My favourite place: Ian Kershaw

In the Christmas 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine, Ian Kershaw selects Munich, Germany, as his favourite historical destination. History Extra caught up with him to find out more...

The domed towers of the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), Munich’s cathedral, l

 

Q: When did you last travel to Munich and why were you there?

I have been going there, sometimes for lengthy stays, since the 1970s and always return with great pleasure

 

Q: Why do you love the location?

Munich is a city where having fun is taken seriously, at all times of year. It's also preeminently a city of culture with world-class orchestras and opera, famous art galleries and imposing architecture, and a city with history on every corner.

 

Q: What top 3 sights would you recommend people visit while they are there, and why?

It's hard to narrow it down to three! My favourite Munich church is the beautiful Asam-Kirche St. Johann Nepomuk in Sendlinger Strasse but I'd also recommend a visit to the crypt of the Michaelskirche (St. Michael’s) in the pedestrian zone, which contains the tombs of the Wittelsbachs.

Be sure, also, to visit the Cuvilliés Theater, part of the royal Residenz , a ‘jewel of the rococo’ built in the 1750s

And on the edge of Königsplatz, close to where the Nazi Party’s headquarters, the ‘Brown House’, and the ‘Temples of Honour’ to commemorate the Nazi victims of the putsch of 1923 once stood, is now an excellent small museum (the Documentary Centre for National Socialism), focusing on Nazism’s role in Munich.

 

Q: What should visitors take with them, and bring back?

Gloves, a scarf and a hat are advisable in winter; summers are warmer than in the UK but a raincoat is worth packing, because heavy rain is common. In terms of souvenirs, a Keferloher, a barrel-shaped stoneware beer mug, is always a popular choice.

 

Ian Kershaw is the author of To Hell and Back: Europe 1914–49 (Penguin, 2015)

You can read Ian's feature on Munich in the Christmas 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine – on sale from 3 December.

 

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