Enough history for now – let’s go to "Stachus"!

It’s high time to return to the 21st century and move on to our next destination which is – Stachus! I mentioned in an earlier post, Munich has two centers – Marienplatz with it’s two municipalities, fish-fountain and column of Mary and the baby – and Stachus which is comfortable 15 walking-minutes away from there, along the pedestrian-zone and impossible to miss. The actual godfather of Stachus was the little loved and appreciated Duke Karl Theodor, who passed away after 21 years of very selfish reign in 1799. He suffered a stroke four days before he died and people literally held their breath for the following days – and started to celebrate when it was official, he was gone. I guess that says it all … no comment needed!

I need to confuse you now a little bit as “Stachus” is not the REAL name even though it is commonly and almost worldwide known as such – it is “Karlsplatz”, after the previously mentioned Duke – but as so often here in Munich, we Bavarians have our very own way of honoring people … I’ll tell you what I mean! At the place of one of our big malls (Kaufhof) and the adjacent movie theatre (Matthäser) right there in the center, there used to be a LARGE beer-garden sometime back in the 19th century, who’s owner was called “Eustachius Föderl”! When people wanted to go there to have a good time, they didn’t mention any official name – but simply said “gemma zum Stachus”, which means, “let’s go to Stachus” – an abbreviation of “Eustachius”! That name is still most popular today, in fact whoever asks a native for “Karlsplatz”, will most likely be corrected with a warm smile and the understanding remark “you mean Stachus, right?”!
Even the subway, underground and street-car drivers couldn’t make up their minds all those years and still today announce both names, “Karlsplatz/Stachus”!

The entrance to Stachus, coming from Marienplatz, is the “Karlstor” which is a remnant of one of the fortifications from the 14th century! The above mentioned Duke Karl Theodor gave order to demolish it and lay out this place called then officially after him.
The “Karlstor” has three arches, two smaller on the sides and one higher in the middle – you can recognize that on the picture! It was renovated to it’s current look in 1791.

One of the most famous meeting-places in the entire city is the BIG fountain which I – sadly enough – found yesterday without water. That did not the least deter people from gathering there and having a good time though! One can see back-packers, moms with children who need a break, friends, lovers, old folks who enjoy to wach the commotion, teenagers in groups giggling and dancing to the newest tunes … simply everybody! The stones around provide a place to sit and during the summer-months, the water is very welcome to cool off as there is nowhere one could hide from the sun. Who’s not lucky enough to get a “seat” – simply sits on the ground. Nobody looks or minds – it is perfectly normal!

To complete the picture, I should mention as well a BIG “Mc Donalds” which became almost a landmark there in the center! One can sometimes hear the youngsters advising a friend over the phone to “meet at Mac’s” which is in Bavarian “treff’ ma uns beim Mac”!

Just across the mainstreet, “Sonnenstrasse” that is, there is so-called “Palace of Justice”, built by Friedrich von Thiersch between 1891 till 1898 in gothic, renaissance and baroque style – a truly remarkable piece of architecture!

That all is Stachus … a melting-pot for natives and foreigners alike, sort of the sitting room of Munich!


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