The Glockenspiel – Munich

One of the first places we visited in Munich was the famous Glockenspiel in the Marienplatz. It was one of the things I always wanted to see. I remember back in 1989 when I was a young auditing clerk and my boss at the time took his first overseas trip. He brought me a souvenir from Munich and told me about the Glockenspiel and how impressive it was. Those memories were the first thing that came to mind when I saw it.

A large crowd gathered and we all waited patiently for the show to start. At exactly 12pm the bells started to toll and the life size dolls started with their performance. It was magical!

 What is the Glockenspiel exactly?

The Glockenspiel is a chiming clock where dancing figures come out to perform to a song called the Schäfflertanz . The dance was first performed at the end of the plague in the 1500s. You can see the dancing figures from the top high pillars on the New Town Hall.

They are almost human size. The sound of the bells are crystal clear and it gave me goose bumps.

Over the years I have forgotten what the song sounded like but I will never forget the moment when I stood mesmerized in Marienplatz, listening to the sound of the Glockenspiel.


Video courtesy thereareplaces – Youtube

Interesting facts about the Glockenspiel:

• 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 couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback. The white and blue knight is representing Bavaria and the red and white knight Lothringen.

• The Bavarian knight wins every time.

• The bottom half then follows and tells a 2nd story. The one of the plague. People went into hiding and the first people to dare to go back onto the streets were barrel makers who performed a big dance to show it was okay to come out again.

• The Duke of Bavaria was so happy about this that he ordered them to re-enact this every seven years. This custom continues to this day.

• The dance can be seen during the German Carnival (Fasching). The next one will only take place in 2012.

• The show lasts 12 to 15 minutes.

• At the end of the show a very small golden bird chirps 3 times.

It goes off every day at 11am, 12pm and 5pm.


Bounded by Kaufingerstr.
Rosenstr. Weinstr. Munich, Bavaria, Germany

If you want to read more about similar posts click here Munich Tourist Attractions

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. I went twice last year, once was in March or April, the second time was during Oktoberfest… missed the "show" both times! I will go back again this summer and try to get it now that I have a rockin video camera!

  2. Hi Nelieta! Thanks for the info.! The picture looks great too. And I'm just wondering how great can that really be? You know, having life-sized figures…:) Something really interesting to watch.:) Thank you for sharing it with us.:) XOXO

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