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Old Botanical Garden: A quiet park in the city center of Munich

Alter Botanischer Garten, Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich
Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich

Popular place to rest near Stachus in the heart of Munich

A stop at the Old Botanical Garden is always worthwhile if you are traveling or shopping around the Stachus (Karlsplatz) in the city center of Munich. What makes this park a popular place to rest.

The highlights in the Old Botanical Garden

  • Although the park is located in the heart of Munich, it is pleasantly quiet here - thus it is ideal for a short break while shopping.
  • The Park Café offers not only a nice restaurant, but also a great beer garden.
  • In the art pavilion you can discover new artists, who exhibit their works there.
  • The huge Neptune Fountain is very popular, especially on warm days.
  • The entrance portal in the eastern part of the garden is the only structure that has stood on this spot since the founding of the Old Botanical Garden, i.e. for more than 200 years.
  • For children there is a large playground on the west side of the park

The Park Café: restaurant with beer garden

, Foto: Katy Spichal
Foto: Katy Spichal

The Park Café in the Old Botanical Garden has been used by the people of Munich for a variety of purposes: Originally, it was the janitor's residence.

Today, the building presents itself as a versatile venue with a restaurant and a large beer garden. On a cabaret stage, DJ events and live music are regularly on the program in a sophisticated atmosphere. The cuisine of the stylishly furnished restaurant is typically bavarian and home-style.

Buildings, sculptures, fountains and the art pavilion

, Foto: Katy Spichal
Foto: Katy Spichal

The only structure preserved since the founding of the garden is the entrance gate in the eastern part. The sturdy gate was not damaged during World War II and has been showing visitors the way into the park for over 200 years.

The Neptune Fountain, located in the back of the Palace of Justice (Justizpalast), is the centerpiece of the Old Botanical Garden. Park visitors gather around the fountain area, which is lushly decorated with flowers, on warm days.

To the west, the Old Botanical Garden has been overlooked since 1996 by the Stacciol Ring, an oversized modern sculpture, the work of artist Mauro Staccioli.

Somewhat hidden in a small grove right next to the Neptune Fountain is the so-called Art Pavilion, artists from Munich and around the world initiate contemporary and critical art projects in and around the pavilion in the Old Botanical Garden.

History of the Old Botanical Garden

Alter botanischer Garten im Frühling, Foto: Katy Spichal
Foto: Katy Spichal

The Old Botanical Garden was designed by landscape architect Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell, and the site was completed in 1812. The Old Botanical Garden is planned in the form of the letter D.

During the Nazi period, the Old Botanical Garden was transformed into a city park according to the plans of Paul Ludwig Troost and was given the layout it still has today. During this period, the Neptune Fountain, a coffee house with a beer garden (today's Park Café) were built on the former site of the glass palace entrance, and the Art Pavilion. The heavy bombing of the neighborhood around the main station during World War II led to numerous impacts in the green area between 1942 and 1945; the Art Pavilion and the Neptune Fountain were destroyed.

In the post-war years, the Old Botanical Garden was initially left to its own devices and became increasingly overgrown. It was not until 1949 that the Neptune Fountain was restored and just one year later the Art Pavilion was also rebuilt. Thus, in principle, the Old Botanical Garden had largely the appearance that you will see today.

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