This is Munich, too: The charms of the oriental Bavarian microcosm in the southern station district makes you feel like being on a holiday.
The scent of mocha, black tea and fresh flatbread lies in the air, the vendor at the vegetable market changes fluently between Turkish and Bavarian, depending on the customers. Vacation feelings! Between the Turkish shops and Arabic characters you really like to think you are at an oriental bazaar.
In the quarter between Westend and Munich Central Station, travellers have been staying in the nearby hotels since the 19th century, and since the 1960s many inhabitants with southern European roots have settled here. Their ancestors arrived as so-called "guest workers" hoping to find new perspectives and better living conditions in the "economic miracle country" of the 1950s and 1960s.
The immigrants have made their new homes in the district. Goethestraße with its Turkish supermarkets and fast food restaurants, hairdresser's shops and wedding boutiques reminds you of a Turkish bazaar. In Schillerstraße, Arab worlds open up to visitors, Senefelder Straße is influenced by Iraq, and in Kolpingstraße, Pakistani, North Indian and Afghan businesses line up.
The life and work of the many different cultures in a very confined space works well here: People talk and joke to each other and cultivate their own traditions as well as those of Germany and Bavaria. A visible symbol of this is a Christmas tree, which the residents erect and decorate together every year on the first Advent in Goethestraße. Organised by the district association "Südliches Bahnhofsviertel e.V.", they ensure that the district remains worth living in and retains its special character and diversity.
Since the end of the 19th century, the Deutsches Theater between Schwanthalerstraße and Landwehrstraße has been the cultural centre. Since the great success of the Broadway musical "West Side Story" in 1961, international musical productions, but also shows, operettas and concerts have been on the programme. During the carnival season, the theatre is transformed every year into Munich's largest ballroom and hosts glittering parties.
The impressive St. Paulskirche at the end of Landwehrstraße, right next to the entrance to the Oktoberfest grounds, forms a harmonious completion of the quarter. In addition to religious services in Croatian and art services, it also offers services for the gay and lesbian community, thus building bridges between the people, religions and cultures living here.