Munich`s Green Side
Munich is sprawling. Munich is lively. And Munich is very green. Parks, gardens and the Isar river present the perfect counterpoint to the pulsing city beat, to sightseeing and shopping. The city can look back on a long tradition of historical gardens. The park of Nymphenburg Palace was established already in the 17 th century and the English Garden in the 18 th century. Today the locals and their guests can enjoy their time out in public parks extending over roughly 5,680 acres.
You can’t help but feel princely when taking a stroll through the park of Nymphenburg Palace. In the gardens dating from the 18 th century, small splendid buildings such as Amalienburg, Badenburg and Pagodenburg are waiting to be discovered. Basins, fountains, lakes, bridges, pavilions, enclosed and decorative gardens are perfectly suited to stimulate the visitor’s imagination. In the mood for a baroque garden? The historical canals, fountains and boscages in the park of Schleißheim Palace will take you back to a courtly past.
The English Garden with its 990 acres of parkland is said to be even larger than Central Park in New York. At any rate, it offers abundant space for sports activities and bicycling. The quiet and idyllic northern part with its vast meadows is the ideal destination for those in search of rest and relaxation. True connoisseurs hang their hammock between two trees and allow theirs legs as well as their souls to dangle free. The Park’s southern section is livelier, for example at the Eisbach where river surfers ride the standing wave, on the meadow beneath the Monopteros, where slack liners, ice-cream vendors and bongo players romp about and in the beer garden at the Chinese Tower, where visitors can fortify themselves with snacks, beer and soft drinks.
Directly next to the Residenz, the city palace of the Wittelsbach rulers, the Hofgarten invites strollers to enjoy the sun. The easy-going atmosphere is emphasized by the crunching of pebbles underfoot as you stroll the paths, the quiet clicking of the boule balls and the tango sounds from the dancers who pirouette gracefully in the Hofgarten pavilion. There is no better place to relax downtown that the courtly Renaissance garden.
The renowned historical Botanical Gardens with their 14,000 species of plants adjoin the Nymphenburg Palace park to the north. In winter the greenhouses with their tropical temperatures, exotic plants and tropical butterflies transport visitors far away from the rain, cold and slush.
Nearby, the Hirschgarten with real deer, a water playground and Munich’s largest beer garden invites visitors to linger. The Hirschgarten looks back on a long history: In the summer of 1780, Elector Carl Theodor had an “animal garden” established on a fenced-in plot, where about one hundred fallow deer and roes were settled. Just a few years later it was made accessible to the public. A predecessor of today’s inn and beer garden, “the Royal Hirschgarten” existed at the time – the so-called “Hunter’s Inn”. The Magdalenenfest, which takes place every year at the end of July in Hirschgarten, is a genuine insider tip among Munich’s folk festivals.
Bicycling, sledding, skateboarding – the backdrop from the 1972 Olympics with its impressive tent roof constructions is a great stimulus for active recreation. For professional athletes it is also a special experience to compete in the Olympic stadiums. More than forty years after the Summer Olympics, fireworks, concerts, open air cinema and the established Tollwood cultural festival still provide a great attraction even for less sportive guests to visit the Olympic Park in the northwest of the city.
Munich locals owe their Westparkto the International Garden Exhibition (IGA) in 1983. Rose and cottage gardens, a Greek garden and Asian ensemble with the Nepal pagoda and the Thai Sala are reminiscent of its origin: As soon as the temperature rises, extended families from a variety of countries gather around the barbecue spots. The movie nights “Cinema, Moon and Stars” at the park’s amphitheater are part and parcel of a summer in Munich as is sledding down one of the hills in winter.
Flowing down from the mountains, the Isar river passes through the entire city from Hinterbrühl in the south to Unterföhring in the north. Vast gravel banks, floodplains and wooded high banks accompany the river which – owing to the re-naturation that was completed in 2011 – again finds its own bed. The islands provide nesting for birds and a couple of beavers have made their home not far from the Deutsches Museum. Already on sunny days in February you encounter lightly dressed sun worshippers on the gravel banks.
The Petuelparkin Munich is located directly above the Mittlerer Ring, between Schwabing-West and Milbertshofen. In 2004 the park was opened above the tunnel and now serves as local recreational area for the surrounding neighborhood. On a plot extending over 3,000 ft. of length and 200 ft. of width, trick fountains, playgrounds and numerous object of arts provide a varied backdrop. The centrally located white cube by Uwe Kiessler accommodates exhibition space and a cafe.
The Riemer Park with its lake was created to support the National Garden Show (BUGA) in 2005 as artificial landscape in the area adjacent to the trade show grounds. It is marked by long, straight axes and strictly geometric areas. Special attractions of the Riemer Park are the swimming lake extending over 25 acres with its multi-facetted banks and two sledding hills that are 60 ft. high. You will find a great playground for children of all ages, an adventure playground, skating facilities and two beach volleyball fields
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