The Renaissance Hofgarten (Royal Garden) is north of the Residenz complex. It is flanked by 19th-century arcades and the modern Staatskanzlei (State Chancellery). The octagonal temple in the middle of the garden is crowned by Huberd Gerhard’s 1594 Diana.
In the south end of the Englischer Garten is the Haus der Kunst (House of Art), Prinzregentenstraße 1. It has no permanent collection but was commissioned by the Nazis to exhibit their ideas of real German art. Hitler opened the building in person (and broke the hammer with the first blow!). It currently houses temporary exhibitions and events.
Southeast of the Englischer Garten is the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum), Prinzregentenstraße 3. It focuses on local art and cultural items but many are world-renowned. The completion of restoration work by 2006 will see a reorganization and it is still uncertain which of the 800,000 items will be on permanent display. The excellent works by Tilman Riemenschneider are a sure bet, as are the vast collection of early medieval and Gothic works.
Nearby is the Schack-Galerie, Prinzregentenstraße 9. It has a collection of 270 German 19th-century paintings.
The Englischer Garten (English Garden) is Europe’s largest city park. This huge park was laid out in the early 19th century and is a favored place to relax. In the south of the park is a Japanese Tea House (1972). Towards the middle of the park is a classical round temple, the Monopteros (1838). It is supposed to have great views of the old town skyline, but the number of drug users and undesirables that frequent the place lead many to prefer the view from the rolling lawns. The five-story Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Pagoda) of 1760 burned down during the Second World War but was reconstructed in 1952. In its shade is a 6,000-seat beer garden. Nude sunbathing is still practiced in many parts of the park, although students strolling around in the nude are much less common nowadays than they were in the 1970s and 1980s.
West of the Englischer Garten is the neighborhood of Schwabing – a mythical, nostalgic place for many Germans, a bit like Paris’s Left Bank. It saw its golden age at the turn of the 19th century and early 20th century when the neighborhood was crowded by artists of all kinds. Although present Schwabing is not even a shadow of its former self, it is still the liveliest neighborhood with the most popular nightspots and small shops – clinging to its Bohemian tradition but very much bourgeois, with the trendiest cafés and “in” places. It is most easily reached by U-Bahn (station: Münchener Freiheit).
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