modern fountain, which invites tourists as well as locals to relax a while. Of course, when I was there it wasn't in operation. The whole idea co-incided with the 1972 Olympics of course. Nothing like international exposure to get the city fathers motivated!
On the second picture the actual gateway is just out of view in the centre of the semi-circle of the Karlsplatz.
The Stachus, offering underground parking space, is located on the western Altstadtring and includes a S-Bahn station, making it the traffic nodal point of Munich and one of the busiest squares in Europe.
If you happen to be on Karlsplatz, you basically have two options: See the grand Justizpalast (courthouse) and Munich`s best fountain, the historic Wittelsbacherbrunnen, or walk through the historic city gate Karlstor and explore the sights of the Old Town.
Karlstor is one of the few remaining town gates in Munich. It is pretty interesting to look at. You will definitely walk past it numerous times while visiting Munich. The gate is right near Karlsplatz (Stachus)
Karlstor (Charles Gate) is one of Munich’s town gates which dates back to the 14th century. It was integrated into the square at the Karlsplatz. Today it is one of the busiest pedestrian zones in the city.
Three gates of the demolished medieval fortification have survived to this day - the Isartor in the east, the Sendlinger Tor in the south and the Karlstor in the west of the inner city. The Karlstor is the oldest building at Stachus, a grand square dominated by the Justizpalast (Palace of Justice).This gate was part of a large 14th century city wall which replaced the smaller city wall from the 12th century. The city wall was destroyed at around 1800, and the Karlstor became the center of a new square, Karlsplatz links Neuhauser Strasse to Karlsplatz. Two buildings were built next to the Karlstor, forming a symmetrical halve circle, symbolizing the opening of the city towards the outside.
Construction on sk. Michael kirche ( church ) was started in 1583 and completed in the early part of the Baroque period. The exterior architecture is typical of Bavarian architecture of the period.
The bronze sculpture show is of the archeangel Michael ( father Adam ) subduing his adversary Satan ( aka Lucifer, Beelzebub, the devil, son of the morning, old scratch, etc. ) during the war in heaven. The sculpture which is located near the main church entrance, is a very well crafted eye catcher.
Several very high ranking Bavarians were entombed in this church, including mad king Ludwig ll, whose body was found mysteriously floating in a nearby lake after he drained the national treasury constructing his fairy tale castles. His castles are now some the most popular tourist attractions in Bavaria.
Address: Neuhauser strasse 6
Directions: Neurhauser strasse is the main pedestrian mall in altstadt Muenchen.
The large fountain partially shown in the photo was crafted in Karlsplatz prior to the 1972 Olympic games. People cool off in the fountain on hot Summer days. However, there were no takers on this unusually cold morning in late May, when the temperature was stightly above the freezing mark. Karlsplatz was named in honor of an unpopular beaurocrat Karl Theodor. The locals later starting calling the square Stachus, after a popular biergarten proprieter. The name stuch ( pun intended ).
The magnificent palace shown behind ( on the west side ) of the square is Justizpalast, which as you probably guessed, means palace of justice. ( Isn't learning German fun ? ) Construction on Justizpalast began in 1891 and was completed 7 years later. The architectural style can best be described as neo-Ranaissance, although Baroque and Rokoko elements are also evident. The columns on the four corners of the palace are topped with interesting pinnacles. The statues around the top balcony are ancient symbols of justice. The copper roof is discolored by heavy oxidation and could use a little refreshing. With that in mind judge Hundwalder gives the palace a score of 8.2. The palace still houses Bavaria's highest court. Fortunately, I idid not get to see first hand how the system works, although I probably came close a couple of times.
The neo-Renaissance dome you see behind the court palace is the main dome of the Hauptbahnhof, which is Muenchen's gigantic but fascinating train station ( a city within a city ). From there you can easily journey most anywhere in Europe.
Achtung ! Leave yourself a lot of time to catch your train unless you are greatly skilled at forced marching.
Address: Karlsplatz ( excuse me! Stachus )
Directions: Located on the edge of altstadt Muenchen, very near the hauptbahnhof, or central train station. You can see the station's dome in the photo.