One of the historical aspects I was keen to learn more about in Munich is how the recent past is portrayed.
With world-famous attractions such as the Dachau Concentration Camp, and historical links to the dark era in the previous century everywhere in the city, it is hard to ignore the recent past, and initial impressions are that the balance of the past has been well handled, an impression I certainly had when I visited Dachau earlier this year.
The other thing that has struck me is how much history and intrigue there is in the old streets of the city, and I am particularly enjoying discovering some of the more unusual places, with the help of the excellent 111 Places in Munich that You Shouldn't Miss by Rüdiger Liedtke.
To learn for example that there was a urinal in a bar near the university that was frequented by both Hitler and Lenin was intriguing (see below), and if I had read the opening times in the book, I would have known that the Schelling Salon was closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But it does look like a fabulous building with lots of history, which I am looking forward to exploring in more detail soon. Having sat on Stalin's toilet on his private train in the Republic, this will make things complete.
Almost around the corner, however, is a small piece of Munich history, which has caused contention until very recently, a memorial to Georg Elser, a loner from Swabia who tried to assasinate Hitler in 1939. He very nearly suceeded, killing six others, although his target escaped as he left the building ten minutes earlier than scheduled.
Elser rented a place in Türkenstraße 94 in September and October 1939, just as war was breaking out, and it was here that he constructed the bomb. HIs fate for his actions was a prolonged stint at Dachau, where he was killed in 1945, 'no orders from the top'.
After a long discussion the small square near the Türken school on the street was renamed Georg Elser Platz, and in 2009, after even more discussion, a controversial neon glass and aluminium facade installation was erected by artist Silke Wagner, an installation which lights up for one minute each night from 21:20 to 21:21, the exact time that the bomb went off.
So much history in these streets... Munich is a fascinating city, with a discovery around every corner.