Tips on places to stay and eat in Bavaria and in the Odenwald. Knowledgeable readers discuss little-known historic World War II sites in Munich.
Bavaria, Odenwald Tips
My wife and I would like to advise your readers of a delightful hotel in Bavaria. It is the Hotel Eibsee in Grainau, approximately six kilometers from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is located on Lake Eibsee, halfway up the base of the Zugspitz, and has the most spectacular views in the whole area. Rooms start at $60 to $175 for a suite. Suite 137 overlooking the lake and the mountains is breathtaking. Food was wonderful and a snowstorm made for a fairytale setting.
But the most engaging time we spent was in a little town called Michelstadt, about 40 km from Eberbach on the Neckar. This walled city was mentioned in German Life magazine. We visited because of an article about a world champion pastry chef, Bernd Seifert, owner of Zum Café Seifert. This gem of a little town buried in the Odenwald, must be seen by your readers.
We found the café at 17 Braunstrasse and were delighted to have Herr Seifert come out and sit with us for over an hour. He indeed is a world champion chef with many awards to his credit. He supplies the renowned Sacher Hotel in Vienna as well as many others throughout Europe. His pastries were the finest we have ever tasted in Germany. He specializes in candies made with a variety of fruits and herbs and his dark chocolate candies with saffron, thyme and other spices are unsurpassed.
He spent time explaining his ideas on dessert cooking and just delighted us with his willingness to talk and share his ideas and companionship. This stop must be included by your readers and indeed will be a permanent one on our trips into and near the Odenwald.
How Now, Brown House?
I think Bob Gillespie (Sept. 99), is mistaken about the Brown House's demise in Munich. True, the original Brown House (called "Brownie House" by some old-timers) is no longer there.
But adjacent to the original location is the Brown House of the 30s and today; one of two almost identical buildings a half-block apart. It is just off Maximillian Platz, about 1.5 miles west of the Opera House. About two blocks west of the Mercedes Benz showroom is a rather insignificant memorial to the survivors of NSDAP (with an eternal flame).
Traveling on west, you reach the Brown House which was the site of the signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938 in Hitler's office. We have visited there four or five times and easily recognized the office by its size and the fireplace which is seen on period newsreel film.
We have also confirmed this with people who work in the building which is now a music school. You will also see the marble staircase to the second floor where the Hitler office is located.
The Burgerbräukeller, where the 1923 Putsch departed to the Felderherrnhalle, was just east of the Isar river and is no longer there. However, the Hofbräuhaus is obviously still alive and Hitler often had meetings there both upstairs and in the basement. About two blocks away is the Torbräu Hotel where he occasionally stayed.
Also, a favorite restaurant was the Osteria, which is about two miles northwest of the Opera House. They have a guest book which might warrant inspection. The food is still good and $$$$. The owner is also accommodating.
Lee Howser, Wynona Howser, Joe Kennedy
(Ed. Note: According to subscriber Bob Gillespie, the current Hofbräuhaus is a postwar building. The original was destroyed by bombs during the war.)
More Munich History
The Chamberlain 1938 Sudetenland appeasement occurred in Munich, in the westernmost, second floor room of what has since become the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik on Arcis Strasse just south of Brienner Strasse between, Königsplatz and Karolinenplatz. This was the locale of the meeting between Chamberlain, Hitler, Daladier, and Mussolini. There is no plaque or other marking to note the historical significance of the location.
(This building was also the headquarters of the "Brown Shirts". There is a near-identical building on the other side of Brienner Strasse which is now the Graphische Sammlung. In 1991 my wife and I did a house exchange and lived 750 meters from the spot.)
Stephen & Margaret Gibbens
Santa Barbara CA
Turned Off by Letter
I read with great interest Mr. William Allin Storrer's letter regarding Munich in the November issue of Gemütlichkeit.
Why do words like pompous, arrogant, pretentious, overbearing and stuffed shirt come to mind when reading his letter?
First he criticizes for using "Munich" instead of München in the story, but then goes on to call it "Munich" throughout his letter. He also doesn't seem to realize that this is an English language newsletter.
Nor can I understand his discourse about Swabia since his complaint is about Munich. Mr. Storrer seems to be the kind of customer every business would like to get rid of. I can think of no reason for him to resubscribe to Gemütlichkeit or to recommend it to any of his relatives regardless of how many different variants there are of the name.
And why anyone would want to visit his web site is beyond my imaginative powers.