Alter Hof

When planning a trip to Munich, Germany’s third-largest city, most travelers are naturally drawn towards iconic landmarks like the Marienplatz, Nymphenburg Palace or the English Garden. However, tucked away in the heart of Munich lies an historic gem that is often overlooked by tourists – Alter Hof.

The History of Alter Hof

The Alter Hof (Old Court) has a rich and varied history that stretches back over 800 years. Initially constructed as a castle in the late 12th century under Emperor Louis I of Bavaria, it served as the first permanent residence for Wittelsbach dynasty – one of Europe’s oldest royal families who ruled Bavaria from 1180 until 1918. It was here where many crucial decisions affecting not just Munich but also wider Bavaria were made.

In its illustrious past, this medieval complex has been used for various purposes including as a ducal residence, administrative headquarters and even as stables during Napoleon’s occupation. Despite being heavily damaged during World War II bombings and later reconstructed between 1953-1966 following historical models, Alter Hof still retains much of its original charm today.

Architectural Highlights

A fusion of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles can be seen at Alter Hof which makes it so unique among other buildings in Munich. The five-wing complex features an inner courtyard with beautiful arcades on three sides dating back to the early Renaissance period.

The Burgstock wing is perhaps one of its most interesting architectural elements due to its preserved Medieval walls making it the oldest part still standing today. Its façade showcases several coats-of-arms belonging to previous residents including Duke Ludwig IV (also known as Ludwig der Bayer).

Museums & Exhibitions

Besides being an architectural marvel worth visiting on its own, Alter Hof is also home to several museums and exhibitions. The Munich City Museum’s permanent exhibition “Munich: A city is created” tells the story of Munich from its founding in 1158 until it became a royal residence in the late Middle Ages.

The Bavarian State Archaeological Collection located here showcases artifacts that date back as far as prehistoric times while the Urban Naked Eye Observatory allows visitors to explore celestial bodies using an astronomical telescope installed on site.

Modern Day Use

In recent years, Alter Hof has transformed into a vibrant cultural hub with various events taking place throughout the year. Today, it houses numerous shops, restaurants and offices making it not just a historic attraction but also a lively part of modern-day Munich life.

A visit to Alter Hof provides tourists with an opportunity to step back in time and experience first-hand how this medieval complex has evolved over centuries while still retaining its historical significance. Whether you are interested in history or architecture or simply wish to enjoy some shopping and dining within beautiful surroundings, Alter Hof offers something for everyone.

Visiting Information

Alter Hof is located at Altstadt-Lehel district near Marienplatz which makes it easily accessible via public transportation (U-Bahn/S-Bahn). It’s open throughout the year without any entry fee although individual museums might charge admission fees. Guided tours are available which provide detailed insights about its history and architecture but exploring on your own pace is equally rewarding too!

No trip to Munich can be considered complete without visiting this historic landmark that beautifully encapsulates both past and present offering an unforgettable journey through time!

Frequently asked questions

What is the Alter Hof in München?

The Alter Hof (Old Court) is a historic building complex located in the heart of Munich, Germany. It was once the imperial residence of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor and consists of five wings: Burgstock, Zwingerstock, Lorenzistock, Pfisterstock and Brunnenstock. Today it has been transformed into a cultural and information center for both locals and tourists.

What are the visiting hours for Alter Hof?

The courtyard of the Alter Hof is accessible to visitors 24/7 throughout the year. However, specific businesses housed within its premises such as restaurants or museums may have different operating hours. The Munich Information Centre for Migration History (MICMH), located at Alter Hof 1, usually opens from Monday to Friday between 10 am – 4 pm but it’s advisable to check their website for any changes due to holidays or special events.

How can I get to Alter Hof?

The central location of Alter Hof makes it easily reachable by public transportation. If you’re traveling by U-Bahn (underground train), Marienplatz station served by lines U3 and U6 is just a short walk away from this historical site. Alternatively, if you’re using S-Bahn (suburban trains), exit at Marienplatz station which serves all suburban lines except S20 and S27.

What significant events took place at Alter Hof?

Built in around 1255-73 under Ludwig II Duke of Bavaria-Ingolstadt as an Imperial Residence for Louis IV who later became Holy Roman Emperor; many important political decisions were made here during that period making it a significant part in German history. Following destruction during World War II bombings; extensive restoration work began in late twentieth century transforming it into a cultural and information center.

What can I do at Alter Hof?

The Alter Hof is not just an architectural marvel to admire but also offers various activities for visitors. You can visit the Munich Information Centre for Migration History (MICMH) which provides insights about migration history in Munich from 1945 till today. The Burgersaal, located in Lorenzistock wing, houses a museum dedicated to Rupert Mayer, a Jesuit priest who resisted Nazism. There are also several restaurants where you can enjoy Bavarian cuisine or simply relax with coffee while admiring the historical architecture.

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