Isartor (Gate to Isar)

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Isartorplatz 1
80331 München

Isartor (Gate to Isar)

Right between the borough Graggenauer Viertel and the Angerviertel at the east end of the road Tal is the ancient town gate Isartor. Here is the part of the old salt road and therefore the east- west magistrate of the historic city centre of Munich. Isartor separates the historic city centre form the two boroughs Isarvorstadt and Lehel. In front of the gate is the square Isartorplatz which is today part of the inner ring road.

Isartor is completely preserved. It is the only one that still has a main tower. The two flanking towers and the courtyard in-between are well preserved, too. The wall that is connecting the towers has today three entrances of the same size instead of the original big archway with two smaller entrances. In the courtyard there is a fresco created in 1835 by Bernhard von Neher, depicting the victorious return of Emperor Louis after a battle in 1322.

The northern tower of the Isartor today houses the Karl-Valentin-Musäum a humorous museum which is dedicated to the comedian and actor Karl Valentin (1882-1948). Because of his incredible wordplay he became one of the most famous comedians in Munich.

The history of the Isartor

Within the scope of the enlargement of Munich and the construction of the second city wall between 1285 and 1337 which was completed under the Emperor Louis IV, the Isartor was the last tower gate that was constructed. With the Isartor the construction work, defending the outer part of the town (as this part of the town was called at that time), were completed.

In 1337 the main tower was about 40m high. Only when the bailey was constructed it became the two flanking towers.

During the Second World War Isartor was almost completely destroyed and rebuilt until 1957. Only in 2005 the tower got back its clock. But one should watch this clock carefully. The hands of the clock go the opposite way and the clock-face has a reversed image, too. This is done in memoriam of the comedian Karl Valentin.

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