Just a few steps from the Ostbahnhof, in the midst of tramway lines and the hustle and bustle of a major city, there is an oasis of calm. Bordeauxplatz is a park based on the French model. Its avenue of shady lime trees offers walkers a wonderful opportunity to relax.
The whole of Bordeauxplatz (Square) is framed by a low, carefully trimmed hornbeam hedge and an avenue of magnificent lime trees. It separates the square visually from the fast world outside: the trams which flash by every minute just a few centimetres away and make the leaves on the tall trees shake. The wind blast delights the joggers and walkers doing their laps on the gravel walkway in between.
Here visitors to the city can briefly unwind and let their thoughts run free. You can have a little nap on the benches in the sun – the background noise of the city is familiar and has a calming effect. Owners of dogs enjoy meeting on the Bordeauxplatz to go walkies and children play on the meadow. There are also small hidden roundels where – shielded from everything – you can read a book or simply do nothing at all.
It only gets really wild on Bordeauxplatz from time to time. When major sporting events such as a Football World Cup are on, the people from the district gather here to watch the match in public.
The extensive square measures 5,700 square metres and has the feel of a typically French park. When the park was redesigned in 1998, the city of Munich used the original plans from the time around 1870. There are colourful semicircular flowerbeds at both ends of the green which the city has replanted several times a year.
In the middle there is the 20 metre-long “Brunnen der jagbaren Tiere” (Well of the Huntable Animals) which is practically at ground level and whose fountain shoots a jet of water into the air between a couple of stones. A roebuck, a ram, a boar and an ibex, all made from shell limestone, stand on four granite plinths.
The square is situated directly on Wörthstrasse in the lively district of Haidhausen. The street is named after the battle near Wörth in the Alsace region. The square itself however – in contrast to many streets here in the district – is not named after a battlefield but after the French city of Bordeaux, which has also been twinned with Munich since 1964.
And once you have had a chance to soak up enough peace and quiet, it is back out once more into the hustle and bustle of the city to the towering old town houses with their Gründerzeit-façades in subtle yellow, sand and orange shades. And when the glow of the evening light gathers in the tram tracks, the sunset over Wörthstrasse is really something to behold.
If you want to stop for a bit to eat, you should definitely head to the Haidhauser Augustiner restaurant as well as the “IUNU Kochwerkstatt und Ladencafé” (IUNU culinary school and café with shop) at the corner of Pariser Strasse which offer good, unusual combinations of vegetarian food. Or you can go to the Bäckerei Neulinger (Neulinger Bakery), which many Munich citizens consider to be the best in the city and which is situated directly at the corner of Wörth- und Metzstrasse, to pick up everything you will need for a picnic on Bordeauxplatz.