Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Henry the Lion

Munich Pop History – Day 1: With the 850 year anniversary of Munich this summer, I figure there is plenty of history to talk about. But given the fact that I’m not a native, and quite frankly don’t know a whole lot about Munich history, I give you my own version – that of history which is quite visible in Munich today. For the next 8.5 days, I’ll touch on major events in history that you see evidence of every day in Munich. Here’s the first… Everywhere you go in Munich, you find Lions. There are literally hundreds of ceramic versions painted different colors, but you also see references to lions in crests, municipal statues, and even in storybooks. This particular lion lives outside a Lottery administration building at Carolinaplatz (appropriately painted gold for luck). The origin of the Lion in Munich and Bavaria dates back to 1157 with Henry the Lion founded the city and thereby made the lion the foremost symbol of the city. The lion happens to be his heraldic animal and was placed on family crests. Despite many years of service to the emperor, a breach occurred because of compensation demanded for support in a war vs Italy. In the end, Henry’s lands were confiscated and he was banished to England, only to have his son, Otto IV, become emperor in 1209.

1 comment:

heza said...

There used to be many more lions around the city. Most were auctioned for charity after the World Cup in 2006.
Here's the link to the Munich Lion Parade: