Marienplatz is the central and most important square in Munich. The square got its name after Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the city, who after hearing the prayers of the citizens of Munich saved them from the cholera epidemic. During the medieval Marienplatz was actually a local market, called Shrenen, where the citizens used to gather and discuss social and political issues of their society. At the time, various events and manifestations took place at this market, as well as the hanging of the political opponents which all the citizens could attend.
The Marienplatz square is almost 100 meters long and 50 meters wide. It is dominated by three buildings: the old town hall, the new town hall and the Mary's Column. The new town hall was made in a Gothic style. Even though it was completed only in 1909, at first glance it seems like a much older building. Special attention should be given to the tower where visitors may notice a clock and a belfry (the famous Glockenspiel) which rings every day at 11h, 12h and 17h as a reminder of two important events from the past - the wedding of Duke Wilhelm VI Renate of Lorraine, as well as the celebration after the end of the cholera epidemic. When 43 bells start ringing, 32 motorized figures in natural size start to toss and twirl inside the tower. The entire scene is visible only to the spectators who stand in front of the tower, from the outside. The entire performance lasts for about 12 minutes and it ends with a chirp of a cowbird that is located in the tower above the figurine.
The old city hall was burnt in a fire in 1460. It was rebuilt in 1480 in a neo-gothic style. Calamity struck again, and the city hall was burnt down again during the Second Word War. However, after the war ended, it was restored again according to the designs and drawings from the Middle Ages.
On Meriendplatz there is a notable monument to the Virgin Mary, built in 1638 to honor the end of the Swedish occupation. There is a large golden sculpture on the monument and at the bottom; it is possible to see four angels representing death, hunger, war, and heresy – four plights that the people of Munich seemed to have faced during their history.
Here one may also notice the fountain Fishbrunen that was destroyed during the Second World War, but in 1954, it was rebuilt according to the original 19th-century designs. Local guides say that the fountain brings financial gain to anyone willing to wash their wallets in it. This is the reason why the citizens of Munich regularly wash their wallets in this fountain.
Before Christmas, a small market is organized at Marienplatz where one can find authentic Bavarian products and buy beautiful Christmas gifts.