The last day of trip to bavaria we had scheduled one guided tour of downtown Munich with the tourist office from the city. We were accompanied by Rubén, our second great host in Germany, armed with a large dose of patience to tour the capital of Bavaria no less than at 9 in the morning on a holiday, with a cold that chilled the bones despite being already the month of April.
The tourist office is in Marienplatz, the town hall square, Just in the middle of the city. It was so early when we arrived that there were almost no streets or streets and the square was very lonely. Shortly after we met Barbara, our guide, and we began to walk around the center while we learned about the history and the main monuments of «München», As it is called in German.
Our guide was a very talkative and very nice lady, who spoke Spanish very well and made the visit very enjoyable. To begin with, he gave us some general information about Munich and told us the origin of the name, related, according to the most accepted theory, with the brotherhood of monks who settled there during the Middle Ages. Then he took us to see two churches: the imposing cathedral, or Frauenkirche, which was closed, and the oldest church in the city, the «Alte Peter». As it was Easter Monday, in this church of San Pedro they were in full celebration. We went in a moment and we were surprised by what we saw. Violin music and choir voices flooded the church and sunlight entered through the windows, through the mists of incense to illuminate the altar, where the priest was officiating the mass. Barbara explained to us that the pastor of this church was famous for his goodness, but above all for his stubbornness in applying what was approved in the Second Vatican Council. So he kept celebrating the masses in Latin and with his back to the parishioners. We knew that Bavaria was a stronghold of conservative Catholicism and, for example, homeland of the Ratzinger expapa, but in the brief moments we were in Peterkirche we could see it with our own eyes.
Then we went to the Plaza del Viktualienmarkt, a very famous outdoor market. And curiously we went from the strictest Catholicism to the ancient pagan religion of nature. That morning it was all closed and lonely, but we loved hearing the story of the Maibaum or may tree. It is a towering trunk and decorated with the colors of the Bavarian flag and the symbols of all the medieval guilds of the city. This inheritance of pagan times, when the Central European Saxon tribes raised sacred trees to celebrate their rituals of spring and fertility, perhaps related to the "irminsul", symbol of the god Wotan, is still alive today in the current traditions of the Bavarian populations. There are precise rules to cut down the tree and transport it to the place where it will be erected. For example, in the original rite, the tree could only be cut down in the night of Walpurgis.
Today, the tree is cut down weeks before and the night before planting it, that is, on the eve of May 1, the young people of Muniquenses must watch over it and protect it from the youth of the town next door, because they can go steal it. That is impossible? Not quite, because as this evening is a party with a lot of beer, Barbara told us that just last year, a group of young people from a nearby town managed to “steal” the trunk taking advantage of the drunkenness of the muniquenses, which was all A shame for the most folkloric. This tradition of robbing each other made me think of the old Germanic tribes, always rivaling each other and I liked to see that there is still some of them in Bavarian folklore. By the way, thieves have to return the log, but in exchange for a good meal and a barrel of beer!
We continue walking and pass in front of a traditional restaurant-brewery. In front of the door were three young musicians dressed in Bavarian folk costume: deerskin pants with suspenders, white shirt, high socks, and a hat with a feather. They were going to play live at the venue and did time outside before the scheduled time. Barbara recommended the restaurant to us, so at noon we returned there for lunch.