All eyes on culture: Judith Milberg

The best place in Munich to experience culture, Mrs. Milberg?

Munich’s culture is shaped by extraordinary women. As we put “all eyes on culture”, we would like to introduce you to a few of them. This time: the artist Judith Milberg. She has worked, among other things, as a TV presenter at BR, before dedicating herself full-time to the visual arts.

Were you born in Munich or did you move here?
In my heart I am Swabian, I grew up in the Ainmillerstrasse, but oddly enough I was born in the Red Cross Hospital in Nymphenburg.

In which district are you at home?
In Nymphenburg. The area is like Bullerby, with lots of families, it's close-knit with loads of children – it really is a special world in itself!

What does Munich taste like?
When I've been travelling, I always yearn for a butter pretzel.

What does Munich sound like?
The sound of the Eisbach and the Eisbach Wave.

What does Munich smell like?
To me, the city smells like damp forest and the shimmering south.

Munich is the only city where ...
… you can spend an exceptionally happy childhood. Munich loves its children. The beers gardens have large and very special play areas. Children are allowed their freedom here and there's no end of ways for them to fill their free time. For example the Englischer Garten (English Garden), the Eisbach, and the many sunbathing areas and play areas.

Which Munich lady should everyone know?
The humorist Liesl Karlstadt.

Your favourite Bavarian word?
"Pfundig" – it means "great" and best describes the Bavarian quality of life. It is lavish, there's always lots of everything, it's just fantastic!

The most attractive building in the city?
The St.-Michael-Kirche (St. Michael's Church). It is the only Renaissance church that we have north of the Alps. It has an unusual façade that always makes me, as an art historian, want to stop for a while. Inside is a gigantic barrel vault, the second-largest after the Basilica of St. Peter. During the National Socialist regime, the blessed Father Rupert Mayer offered open resistance to the Nazi dictatorship in his sermons at St. Michael's, for which he was incarcerated at the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen. The church marks the transition from Renaissance to Baroque. For me, it is a place of historical significance for many reasons. For me it is a very important historical place, also because King Ludwig II is buried there.

The catchiest Munich song?
"Mit a weng am Parfeng" by Doctor Döblingers geschmackvollem Kasperltheater. It's so delightful because it always puts you in a good mood! It's about the fact that if you stink, it might concern you – but a bit of scent makes your worries disappear (the Bavarian word "Parfeng" means scent, or perfume).

Isar or Eisbach?
The Eisbach, because not only is it delightful to drift along, it's also wonderful just to gaze at.

Beer garden or bar?
For me, there is only one beer garden in Munich, and it doubles up as both a beer garden and a bar. It's Schumann’s Bar in the Hofgarten. The owner Charles would kill me if he heard me say that!

Philharmonic orchestra or brass band music?
Brass band music of course, because I became hopelessly addicted to it as a child in Munich.

A weekend in the mountains or by the lake?
The lakes, naturally. Actually it's just one lake: the Ammersee, a place of yearning from my childhood.

The best place in Munich to impress visitors?
The Hofgarten with its southern flair.

What is the best place in Munich for an after-work cocktail?
It has to be the Hofgarten again!

The best place in Munich for a romantic date?
The wild northern part of the Englischer Garten: You can walk there, chat, sit on park benches or lie on the grass, hold hands and smooch …

The best place in Munich for music lovers?
The city has no end on offer for music lovers, including the opera.

The best place in Munich to experience culture?
The Museum District in the Maxvorstadt. You'll find the finest collections in this part of Munich, and quite a few galleries to stroll through.

The best place in Munich to think?
The big reading room at the State Library.

The best place in Munich if you are longing for Italy?
The café in the inner courtyard of the Glyptothek. The Glyptothek was commissioned in 1830 by King Ludwig I, a great admirer of Italy, as a collection of sculptures from antiquity open to the public. To reach the café in the inner courtyard, you have to climb straight up the open staircase, pass through the interior – which takes you to the inner courtyard where you get an immediate sense of the Bavarian King's love of Italy and antiquities.

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Photos: Frank Stolle