The Wiener Platz in Munich.

Wiener Platz

Charming and really cosy

Even its name sounds charming and really cosy: Wiener Platz is situated in the centre of lively Haidhausen but despite this still has the feel of a village. It is the ideal place to enjoy the sun, human company and a couple of Stockwürste.

In the middle of Wiener Platz (square) stands a maypole that the people from the district have donated. Around the maypole there are rows of skew-whiff market stalls and low-lying houses with brown shutters. They are reminiscent of old Haidhausen. Once upon a time ordinary people, who did not have a lot of money and who cultivated good neighbourly relations, lived here. Today Haidhausen has become an expensive place to live but you can still feel the cohesive spirit in the district.

 

Market and cafés

The denizens of Munich love to stroll over the square, people-watch and enjoy the sun. And there’s plenty of sunshine here. It is particularly nice to sit in one of the small cafés or on the edge of the quietly rippling Fischerbuberl fountain, which once stood on the Viktualienmarkt (food market). Round about there are rows and rows of low-lying buildings with tiny chimneys and dormer windows standing in front of tall residential houses. Greenery abounds in the front gardens, flower boxes and along the pastel-coloured façades. Couples kiss on folding chairs and people pass by with prams and dogs. The red-brown church of St. John Baptist rises up in the background.

The Wiener Markt (daily food market) has also been held here for 130 years – in addition to the Viktualienmarkt, the Elisabethmarkt and the lesser known Pasinger Viktualienmarkt, it is one of the four markets of the city which are open every day except Sundays and public holidays. The Wiener Markt is the smallest of them, but impressive nevertheless: The traders sell flavoursome melons, apricots and strawberries, at the next stand there will be fish on sale and in the stalls behind top-quality wine, chocolate or flowers.

On no account should visitors miss out on the Weisswürste (sausages), the slightly thicker and more spicy Stockwürste (sausages) or the meatballs at the Imbiss Niedermeier (snack stall). They are said to be the best in the whole of Munich.

Due to new hygiene and fire protection regulations, the city of Munich wanted to tear down the old little wooden huts and replace them with pavillions. But the citizens of Haidhausen fought for the little gem they all share and with success. The city councillors showed understanding and is renovating the huts instead.

 

Biergarten (beer garden) and Hofbräukeller

The Hofbräukeller, a traditional restaurant with an amazingly large beer garden and beach bar, is situated at the west point of the square. Directly beside this, you can meander through the green Maximiliansanlagen (public gardens) above the Isar river. A walk to the old “An der Kreppe” hostel buildings is also well worthwhile. “Kreppe” means a dry ditch. The buildings used to be run-down and even by the 1980s, there were still neither baths nor toilets, sometimes there wasn’t even any electricity.

And it is still not that long ago that there was only one street intersecting the square, and conditions were cramped and noisy. The area has only been traffic-calmed since 2003. The maypole, which can be seen for miles around with its shingles, now stands where the street once was. The Wiener Platz has long been the emblem of the district.

But what does the square have to do with Vienna? The explanation is quite simple: The Innere Wiener Strasse passes directly by the square. In the 19th century, it was the start of the connecting road from Munich to the Austrian capital city.

 

 

Photo: Sigi Müller
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