Tuesday, February 2, 2010
A Bit of Istanbul in Munich
Just blocks South from the Central Train Station is the neighborhood of Ludwigsvorstadt, one known as the international section of the city. And when I say International in Munich, it generally means the Arabic part of town. It is estimated that Munich has a Muslim population of approx. 100,000, representing about 7.5% of the total Munich population of 1.34M (and well above the 5% German average - which is second highest in Western Europe behind France & the Netherlands). Munich's largest ethnic group is Turkish with 43,000 residents, and Albanian with 30,000 residents. I find this neighborhood (pictured here with St. Paul's Church in the background) fascinating because it is something you will not find in most US cities. To contrast this with the US, Muslims represent less than 1% of the total population. While there, you can find all the Middle Eastern foods and craft products, as well as hundreds of other businesses that cater primarily to the Muslim world of Munich.