Munich, Germany | C.1897

Photo Credit: Abdullah Çetinkaya

This regal pink lady sitting amongst the boisterous beer halls of Munich was not always as cheerful as she is today. While the structure and her neighboring buildings look as though they’ve lasted centuries, it was only about 80 years ago the ORAG-Haus was in ruins. Munich – like so many other cities in Europe – had to consider what to do with its ancient heart in the aftermath of the Second World War. Luckily the Community stepped in to save this beauty.

After the war, city commissions debated on how to move forward–rebuilding from the rubble, or making way for new modern structures like they were doing in Frankfurt. Fond of their unique Medieval and Wilhemian-style Old Town, officials in Munich decided to move forward with reconstruction.

With very little money of their own, “Mucheners” understood all hands were needed in this undertaking. In the city’s Residenz Palace, the 16th Century Shell Grotto that was completely destroyed was rebuilt–all with donations from everyday citizens.

After decades of stitches and long-healing bruises, the blushing exterior to this home of one of Munich’s largest tailor organizations was reconstructed along with many parts of the old city center. In 1976, the building was bestowed with the Facade Prize of the City of Munich Award, a culmination of years of hard work and effort to bring the rosy phoenix out of the ashes.

Like tailors working the fine seams of any fine suit or silk dress, the meticulous decades-long reconstruction of the area has brought a sense of grandeur back to the old city. Knowing its harrowing journey, the ORAG-Haus is more than just pretty in pink.

Written By: Seamus McMahon

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