Edmund Stoiber’s well-known slogan “Laptop and Lederhosen” aptly points out the symbiosis of the traditional and the modern that is typical for Bavaria and its capital city. On the one hand, there is the cliché of the grouchy old Bavarian who spends his days sucking on veal sausages and drinking beer with his friends at the bar, barely looking beyond his limited horizons.
On the other hand, there is the glittering example of the ever-growing cosmopolitan city of Munich, with its multicultural population and the home of international heavyweights such as BMW and the Oktoberfest – a cultural metropolis and a boomtown. The truth can be found somewhere in the middle. The facts, institutions and endearing traditions listed here provide a brief statistical overview of the metropolis on the Isar; they might also give you a glimpse of the Bavarian soul.
Both old and new Bavarians like to reach for a beer stein, not only because it holds an entire liter (Maß) of beer, but also because it is decorated with all sorts of corny motifs to collect – from Neuschwanstein Castle to the “Münchner Kindl.”
For some Bavarians, just the thought of this mythical creature makes them sweat with fear – others merely laugh heartily about it: the Wolpertinger is believed to have rampaged in Bavarian forests from time immemorial. You can get a glimpse of some stuffed examples in the Münchner Jagd- und Fischereimuseum (Munich Hunting and Fishing Museum).
Whether short, long or as knee breeches – a mature Bavarian needs only one piece of clothing: his lederhosen. It should be worn with the following accessories: embroidered club suspenders as a regional “ID card,” a pocket knife in the right pocket, a glittering watch chain with lucky charms, coins, etc., knee socks and brogues.
Since the founding of the Turnverein München von 1860 on May 17, 1860, the “Lions” have proven themselves to their loyal soccer fans – despite mixed fortunes. The highly emotional derbies against the premier-league FC Bayern Munich are legendary.
Even men like to decorate themselves – in this case not with beautiful women, but rather with chamois hair. As a hunting trophy, the hat decoration serves as a symbol for the pride and manliness of the wearer. Since binding the beard requires manual work and is very labor-intensive, the rule is: the more extravagant, the more expensive.
Wrapped in wonderfully colorful costumes – depending on the guild and the status – the market women of the Viktualienmarkt trip the light fantastic every year on Shrove Tuesday, enticing thousands of “fools” into the city center to watch this spectacle.
Whether you suck them, halve them or peel them bit by bit: these classic sausages are among Munich’s culinary delicacies. They are made of veal, pork saddle bacon, crackling and spices, and are a traditional Bavarian snack. Enjoy them with sweet mustard, a pretzel and wheat beer!
A successful company that produces cars, motorcycles and motors. Founded in 1916, BMW employs about 100,000 people throughout the world and has its headquarters in Munich.