Stachus (Karlsplatz)
Entrance to the Old Town

Karlsplatz, Stachus in summer The official name of this junction is Karlsplatz, but it's better known as Stachus.

Many locals will tell you the popular name is old Bavarian language and means "gridlock". That's a nice story, because Stachus is one of the most transited crossings in Europe and always jammed with traffic.

But when the crossing got its nickname, cars and traffic jams were still unknown. Instead, Karlsplatz hosted the very popular tavern "Stachusgarten", named after its owner Eustachius. Long after the tavern is gone, the name still exists.

It already was a very busy place in the medieval times. Nowadays it is the most trafficked place in Munich: the Altstadtring (circle street around downtown) meets with two major streets here. Additionally most of the tramway lines pass Karlsplatz. Even the underground is busy: 2 subway lines and all of the S-Bahn lines (suburban train) are passing.

Old Karlstor Stachus is also the entrance to München's pedestrian zone and a great meeting point. In summer the square is refreshed by the water fountains and in winter you can skate on a small ice rink.

You can see the old city gate on the picture to the right. In 1175 the first wall was built to protect Munich and the Western entrance was called Neuhauser Tor. (Neuhausen was a small village outside Munich and is today a popular district near the center.) From 1701 onwards the gate was called Karlstor and consequently the square Karlsplatz.

Old House in Downtown Munich with Frauenkirche in Background In the Old Town all motorized traffic is forbidden. The street between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz is the main shopping street in Munich, a place where I can spend many hours :-)

In the so called Fussgängerzone (pedestrian zone) you find all the big department stores like Galeria Kaufhof, Hertie, or C&A, as well as small and exclusive boutiques, jeweler's shops, and perfumeries. The most expensive designer shops, though, are located in Maximilian street.