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Day 3: Toy Museum, St. Peter’s Church and KZ-Dachau Memorial

Spielzeugmuseum (toy museum)

Most of the interesting places to visit in Munich are in and around Marienplatz. The toy museum is located right beside the Rathaus of Munich. It’s a five-storey tower whose four floors are filled with various old toys and some replicas.


The museum had a lot of stuffed bears that chronicled the history of the development of what we know as “teddy bear” today. There were quite a few exhibits about Margarete Steiff [2]‘s work that led to the development of a version known as “Steiff bears”.


There were two whole panels that displayed Märklin [4] railway sets manufactured before World War I. There were reproductions of some of their old print ads, too.


This old golem was displayed along with aliens and robots. I think this was the oldest exhibit in the museum.


One of the things I noticed was the fact that the old Barbies had a different facial profile than the ones we see today. I think the design is based on what was seen as the standard of physical female beauty by the society at that time.

A strange thing happened while we were visiting the museum. The fire alarm went off and the sound became unbearable. There was some problem at the Rathaus. (The Town Hall was just beside the Toy Museum.) Since all the alarm systems were interlinked, the alarm went off in the museum building, too. The lady at the counter complained that she had to sit through the sound and to top it off, she was subbing for someone else. We were the last people to use the lift before it got locked down because of the alarms.

St. Peter’s Church and a view of Munich

St. Peter’s Church is located right in front of the Rathaus. The church was air-raided during the Second World War and was reconstructed by the Bavarians. I found the interior paintings, the sculptures and the high alter very fascinating. I spent a lot of time running through their details and admiring them.


The ceiling of St. Peter’s Church.


The High Alter

The ninety-one metre high tower of the church offers great view of Munich. It is accessible from the outside for a small fee.


Rathaus Munich [10] from the tower.


Frauenkirche [12] (Church of our Lady) from the tower.

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

We roamed around Marienplatz and had a light lunch before heading off towards Dachau. We had to put our heads together to navigate the ticketing and zoning system of Munich as Dachau is outside the Munich Inner Zone.

We had about one-and-a-half hours to visit the site. (It closes at 5:00 PM.) It was not enough but I managed to read through the twelve or thirteen chapters of information, publications and photographs displayed in the museum. I always thought that the jews were the ones who were major victims at these camps. However, I got to know that they were the majority during the early days. As years progressed, the camps were filled with other ethnicities and political prisoners—in short, whoever opposed the Nazi party.

It was Partho’s second visit. He had mentioned that he was upset the last time. The museum is a disturbing place. In fact, it was mentioned outside that children below twelve years should not enter.


The entry to the camp. The gate bears the inscription, “arbeit macht frei [14]” or work will make you free.


The economic crisis of Germany post World War I was one of the main reasons for Hitler coming into power. This is one of the posters calling for public support. It says, “Our last hope, Hitler.”

I remember spending a lot of the time reading through each and every material in the museum. By the time I had finished, it was dark outside.


A memorial sculpture outside the camp ground. (by Nandor Glid)


The barracks have been reconstructed. This is the bunker room. There are also reconstructions of the toilets, bath-house and locker rooms.


The outbuilding in the evening. This is where the museum is.

Here is a map [19] of the place.

We took the same train back to Munich. But before that, we had ample time to chomp the “1 Euro” burgers from a McDonald’s adjacent to the Dachau station.

Day 4: A day at Salzburg [20]
Day 2: A museum, a walk and some cooking [21]