Hohenzollernstraße leads off Leopoldstraße – together, they form what is known as the “Schwabing T”. Over the decades, a number of artists have lived along these two kilometres.
Wassily Kandinsky founded his “Phalanx” painting school at no. 6a, and Joachim Ringelnatz lived at no. 31a/I for ten years with his wife, whom he called Muschelkalk (“Coquina”, a type of limestone). Today, the greatest art the area has to offer consists of browsing every one of the street’s shoe shops, international labels, concept stores, boutiques and cafés in a single day.
There’s something unintentionally desperate about sipping your latte alone in a café. It is quite different, however, if you’re sitting in a café whose walls are packed with design, fashion and lifestyle magazines for sale. Then, the loner can hide behind cool titles such as Surface, Fantastic Man and Another. The tiny Café Reed also offers male shopping companions a welcome opportunity to make an early escape from nightmare of the fitting room.
The eternal love between Munich and Italy has found itself a little nook here, spreading joy in the form of fresh Italian meals daily. The lasagne is especially quick to sell out – the early bird catches the pasta!
Every shoe fanatic in Munich is familiar with the five colourful letters which promise over 130 international brands. As you stroll along the shopping street passing shops full of history, you’ll soon arrive in the street that runs parallel to Hohenzollernstraße. Here, the 70-year-old former shoe king of Schwabing, Tommy Bartu, now sells organic ice cream (Bartu Bio-Eis-Manufaktur, Wilhelmstraße 23), made to meet his very own purity law: fresh Munich water is one of the precious ingredients used to make it.
The first denim jeans were worn by miners, cowboys and gold diggers – 150 years later, the ubiquitous classic trousers are piled high in all manner of sizes, washes and styles, at Alexander Bertrand’s store. His father founded the clothing shop in 1931; the original cash register still stands on the counter.
Becoming one of the largest costume and formal dress suppliers in Europe is no mean feat – the Breuer family has been building up its stock for almost 70 years and can now pick out the perfect garment for every occasion: Tailcoats, tuxedos, morning suits, bridal dresses and ball gowns for formal occasions. Costumes for Fasching (Carnival), Mardi Gras and themed parties. Scary ant masks? Vienna sausages on legs? 160 Hussar uniforms? You’ll find it all here!
To reach Kunst Oase, visitors must pass through a side passage lined with gilt-framed mirrors, and down a steep staircase. Formerly a beer cellar, the venue is now a glorious 300-square-metre jumble of chandeliers, lamps, antique furniture, carpets, pictures, porcelain... If you’re feeling brave, you might challenge the manager of this oasis, artist Manfred Wambsganss, to a table football match.
Once you’ve completed the Schwabing shopping odyssey, a monumental refreshment experience awaits, dating from the age of fascism and the body cult. The Neoclassical Nordbad built in 1941 wows visitors with a steam bath, waterfall, sauna with colourful lighting effects, 34-degree outdoor pool and swimming hall grandstand that can accommodate 1,400 spectators.
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