"Part of the second construction phase of the New Town Hall, it dates from 1908. Every day at 11 a.m. (as well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the amusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. The top half of the Glockenspiel tells the story of the marriage of the local Duke Wilhelm V to Renata of Lorraine. In honour of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and blue) and Lothringen (in red and white). The Bavarian knight wins every time of course. - note from Savannah: that was a fun part of the clock show!! The Lothringen knight really does fall back on his horse!! -
This is then followed by the bottom half and second story: Schäfflertanz (the coopers' dance). According to myth, 1517 was a year of plague in Munich. The coopers are said to have danced through the streets to, "bring fresh vitality to fearful dispositions." The coopers remained loyal to the duke, and their dance came to symbolize perseverance and loyalty to authority through difficult times."
Before we get on with pictures of the clock and such, I would also like to point out that Munich is where the signing of the Munich Agreement took place during WWII (hence the name :). Daddy was talking to us about it while walking the streets of Munich and it was very interesting to learn some more of WWII history that we hadn't known before. Below is a little bit about the agreement.
"The Munich Agreement was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without the presence of Czechoslovakia. Today, it is widely regarded as a failed act of appeasement toward Nazi Germany. The agreement was signed in the early hours of 30 September 1938 (but dated 29 September). The purpose of the conference was to discuss the future of the Sudetenland in the face of territorial demands made by Adolf Hitler. The agreement was signed by Nazi Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. The Sudetenland was of immense strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defenses were situated there, and many of its banks were located there as well.
Because Czechoslovakia was not invited to the conference, it felt betrayed by United Kingdom and France, so Czechs and Slovaks call the Munich Agreement the Munich Dictate (Czech: Mnichovský diktát; Slovak: Mníchovský diktát). The phrase Munich Betrayal (Czech: Mnichovská zrada; Slovak: Mníchovská zrada) is also used because the military alliance Czechoslovakia had with France and United Kingdom was not honoured. Today the document is typically referred to simply as the Munich Pact (Mnichovská dohoda)."