April 4, 2012

The River Isar 1/2

One of my favorite walks in Munich is along the river Isar. The Isar flows from the Alps through Austria and a part of Bayern (including Munich) until it reaches the Danube.

Last week I decided to dedicate a post about the charm of the Isar, its bridges and how the spring and the summer in Munich pivot around it. I will divide the walk tour in two parts. For both, the starting point is Zweibrückestrasse- Ludwigsbrücke, which is easily accessible after a five minutes’ walk from the S-Bahn station Isartor (and ten from Marienplatz).

North from the starting point, you leave the Deutsches Museum behind (also see It is culture time). Crossing the Zweibrückestrasse- Ludwickbrücke and going down the stairs at the bridge, you reach the north side of the first Isar Island: the Museum Island (Museum Insel). The statue and fountain “Argentorato” is protected every year with wood planks against the winter frosts. The fountain is a representation of Rhenus, the River God (Vater-Rhein-Brunnen).

Moving forward there is a children´s play outdoor area and a few sidewalks where it is common to see people jogging or walking the dog. The Mariannenbrücke connects the east river bank with the Prater Island (the second Isar Island) where the Alpines Museum is located (also see It is culture time). 

The Mariannenbrücke was built in the 19th century and named after Maria Anna von Sachsen, wife of the King Maximilian II, who also has a bridge after his name a few minutes’ walk north. From this bridge, there is a beautiful view of the evangelical Lutheran Church of St Lucas, which according to Wikipedia is “the only almost perfectly preserved Lutheran parish church of the historical Munich”.

At the back entrance of the Alpines Museum, the city has recently built a wooden staircase to ease the access to the Isar bank, where it is usual to see students laying on towels and reading; parents playing with their kids; people having a small sandwich picnic and even sunbathing in summer.

North from the Prater Insel, you find the Maximilianbrücke that crosses the Isar and leads to the Maximilianeum. The bridge is named after one the 19th century kings of Baviera (Joseph Maximilian II, husband of the above Maria Anna). The Maximilianeum is a palatial building house of the Maximilianeum Foundation and the Bavarian State Parliament (Landtag). The Foundation was created in the 19th century and provides university scholarships for gifted Bavarian students.

Further north, in the Maximilian park, where Prinzregentenstrasse crosses the Isar, the Angel of Peace (Friedesengel) raises as a reminder of the years of peace after the Franco-German war in 1870. The monument, the fountain and the column with the statue of the angel of peace are also worth a visit. The monument also has an observation deck. Prinzregentenstrasse is one of the four royal avenues of Munich. The House of Art (Haus der Kunst) and the popular and exquisite night club P1 are located in this street.

It takes about 60 minutes by foot to reach the Angel of peace from my starting point, my walk usually ends here and here it is where I say goodbye today, but if you keep walking, you will find the Max Joseph Bridge, named after the King Maximilian I that links the east bank of the Isar with the Munich park Englisher Garten, a few minutes south from the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm), a 25 meter structure that resembles a pagoda of a Chinese Emperor.

And as I said, that is all from today, next time: south of the Isar. But in the meantime: which are your favorite walks in Munich?

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It is culture time
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