Your Guide in Munich, Bavaria and Southern Germany
Private, tailor made tours in English, Hebrew and German
Private Tours with Michael Schwennen
Explore Munich's, Bavaria's and Southern Germany's landmarks, history, cultures, people and lifestyles.
See how everything developed from history to present times.
More than 20 years I bring people together, illustrate intercultural aspects, highlight the present mirrored by the past.
If you want to get to know Munich, Bavaria, Southern Germany in a very personal way I invite you to accompany me on a tailor made, unforgettable tour.
Culture, History, People
Michael Schwennen offers a variety of tour packages, all promising that added personal touch. My trips guarantee an action-packed itinerary, while delivering a truly knowledgeable and authentic travel experience. Take a look at the sorts of tour packages I offer below, and get in touch if you would like to learn how you can book a tour with me today.
Munich - The Essential
During this walking tour in the old city, the political and social development of Munich (dating from the 12th century to today) comes alive. You will see fabulous examples of late Baroque architecture in southern Germany (18th-19th century). Juxtaposed with these are the squares on which Hitler's National Socialist Party began and later on demonstrated their dictatorial power in their so-called “City of the Movement”. But we will also not disregard cultural and economic life in Munich, like its breweries, the beer garden and some of its world famous companies.
Our tour begins at Karl's Gate and includes, among other things, the famous Frauenkirche, the new and the old city halls on Marienplatz, Dallmayr House, the Hof-brewery, the Field Marshals' Hall, parts of the royal residence, the Viktualien market, St. Peter's Church, and Sendlinger-Tor Street.
Jewish Life in Munich - Before and After 1933-1945
As in many other places, Jewish life has left indelible traces on Munich. It was rejuvinated after 1945 and has continued to grow in the last 30 years. This tour (which uses some public transportation) focuses on Jewish life in Munich before 1933 (the year Hitler took power in Germany) and after the end of World War II in 1945. Among others, it includes: Marienplatz, Sankt-Jakobs-Platz, the house where Shalom Ben Chorin was born, the Olympic stadium and 31 Connollystrasse.
Jewish life in Munich is documented from as early as 1229. A synagogue that dated back to the late Middle Ages used to stand in the center of town, near the new city hall. The 1813 Edict for the Jews strengthened Jewish life and security in the city, but full and equal rights were only granted in 1871 when Germany became a unified state.
Jewish Personalities of Munich
Nanette Kaula was once feted as one of the most beautiful women in Germany. She made the 'top 30' of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and his now infamous 'gallery of beauties'.
Writer, Lion Feuchtwanger was one of Weimar Germany's leading lights. He escaped the Nazis, but could only watch as his world-famous novella “Jud Süß“ became an anti-Semitic propaganda film.
Kurt Landauer twice headed FC Bayern Munich as president and coined their famous motto “Mia San Mia” (We are who we are).
Schalom Ben Chorin was born in Munich, and graduated the city's university before escaping in 1935. Returning after the war, he became one of the founders of Jewish-Christian dialogue.
Charlotte Knobloch is a widely respected former community leader who fought to combat anti-Semitism. In 2006, she opened Ohel Jakob (Jacob's Tent), which is the city's new central synagogue.
The House of Wittelsbach and Munich – Monuments, traces and stories
In 1240 the house of Wittelsbach bought the tiny little town Munich to make it during nearly 900 years of rule into a royal, cultural metropolis. First they built today's city landmark the Church of Our Lady - Frauenkirche to show that they, the Wittelbacher rule the town and not the former owner, the bishop who had built the first church Saint Peter. Rulers used to live in fortresses, castles and palaces - the Wittelbacher did so – and the first or the old fortress, the Alte Veste, developed into the new fortress, the Neue Veste, that grew and grew over the centuries into the biggest city palace in a German German, The Residenz. The Saint Michael's Church built in the 16th century is not only the biggest church built in the renaissance style north of the alps, has not only the second biggest barrel-shapped roof in the world. It's facade as the whole building itself and its attached school and monastery are a manifestation of noble rule under catholic blessing opposed to the Protestant-Lutheran-Reformation. In Between the Residenz and the Theatiner-Church a love affair caused city wide uproar and a governmental crisis. On Ludwigstreet, where our 5 hours' walking tour will end, we will see how the rulers of the house of Wittelbach developed the city outside the old city.
Munich During the Nazi Regime - Ideology and Resistance
This is a five hour long guided walking tour of historical sites from the city's troubled past: monuments to it's victims, so-called landmarks of the Nazis, and acts of resistance against the dictatorship of terror (1933-1945).
A commemorative stone in Lehnbach square marks the spot where a synagogue was destroyed during Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass, 09/11/38).
The Bayerische Hof hotel is the former headquarters of the Krauss-Maffei company that 'employed' prisoners of war and slave labour.
In the old city hall, Hitler and Goebbels ordered the Night of Broken Glass on November 9, 1938.
The Hofbräuhaus is where Hitler gave his first public speech in 1919, began his ill fated putsch in 1923 and escaped an assassination attempt in 1939. It is close to the Hall of the Marshals (Feldherrenhalle) on the so called “Shirker's Alley”.
In 1937 the Nazis designed a building to house specifically German art. Built with above-ground bunkers, it shows how the Nazis wanted to rebuild parts of the city and to what end. The House of Art (as it is known today) is a contemporary art museum.
King's Square or Königsplatz was used by the Nazis for rallies and as a parade ground. The infamous Munich Agreement of 1938 was signed in the nearby Building of the Führer (Führerbau)
The Ludwig Maximilian University is where the Scholl siblings started their ill-fated campaign of resistance.
The former palace of the Wittelsbacher family became a Gestapo (Nazi's secret police) prison during the war. It was located in near the Square of the Victims of National Socialism.
Tastes of Munich to satisfy the senses
85 € p.p including food, beverages and dinner
First in the afternoon at the beginning of this senses and tastes walking tour, we will try a little Bavarian cuisine at the Viktualien-Market and enjoy a few local specialties. After this, a light digestif at Dalmayrs, where they serve artisan tea, coffee, and cake. At which point we will be well prepared to explore some world-renowned breweries and partake of Munich's famous beers!
If we have time and if requested, we can also visit one of the oldest tabbaconists in the city, purveyors of fine cigars.
Sports & Football
Munich is a city with a rich history of sport, and there are numerous stories, anecdotes and details that deserve to be mentioned. This tour includes: the 1972 Olympic Stadium, the Olympic park, the commemoration site of the terror attack against the Israeli team, the stadium at Grünwalder Street 8from the outside), the training compound of Bayern Munich at Säbener Street (from the outside, if there isn't a public training) and the Allianz Arena. This tour includes private transportation, entrances to the Olympic Stadium and the Allianz Arena (all not included in the price, because these depend on number of participants).
Baroque and Rococo in Munich
Faces of Munich
Munich is known the world over for its baroque churches. This artistic style, originally dramatic and serious, evolved over time and became lighter and more decorative. This development flourished in Bavaria, which today contains some outstanding examples of late baroque or rococo architecture.
The Dreifaltigkeitskirche, or Trinity Chruch, was built in the rococo style. The upper part of the Bürgersaalkirche, the church in the Hall of Citizens, belongs to the earlier classical baroque style. Other churches, who were mostly built before the mid seventeenth century, later acquired baroque features, especially fresco paintings and rococo sculptures.
Besides visiting these churches on the tour, we will also take a look at some of the most celebrated artists from that era, such as Ignatz Günther, Andreas Faistenberg and the Swiss architect Giovanni Antonio Viscardi. And of course, we cannot miss out on the highlight of rococo art and architecture, the theatrum sanctum of the St. Johann Nepomuk Church, built by the Asam brothers as their own private chapel.
This combined walking and driving tour focuses on the people of Munich. It includes:
a royal love affair that led to governmental crisis
an eloquent Bavarian politician that had to protect himself from terror attacks
the protest movement and communes of 1968
songs of Munich that became famous across Germany and around the world
comedians of the liberal and bohemian Weimar Republic
internationally acknowledged authors
the two-time president of Bayern Munich and a seemingly endless success story
The tour takes place on the outskirts of the old city. It includes, the Theatiner Church, the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, parts of Ludwig St. and Leopold St., the Viktualienmarkt (food market) and Isar Gate.
"Fremd ist der Fremde nur in der Fremde"
"A stranger is only a stranger until he gets to know the place"
To book one of the mentioned tours or to arrange for a tailor made tour or if you have further question, want to get more information, please fill out the form to the right or send me a WhatsApp and I will get back to you as soon as possible.