2 May 2007


After giving us a taste of LA living, Nancy posed the question: what would you say is your city's icon?

Well, I live in a city (at least that's what they call it, although rumours go that Munich is just an oversized village). I guess one could even call it a city that almost drowns in (selfproclaimed) icons.

Just a few of them:

Beer. Sausages (Weisswurst) and bread in knots (Pretzels) that perfectly go with beer. Beergardens. "Starkbierfest" (more, stronger beer), "Oktoberfest" (a sea of beer paired with a couple of thousand grilled chickens and pigs). The "Viktualienmarkt" (market with a beergarden). The "Marienplatz" (a couple of terrasses around a neo-gothic city hall, where you can sit and drink beer). The "Frauenkirche" (No beer here. Just onion shaped church towers),

Oh, before I forget: the internationally famous Hofbräuhaus itself. At this place you can drink a beer. Munich's oldest sushi bar is right in front of it to help those poor Japanese out, for whom a liter of beer and half a pig is just a bit too much.

But I like Munich. I love living here. It's green, pretty, solid. So it doesn't deserve "beer-in-floods" as an icon. On the other hand: it cannot claim some cute Bavarica like the "Maibaum" or "Trachten" all for itself either. So, what's Munich's icon?


I say it's the chestnut tree. Everywhere you can see their luscious, wide crowns spending shade, their beautiful "candlestick" blossoms in spring, the polished chestnuts in their prickly dress in autumn.

Of course there's also a story involving chestnuts and beer. In old times the breweries would keep their freshly brewn beer underground in vast cellars. To keep the precious liquid as cool as possible in summer they planted chestnuts. Tall and wide as they are and with big leaves they formed the perfect parasols. Of course this was also a very good place to drink a cool beer....so here the beergarden enters...

Maybe I can't save Munich from its beer after all...

1 comment:

Fledgling said...

Hello Diana! Beautiful symbol and fitting. Nu i hob' do' e' Bierdurscht! Okay, I'll stop.

I always have great anecdotes from each time I was in Munich. Always these amazingly helpful and funny people. One anecdote includes having about 4 punkers and an elderly lady down on all fours looking for my contact lens! In Karstadt on langer Samstag no less (wenn there was langer Samstag). This other anecdote occured in the elevator of that fancy hotel (Hilton, maybe?) near the English Garden (great Biergarten ;-) some Saudi women and your Bilderbuch Münchener complete with Bäuchlein and hat with that big pouffy feather thing...I'm chuckling just thinking about it.

I'll take you up on that invite to the market, if I'm ever in town again ;-)