The English Garden is more than just a park, the garden is the green heart of Munich. The most famous beer gardens such as the Chinese Tower and the Seehaus are located here. The English Garden was created in 1789 on the model of English gardens. The landscape planner Friedrich Ludwig Sckell had previously designed the Schönbusch Park in Aschaffenburg. The English Garden in Munich follows the same scheme, but is intended as a public park for the citizens and not as a ruler's private garden.
The English Garden is with 375 ha larger than Central Park in New York (350 ha). However, the English Garden is divided into a northern and a southern park by the Isarring. The southern part is the well-known part of the English Garden, here is the beer garden at the Chinese Tower, the beer garden Seehaus, the Monopteros (photo), the Eisbach and the Japanese tea house.
The naked on the Schönfeldwiese slowly die out. The young people of Munich think little of nudism in the English Garden.
The northern part is also called Hirschau. There are large meadows and forests that are crossed by streams. There are plans by the city of Munich to put the Isarring underground and thus reunite the English Garden into one large park.
At the entrance to the English Garden on Prinzregentenstrasse, resourceful surfers created a standing wave. The wave in the Eisbach is used by the surfers to practice. At the weekend, numerous spectators are gathered to watch the surfers riding the wave one by one. There are also brave Munich girls who venture into the ice-cold water. The Eisbach has developed into a tourist attraction because of the surfers.
The Hofgarten is located north of the Munich Residenz. The baroque park was created in 1617 under Maximilian I, who expanded his predecessor's Renaissance garden. In the middle of the garden is the round Temple of Diana (goddess of hunting). The courtyard garden is enclosed on three sides by buildings, in the east there is a slope behind which the Bavarian State Chancellery is located. The baroque gardens were destroyed in WW 2 and later restored in the style of the 17th century. In the arcades on the west side of the Hofgarten, the history of the Wittelsbacher is depicted using frescoes. The murals are painted by Peter von Cornelius. Architect Leo von Klenze built the gate to Odeonsplatz.
The 295 km long Isar originates in Austria and flows into the Danube at Deggendorf. The river crosses the Munich city area from south to north. In Munich, the Isar has created a broad river bed with gravel areas on the bank. These gravel banks are used by the people of Munich to grill, chill, fish and swim. There are large riparian forests north of the city center. In the city center there are parks on both sides of the river. The Maximiliansanlagen (photo) is on the right bank and the English Garden on the left.
The "Old Botanical Garden" was designed in 1812 by landscape architect Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell. The entrance portal with an inscription by Goethe is still preserved. After the "New Botanical Garden" was opened in Nymphenburg in 1914, the area was turned into a park with a Neptune fountain by Nazi sculptor Joseph Wackerle in 1937. In the old botanical garden there is also a beer garden and an art pavilion. The Old Botanical Garden in Munich is located between the central train station and Karlsplatz.
For the International Garden Exhibition IGA 1983, the Chinese Garden in West Park was built. "The Fragrance and Splendor Garden" was designed in China and built with materials and workers from Guangzhou in Munich. The West Park is a 2 kilometer long green area, the Chinese Garden is located in the western part near the West Lake. The Chinese Garden was created as a circular route around a pond. Plants, stones, waterfalls and buildings are based on the four seasons, which also symbolize life with its sections. The Chinese Garden in Munich was the first of its kind in Germany.
In addition to the Chinese Garden, there are other national gardens in West Park. There is a Nepalese wooden pagoda, a Japanese garden and a Thai pavilion. The wooden pagoda was made in Nepal and shows very beautiful carvings. The Japanese garden cannot convince those who have been to Japan, there is little Zen in this garden. The pavilion from Thailand is wonderful. In the sala there is a Buddha statue and the golden pavilion is beautifully reflected in the lake.
Lake Chiemsee is the largest lake in Bavaria and offers its islands a popular leisure destination in the vicinity of Munich. With the Fraueninsel and Herren-Chiemsee Castle, the lake has top sights to offer. The Chiemsee is the third largest lake in Germany with an area of almost 80 km² after Lake Constance (536 km²) and the Müritz (112 km²). The largest island in the Chiemsee is the Herreninsel with the royal palace, the Fraueninsel with the Frauenwörth Abbey is significantly smaller. There are several ports from which passenger ships travel to the islands. The port of Prien am Chiemsee is the closest from Munich and can also be reached by train. Other ports are Gstadt, Seebruck, Pfaffing and Feldwies. The port of Gstadt is the closest to the islands.
If you drive up the winding road from Kochel am See to the Walchensee, you reach another world. Up here you are suddenly surrounded by magnificent nature and almost alone during the week. The Walchensee lies at an altitude of 800 m and is approximately 16.5 km² in size. The maximum depth is 190 m. The lake is almost completely surrounded by forest and high mountains. The town of Walchensee is located on a small bay, here you will find guest houses and restaurants right on the water. There is also a cable car that goes up to the 1,600 m high mountain Herzogstand (see link). The village of Urfeld consists of a few scattered houses on the northern edge of the lake.
If you follow the country road 11 south, you come to the Mittenwald ski area. If you drive north from the lake, you come to the Kochelsee, which is connected to the Walchensee via a hydroelectric power station.
The Schliersee, located around 50 km south of Munich, also offers a beautiful Alpine panorama in the background. The Schliersee is relatively small with a water area of just over 2 km². The lake is around 2.5 km long and around 1 km wide. Ships operate on the lake, which also head for the island of Wörth. The Markus Wasmeier open-air museum is located at the southern end of the lake. The alpine village was founded by a famous skier. It has developed into a popular tourist destination with restaurants. The Slyrs distillery, which produces single malt whiskey, is located in Neuhaus. On a guided tour you can learn about the whiskey manufacturing process.
Anyone heading south for about 5 kilometers will come to the Spitzingsee. The alpine lake lies at an altitude of 1084 m and is a popular ski area in winter, in summer you can hike the small lake on a circular route.