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Culture

Top Rated Attractions in Munich

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Schlossmuseum Ismaning

A castle credited to Philip of the Palatinate, the Rennaissance style structure dates back to 1530. After being under the patronage of different rulers, the castle ultimately came under the management of the municipality of Ismaning in 1919 and has been its owner ever since. Today, it serves as a host to the Schlossmuseum Ismaning, which houses artworks of the local artists.

Englischer Garten

One of the oldest English-style landscape gardens and one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, the Englischer Garten is Munich's most fascinating park. Sprawling across an area of 3.7 square kilometres (1.4 square miles), this place is one of the largest public parks in the world. The park features some of the best architecturally diverse landmarks along its vast verdant expanse and rolling lawns. From a Chinese pagoda with an adjoining beer garden and the Monopteros Greek temple, to a Japanese Tea House, the park is full of intriguing monuments and landmarks. Artificial streams gush through the park and several surfers can be seen gliding effortlessly along its foamy waters. Also housing an artificial lake and an open-air theater, the urban park is one of the best socio-cultural hubs of Munich.

Nymphenburg Palace

Longer in width than the Palace of Versailles, Schloss Nymphenburg was the impressive summer residence of the Wittelsbachs. One of the most popular attractions in Munich, the palace and its grounds are home to several landmarks showcasing diverse architectural styles. Designed by Italian Baroque architect Augustino Barelli, the palace still preserves its rococo and baroque rooms. The ornate, marble polished Stone Hall is particularly impressive and the famous 'Schönheitengalerie' (Gallery of the Beauties) containing the portraits of 36 local women, is a must see for visitors. A few interesting smaller palaces can be found in the park: the Amalienburg, Pagodenburg and Badenburg. The Marstallmuseum has a comprehensive display of carriages, sleds and crockery, while the Meditationskapelle (Meditation Chapel) with its Magdalenenklause is also worth a visit.

Marienplatz

Marienplatz has been at the center of the city ever since it was founded by Henry the Lion in 1158. Named after the Marian Column of Mariensaule which was built in 1638 to mark the end of Swedish rule in Germany, the square is one of the most historically rich cultural hubs of the city. Serving as a bustling marketplace in its early days, the square retained its position as the city's social core even after the market was moved. Replete with monuments, Marienplatz is thronged by tourists admiring the intricate 100-meter (328-feet) high Gothic façade of the New Town Hall and the waters of the Fish Fountain. The Marian column forms the centerpiece of the square, with a golden statue of Mother Mary perched on its top.

Olympiapark

Built for the 1972 Olympic Games, the Olympic complex is now used for a variety of leisure activities ranging from sports events to concerts. The 287-meter (942-foot) high Olympic Tower boasts a stunning view of the city. On a good day, visitors can go up and see as far as the Alps. There is also a rotating restaurant at the top. The famous canopy roof which spans the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Swimming Pool and the Olympiahalle were a topic of debate in their day. The complex is, however, timelessly beautiful and has become an integral part of the modern cityscape. The Olympiaberg (Olympic Hill) is a grassy mound made from Second World War rubble and also provides great views. The ice rink and swimming pool are also popular with sports fans, as is the Olympic Stadium, home to FC Bayern Munich- one of Europe's top football clubs.

National Theatre Munich

Karl von Fischer erected this classical building in 1818. Today the National Theatre Munich stands tall in marble, crystal and gold, hosting live performances of international artists. The theater is well planned and has a Corinthian portico dedicated to Apollo and the Muses. There is also a mosaic of Pegasus on the rear tympanum, designed by Ludwig Schwantehaler. The building has been destroyed twice: once by fire in 1825 (it was rebuilt two years later in a style faithful to the original) and again in a 1943 air raid. It was rebuilt in 1963 according to the original plans. The Bavarian State Opera, one of the world's best, showcases its events here and the Munich Opera Festival attracts many enthusiasts from around the world every year.

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