As soon as I got off the Marienplatz train station in Munich, I knew it was going to be crowded. It was, after all, Oktoberfest and everywhere in the city was crowded that time. But I was not prepared of how concentrated it really was until I stood in front of the historic city center. It was so crowded everybody was pretty much standing shoulder to shoulder.
Marienplatz or Mary’s Square is Munich’s main square since 1158. It was named after Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in its center to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation. A Marian column is a religious pillar depicting the Virgin Mary on top. The square is also dominated by the beautiful gothic building that is the New City Hall.
I was honestly overwhelmed with the swarm of people in front of me but that was easily forgotten as soon as I gazed at the details of the New City Hall and the Mariensäule. I walked towards the building’s intricate facade and then to the towering gilded statue of the Virgin Mary, taking in every detail and history. I eventually learned how to tune out the noise and got to snap some photos.
I found my way to the bottom of the column and checked out the statues of the four “putti” on each corner fighting a different beast. It symbolizes the city’s overcoming of adversities: war represented by the lion, pestilence by the cockatrice, hunger or famine by the dragon and heresy by the serpent.
The crowds of Marienplatz were alive and probably buzzed from the beer festivities in and out of the square. Tourists and locals alike were just hanging out and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. I didn’t stay that long at Marienplatz. The only other task I had was to find a souvenir shop so I can finally buy that Munich beer stein I’ve been wanting. Finding a kiosk in a swarm was a challenge itself but I did manage to find one and buy my souvenir. After that, it was time to leave the throngs of Marienplatz and enjoy the solace of Munich’s English Garden for the rest of the day.