Munich is a fab place to visit and to discover and I feel absolutely blessed to live in Germany´s most beautiful city. Wherever you are coming for a weekend trip or longer, there is so much culture and lifestyle awaiting to be explored, that two days are far too less if you are aiming to see it all. Like many more recommendations listed in my Munich section, today, I would like to introduce you to one of my personal favorites: Südfriedhof.
While cemeteries are generally for some cultures difficult to be declared as a landmark or places of interest, here in Munich, particularly Südfriedhof (Southern cemetery) enjoys a popular status as public park.
One of the reasons for this may be the fact that this graveyard is not in active service anymore. It rather serves as a recreational area within the city, by chance housing some of the city´s most oldest tombstones and family graves that once played a leading role in the development of Munich to one of the most important economic centers in the region.
Wherever it was artists, architects, city planners or simply nobility, they all were buried on this enchanted piece of land. They were either just wealthy or had contributed in some way to grow Munich to the metropolis that it has become nowadays.
It may sound funny to you. But if you had not followed up with the founding history, you probably would not recognize any of the names that are still engraved (or have already faded) from the tombstones when you walk past the small gravel paths. I hardly do, but I have to admit, I am not the best when it comes to knowledge about the history of the place I live in.
To me, it is the exceptional atmosphere that Südfriedhof holds.
It is a mixture of reminiscence, history and solemnity that the air is filled with. If you would ask me for the most magic place in Munich, this would be it. The trees and vegetation here date back partly hundreds of years and some of the tombstones have actually been displaced or moved by wildly growing trees and bushes.
Like in an enchanted forest, in a positive way though. I do run my errands here on a daily base. A lot of people use the cemetery as a park, which may astonish one or the other. Depending what cultural background you have.
But here we see Südfriedhof as a fabulous spot to retreat to when looking for a place of peace and quiet. And it truly is funny. While right behind the cobble stone walls you will find a major traffic road, you can hardly hear any sounds from the cars passing by. Just the tweeting birds and the little brown squirrels that jump around in the search for food.
The air is fresh and clear and if you closed your eyes while sitting or lying on one of the many benches around, you would never ever think that you are pretty much downtown of one of Germany´s tourist hot spots. Amazing! Even people enjoy their lunch breaks on the meadows around.
It is an enchanted place full of positive energy. Ferns are spreading their massive leaves over the graves and here and there, wildly growing flowers burst with their colored blossoms the general sadness or sorrow that normally hang over graveyards. Wherever you see the cherry trees in full bloom during Spring or you wander the ice-covered pathways on a Winter´s day, the same magic remains.
A magic that will calm your busy mind down. Every time you come back.
To get there, simply take Bus 62 and exit at Waltherstrasse (right opposite of the entrance) or take any of the trams or subways halting at Sendlinger Tor. From there it is just a short walk. To plan your visit with public transportation, click this link.