Pedestrial of the Mariensäule with two putti at Marienplatzin in Munich and the Alte Rathaus in the background.

Altes Rathaus

Of prisoners and toys

Due to its plain facade, many people believe that the Alte Rathaus (Old Town Hall) is newer than the ornately decorated Neue Rathaus (New Town Hall), when in fact it is over 400 years older.

The Alte Rathaus covers the eastern end of Marienplatz and has quite an eventful history. Its first mention in town records goes back to the year 1310.

After being destroyed by lightning in 1460, it was soon rebuilt again by Jörg von Halsbach, the master builder behind Munich’s Frauenkirche.

Modified several times to suit the fashions of each era, the building was renovated by architect Arnold Zenetti between 1861 and 1864 in Neo-Gothic style. And when restoration began after the hall sustained heavy bomb damage in 1944, the preservationists also based their work on the original Gothic design. The building officially became the Alte Rathaus when the city’s administration moved into the Neue Rathaus in 1874.

During its distinguished past, the hall has hosted groups like the state parliament (17th century) and the national assembly (19th century). For many years, its cellars were used as the state jail. These days, the Alte Rathaus is used to hold celebrations, memorials and awards ceremonies.

Four floors of its Gothic tower have been home to Munich Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum) since 1983, housing a collection of historic toys lovingly compiled by the artist Ivan Steiger.

 

Also interesting: Magistrates, Monachia and magnificent celebrations: explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official city tour guide. Read more

 

 

Photo: istock/idealphoto30
A church window in the Salvatorkirche in Munich

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The most beautiful windows of the city

Michael Mayer of Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt presents the most spectacular church windows.

Fascinating people for centuries: Michael Mayer of Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt presents the most spectacular church windows the city has to offer.

The monument to Max I. Joseph in front of the Residenz

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Four kings and a prince regent

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The tour guide Alvestad-Aschenbrenner stands in the Museum for Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke Munich

Ludwig I of Bavaria

When Munich became an „Athens on the Isar“

Ludwig I of Bavaria converted Munich into his "„Athens on the Isar“, many buildings still remind us of this today. An interview.

Ludwig I of Bavaria converted Munich into his "„Athens on the Isar“, many buildings still remind us of this today. An interview with a tour guide.

Young woman sitting at a window in a tram in Munich.

Column

A vacation in my own city

Our author used to be a travel blogger. Now she has started to explore her own city: Munich!

Our author used to be a travel blogger. Now she has started to explore her own city: Munich!

View from the inside of a figure of the carillon in the New Town Hall in Munich.

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An exclusive look behind the scenes.

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Panoramic view of Karlsplatz / Stachus in Munich with the Frauenkirche in the background photographed from the air.

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Numerous interesting Munich stories can be told along the roughly one-kilometer-long route between Karlsplatz-Stachus and Marienplatz square. A city walk.

Weissenburger Platz in Munich photographed from above with a drone.

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When strolling along the narrow streets of the districts Haidhausen and Au with small shops and green courtyards, it almost feels like being in a village in the middle of the city.

The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in autumn.

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Around 1900, it was the artists and writers who settled around the university and the art academy and shaped the spirit of Schwabing.

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Flowerbed at Gärtnerplatz in Munich.

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Munich Card & City Pass

Discover Munich in a relaxed and uncomplicated way: discounts for the diverse range of art, culture and leisure activities with our guest cards.

Public transport is included

Many discounts with the Card, many things for free with the Pass.

Online or at the tourist information offices

Munich's Palace of Justice

Justizpalast Tour

During the guided tour of the present-day seat of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, you will learn everything about the history and significance of the neo-baroque court and administrative building.

Book now for only 20€ !

During the guided tour of the present-day seat of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, you will learn everything about the history and significance of the neo-baroque court and administrative building.

Small meeting room of the Neues Rathaus in Munich

New Town Hall Tour

Explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official City of Munich tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Book now from 20 €

Explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Magistrates, Monachia and magnificent celebrations: explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official City of Munich tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Exterior view of the Hofbräuhaus Munich at dusk.

Hofbräuhaus Tour

Discover the most famous beer hall in the world with an official guide of the city of Munich and enjoy a fresh Mass of beer afterward!

Book for 28€, Mass beer included!

Discover the most famous beer hall in the world with an official guide of the city of Munich and enjoy a fresh Mass of beer afterward!

Discover the most famous beer hall in the world with an official guide of the city of Munich and enjoy a fresh Mass of beer afterward!

Towers at Marienplatz in Munich

Old Town Tour

The city walk for everyone who wants to become acquainted with the most beautiful parts of Munich's city centre.

Book now for 18 €!

The city walk for everyone who wants to become acquainted with the most beautiful parts of Munich's city centre.

Wort kettle at the Spaten brewery in Munich.

Spaten Brewery Tour

Experience a brewery tour at Spaten with a look behind the scenes, interesting facts about the company history and beer tasting in the brewery tower.

Book now for only 22 €!

Experience a brewery tour at Spaten with a look behind the scenes, interesting facts about the company history and beer tasting in the brewery tower.

A woman with varnished fingernails holds a gift with the inscription "simply Munich".

Vouchers

Buy now vouchers for your visit in Munich. The ideal gift! Guided tours, guest cards and more...

Buy vouchers from 6,50 €

Buy now vouchers for your visit in Munich. The ideal gift! Guided tours, guest cards and more...

A stone jug with the inscription Oktoberfest Munich.

Order now!

Oktoberfest Shop

Bring a piece of Oktoberfest home: Purchase official souvenirs such as the Wiesn poster or the Oktoberfest beer stein in the official Oktoberfest shop.

Bring a piece of Oktoberfest home: Purchase official souvenirs such as the Wiesn poster or the Oktoberfest beer stein in the official Oktoberfest shop.

Bag on green background

Vouchers

Give the gift of a special Munich voucher: we also offer vouchers for all our guided tours. Here you can book unique Munich experiences directly online, print them out and give them as a gift voucher to friends or family.

Buy vouchers from 6,50 €

Give the gift of a special Munich voucher: we also offer vouchers for all our guided tours. Here you can book unique Munich experiences directly online, print them out and give them as a gift voucher to friends or family.