"The Englische Garten (“English Garden”) is one of the largest urban parks in the world. The layout has undergone constant change throughout the centuries as new buildings and green spaces were added time and again.
History of recreation
Foto: Nagy / Presseamt München
It all started in 1789 when Elector Carl Theodor ordered that a public park be established along the Isar River. He put the project in the hands of the Briton Benjamin Thompson, who worked at the time for the Bavarian Army. The park was given the name Englische Garten because it was laid out in the style of an English country park.
Today the Englische Garten offers numerous leisure time activities. Cyclists and joggers train on the 78-kilometer-long (48.5 miles) network of paths, and amateur soccer players meet on the fields for recreational games. A beautiful vista of the city if offered by the Monopteros, which was added to the park landscape along with the hill in 1836. The Japanese teahouse first opened in 1972 on the southern end of the park on an artificial island in the Schwabinger Bach (stream). Japanese tea ceremonies are performed here regularly.
With 7,000 spots, the beer garden in the Englische Garten, right by the Chinese Tower, is Munich’s second largest. This distinctive pagoda is 25 meters (approx. 75 feet) high and is based on a design from 1789. The tower has burned down several times over the years, but each time it has been rebuilt true to the design of the original.
Another beer garden is located on Kleinhesseloher Lake. From the first ray of sunshine, all benches are quickly taken. The associated Restaurant Seehaus is open year-round and offers sophisticated local fare. Behind the Seehaus is the start of the northern part of the park, which is beyond the Mittleren Ring (“Middle Ring”). The area is much quieter than the lively southern section. The Englische Garten also borders directly on the Isar River here, which can be easily crossed via the weir at Oberföhring. On the northern end of the park is Restaurant Aumeister, which also hosts a beer garden.