Hofgarten (Court Garden)
Hofgarten (Court Garden) Review
The formal court garden was once part of the royal palace grounds, dating back to at least the early 15th century. It's now bordered on two sides by arcades designed in the 19th century by court architect Leo von Klenze. On the east side of the garden is the state chancellery (office of the Bavarian Minister President), built in 1990–93 around the ruins of the 19th-century Army Museum and incorporating the remains of a Renaissance arcade. Bombed during World War II air raids, the museum stood untouched for almost 40 years as a reminder of the war. Critics were horrified that a former army museum building could be used to represent modern, democratic Bavaria, not to mention about the immense cost. In front of the chancellery stands one of Europe's most unusual—some say most effective—war memorials. Instead of looking up at a monument, you are led down to a sunken crypt covered by a massive granite block. In the crypt lies a German soldier from World War I. The crypt is a stark contrast to the memorial that stands unobtrusively in front of the northern wing of the chancellery: a simple cube of black marble bearing facsimiles of handwritten wartime manifestos by anti-Nazi leaders, including the youthful members of the White Rose resistance movement. As you enter the garden from Odeonsplatz, take a look at the frescoes (drawn by art students 1826–29 and of varying degrees of quality) in the passage of the Hofgartentor with depictions from Bavarian history.