Munich, Germany | C.1613

Photo Credit: Junichi Suzuki

Located in the heart of Munich sits the Hofgarten, the Italian Renaissance-style garden built in 1613 by Maximilian I. The Hofgarten was the former gardens of the Residenz, Germany’s largest city palace and the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. Initially, only dukes and electors were allowed in the garden. The gardens weren’t open to the public until 1780 — and thankfully, it’s stayed that way since.

In addition to its serene greenery, Hofgarten memorializes many aspects of Bavarian history and culture with multiple interesting statues and monuments throughout the park. One such statue is of Loreley, a mythical German dame. According to mythology, Loreley would sit near the river Rhine and distract sailors with her mournful singing, leading sailors to their doom.

In one corner of the park sits a black granite memorial honoring the White Rose group, whose members organized nonviolent campaigns against Hitler’s regime and were subsequently executed. It’s impossible to tell today by looking around the lively garden, but Hofgarten was destroyed during World War II. Luckily, the opposite is true today: it serves as a peaceful respite for tourists and natives alike to enjoy live music, art, and beautiful sunlit pavilions.

Written By: Ellie Hoffman

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