June 14, 1158 is recognized as Munich’s founding year and Munich celebrates its 854th birthday this weekend. Before Heinrich der Löwe founded the city, there was a small settlement of Monks located here near the Isar River. The place was referred to as “near the Monks” which turned into “München” over time. Looking for a new revenue source, Heinrich der Löwe set his sights on the valuable salt road which crossed the Isar near Freising. Naturally the Bishop of Freising wasn’t happy to lose his valuable bridge, but Emperor Frederick Barbarossa brokered a deal whereby Heinrich would pay off the bishop and the city of Munich was officially recognized.
This weekend the city will celebrate by turning the city center into a large beer garden filled with various events. At Marienplatz, Mayor Christian Ude will kick of the celebration right after the 11:00 AM Glockenspiel finishes on Saturday. Black powder pistols will be fired and a group of Morisken Dancers will perform, followed by more music and traditional dancers. At the same time, Odeonsplatz will come alive with a little more modern music including Jazz, Swing, Blues and more. Meanwhile, there will be activities for the kids behind the Rathaus and inside the Alter Hof.
If you wish you were here in Munich but can’t be, tune in Bayern 1 Radio on the internet at 3:10 PM Central European Time for live reports from the festival. And, as usual, you can keep an eye on my Facebook page for photos from the event! For detail information, have a look here: www.stadtgruendungsfest-muenchen.de
Happy Birthday Munich!