Summer flowers in the Botanical Garden in Munich

The ultimate Green Oasis , the Botanical Garden-Nymphenburg in München

A green oasis in the city. An outdoor urban jungle with vast variety of Flora & Fauna kingdom right in the heart of Bavaria.A place where the scare of the Corona virus seemed forgotten, keeping our minds at ease for a moment of rest… and where going back to nature is the truest form of self-respect. Standing in awe of the flowers and plants have kept our hearts happy and our senses revitalized.

After a long wait, finlly we visited the Botanical Gardens in Munich , just after we saw my daughter´s Exhibition in the Internationale Jugendbibliothek in Schloss Blutenburg.This Garden happens to be near to the Nymphenburg Palace so we decided to spend few hours here.Just like everywhere, Corona restrictions is observed. We need to wear masks upon entrance and sitting in Restaurant and of course maintain distance. But roaming around, we can go without.There were quite few visitors but not that we called many. It was a great day and I am totally in my happy place.

The garden is big, but not too huge.It stretches up to 21 heactares and houses approximately 14,000 species of plants .Unfortunately, we were not able to view the Greenhouses because of the current situation but then maybe its another reason to return to this nature paradise.

I feasted my eyes on the beautiful landscape. The garden is beautifully adorned with different plants.It has the late summer blooms that makes it so alive and refreshing. I felt that the air there is really clean and the only sound we hear is the water splashes and buzzing of the bees.I get busied taking phoos of bees feeding on lovely flowers. I am kinda magnetized on these sights so I took plenty of shots capturing this beautiful partnership in nature.

Here, its very evident that plants compete with one another. Every single plant exudes their vitality and charm, and bees were there to abserve them.I´ve read that bees ´s senses are adapted to the signals emitted by the plants and know their scent.They even know how to recognize colors!they love yellows and blue…Hmmmm.

But they cannot see red.So imagine, they onls see Red Poppies as a single black hole.I observed this more often in our garden where bees always flocked to my Lavender plants from the moment they start to bloom up to the last blooms in Summer.bees are indeed loyal to flowers!

Every single flower is unique.The patterns and colours are so rich!

I recognize quite a number of many summer blooms.But still, there are quite many that I am amazed to see.Great thing every single flower /plant is labelled. I took note of the great color combinations.The rows of Roses in full blooms are fragrant so far. My favourite was the light Purple one–I think it was pretty!

The Iris Garden is also something! Facing the grand pond with waterlilies and more Dahlias and Zinias, this place is quite captivating.Green and light blue shades of Iris are so soothing.There are many Parrot sculptures spread across the Garden.I really don´t know the meaning of its symbolic meaning but then it adds grace to the garden.

My daughter wants an ice cream so we tried the Restaurant.It was ok but I think it was a little overpriced and the service took so long.Maybe next time we will just bring our own snacks!

I have heard that this Botanical Garden attracts more than 35,000 visitors a year and now I can understand why. It may not be as grand as the Keukenhof Gardens and the Orchideeen Hoeve´ in the Netherlands but the 16,000 + plant species they are keeping are quite a collection to ponder about! I am sure that for any plant lover—a place like this is never to be missed! I am not surprised if it is the top visited Botanical garden in Bavaria!

Visiting green Oasis and Gardens has been our favourite thing to do during this Pandemie.We felt safer being surrounded by plants, maybe because they signify life. I am grateful that we have access to see gardens like these and costing only a few Euros.I would be writing for sure again about this garden when we return to see the Greenhouses once it opened again.

Watching nature´s metamorphosis is one simple pleasure in life that we should not take in for granted.

Do you love Botanical Gardens? When was the last time you visited one?

Whether you only need a moment of ME-Time, or you feel like taking some pictures of lush greenery for your Instagram and social media, or some ideas to post in your Blog,visiting your local Garden is quite an option! You don´t need to travel far and spent a fortune.

Personally, I´ve always wanted to learn more about plants and maybe be a part of a volunteer group for a Gardening or just to learn something or do something for the environment, then I would be happy…

If you love plants and green Oasis, here are some related Posts I have written as well. Tschüss , stay safe everyone!

Labyrinth Garden

Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, the Netherlands

Poppy Flower, the beloved German flower of the Year

Fragile Summer Flowers in Bavaria

Yellow fields in Bavaria

Sunday Stills : Nymphenburg Palace München

“Pluto”
Another Pacale added on my Chasing Castles and Palaces quest in Germany— the Schloss Nymphenburg in Münich

It was no ordinary day, since its not everyday that we can walk through the Palace grounds of the renowned Summer destinations of the Royalties of Bavarian Kingdom, the former rulers of Bavaria, the Wittelsbach Family.Spending the morning walking through the garden park of Schloss Nymphenburg in Münich is indeed a worthwhile experience especially during this time of Pandemic.

Through A9 Autobahn, we reached this place in schedule, with only manageable traffic due to road repairs. Its still summer vacation (Ferien) here in Bavaria so schools are not yet open until 8th of September.We took this opportunity to do some short daytrips and Munich comes in hand. Here, no large crowds, at least no need for social distancing (although the Palace is strictly adhering to Corona measures as well as everywhere) since the park is really big, approx. 200 hectares, too bad we were not even able to explore all of it. I know that there are far more grand than this place but then the sight of it overwhelms me already. It spans at a frontal width of 632 meters and considered as one of the premiere Royal Palaces in Europe.Maybe not so famous as the Rezidenz palace and not as worldly as the Schloss Neuschwanstein, but then, it´s a beautiful and an elegant palace.

How many people or staff does it takes to clean the whole of this Palace?

How many hours does it takes to even clean it?”

Come to think of it, it was built within 4 centuries timeframe. Anyway, the Royalties and grandeur lifestyles are too much for me to dissect as of this time. I just went on admiring the Palace´s Facades, Architecture and Landscape.I have seen many things that I love about this place. Here looks so peaceful and tranquil. Maybe because of the water element and being surrounded with greens.It is a garden that you can let your worries about Corona virus swayed away. Beautiful flowers and schrubs surround the grand pathwalks . Ducks and swans are swimming gracefully in the calming waters that cascades in rhythmical motion.

Few runners ran past over us and I quite envy them. I know it would be wonderful to run and be lost in the Palace´s gardens.So many little nooks and pathwalks with hidden figures as well.

We wait for the Fountain to start.

The thing about being here early here is that we have the place by ourselves. Only the gardeners and few staffs can be seen at around quarter to 10. I saw the gardener raking the soil and making zen patterns on the ground, busying themselves caring about the plants and watering them.The weather is perfect, not to hot, and not a single sign of rain.Slowly, we are saying Goodbye to sweet but short German summer.

I snap some photos of some of the fine gold details I saw while entering the castle.The lamps and carvings of the doors and windows are quite enticing.We decided not to do the Tour of the interior of the Castle because my daughter gets bored with it and I just dont have the energy to deal with the drama.

I can´t have a good panoramic view of the whole palace but the entrance itself is so large and grand .Just imagine in the ancient times many Royalties driven by their golden horse carriages hop and stop in this entrance many times. I can´t imagine that King Ludwig II was born here as well.his collection of carriages are still displayed here.

This reminds me of the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg. I always love these ancient Greek and Roman God and Goddess sculptures spead all over the entire garden. They are like stone guarding the Palace.Come to think of it, most castles and palaces are heavily accessorized with sculptures and statues. The more, the grandier.Moreover, what´s not to love about statues? If they can talk, I am sure they tell us different stories from what we have read or heard.

The Stone Lion with the Palace´s Seal.What a dominant character that you can see all around Bavaria. Lion´s head is almost everywhere.In Berlin we go crazy looking for Painted Bears, but here, all we see is bunch of Lion´s statues, heads and sculptures.

I have heard that the palace also houses the Naturkundemuseum Mensch und Natur (“Museum of Man and Nature”), the Porzellanmuseum (“Porcelain Museum”) for the on-site porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg, and the Marstallmuseum in it’s wings.

While roaming around the vast of the gardens, everyone can enjoy and discover numerous other smaller attractions: In addition to the Badenburg, Pagodenburg, and Amalienburg summer residences as well as the Magdalenenklause hermitage.There´s also the picturesque lake and streams and Fountains. Some of the attractions are unfortunately can only be viewed during summer seasons.

This is the Schlosscafe´in Palmenhaus. A green Oasis right inside the Palace garden´s premises. A place where visitors can enjoy warm drinks and cool their senses with ice cream surrounded with Palm trees.Of course, you can´t get in without a mask!

 Today only twelve (12) statues remain on the Nymphenburg Garden and four have been moved to the Grand Cascade. Generally male and female deities take turns. Most of the statues are made from Laaser and Sterzinger marble, the bases are made of Red Tegernsee marble or tuff.

Indeed it was a great day spent here in Nymphenburg Palace. Glad that I saw it in Summer. It looks quite dreary in a freezing Winter!

Interested about Castles? Here are some related Posts:

Chasing Castles and Palaces in Germany

The Fairy Tale castle of Burg Eltz

Kaiserburg Palace, Nürnberg

“Kinder Malen sich Selbst ” Exhibition in Schloss Blutenberg, Münich

One of the best thing that happened to us during Corona Lockdown was that my daughter´s painting was selected to be inluded in the Exhibit for ” Kinder Malen sich Selbst” ( Children, paint yourselves!) exhibition in Münich. I am a proud parent of a 5 year old kid that is inclined to arts at a young age as this! I am wondering what am I doing when I was 5 years old?She is really an epitome´ of an international expat kid–born in Kuwait, of Dutch & Asian origins, and raised in Germany and now, she just had her own drawing escapade!

From March, right at the beginning of the Corona virus global outbreak, the Library began to asks children around the world to participate to draw themselves what they feel about Corona.At first it was a virtual collection of drawings of children how do they feel during the tough times of Corona Pandemic then they began to collect the drawings as well.These are gorgeous collection of children´s talent, thoughts, visions, and feelings which travelled from different countries to Germany. This exhibit was arranged by the International Youth Library ( Internationale Jugendbibliothek, IJB ) in the Herrenhaus Foyer of Schloss Blutenberg.

Of course I am the most excited for everything! Like an overreacting stage mother, we were all ecstatic to see finally the Exhibit. We are still in Summer break so decided to go to Munich to see it.For my daughter who was only 5 years old when she did the drawing, I think the whole experience was also great.To think that she almost tore away the drawing and I was able to save it. She was so happy to know that her drawing was selected among many others, and it is now displayed there up until September 9,2020. With Corona restrictions, the exhibitions follows strict hygienic controls, with masks and reduction of visitors inside the halls.

Because of Corona, children cannot go out and play outside. She wanted to play football so she draw a portrait saying she wants to play Football, but then scared of the threats of the Corona Virus.

From the beginning, Ms. Weber , who was the one coordinating with me of the drawing submission was very kind and helpful. I was even glad that finally I can write an email in English and not in German !Aside from the helpful assistance in the exhibition, we were ushered to see the amazing Libray archives which really took our breath away. The underground cellar beneath the castle courtyard is the place of extensive collection of books from different times, era, period, languages and countries. It is really an international place.No wonder most of the staff are speaking different languages! From the reception in the entrance of the castle, I heard someone speaking in Hindi, and many guests came from Asia, including Japan and Korea. Even the featured children´s stories were of Japanese origins!It is really a great feeling to belong to such a friendly multi-cultural community like this here in Germany. It was nice to see Asian mothers for a change. 🙂

The Library have accumulated a total of 650,000 children & adult books from different times and periods from 240 languages and covering 4 centuries! I think this is the biggest & extensive Library I ahve ever been to. There are so many different ” Mark Twain´s ” books in different versions and languages in one single shelf that I have ever seen in my whole life. I don´t even know where to start.Also, the Library possesed 30,000 volumes of Scholarly Literature and about 130 current subscriptions to specialized literary journals. If you love Literature and children´s books—this is the best place to be!

We were told that the Internationale Jugendbibliothek in Münich is the biggest International Library for Youth and children´s literature in the world! It´s setting is like a fairytale castle—the Schloss Blutenberg.

These 2 paintings draws my attention, one from Iran and one from the Philippines. I am sure these children would love to see their artwork personally as well if given the chance considering the travel restrictions due to Corona. I have read that the Library also grants scholarships to Foreign scholars with the objective of supporting research in the areas of international children and youth´s literature, illustration and promoting scientific exchange and international cooperation.

Aside from the Exhibition, the castle itself and its courtyard is beautiful. Founded in 1949 by a German Journalist, Author and Translator Jella Lepman, this Library has a vision to build bridges for children with books and open windows to the world.

Surrounded with lush greens, lake, and the flowing river makes the castle an idyllic setting.There are different Summer programs , Open Air concerts in the castle´s courtyards and a nice quaint Restaurant with a view of the lake. There was even a wedding in the time of our visit.

We enjoyed the story telling stations, the other exhibitions like the Internationale Wimmelbücher, ” Die Ganze Welt auf einer Seite” ( also collected from different parts of the world!) and the Illustrations of letter Postal envelopes “ Oh wie Bezaubernd Schön !” by the amazing Binette Schroeder. There was huge collection of her illustrated books, objects, mementos,and children toys that are really captivating! My daughter found a little door, I never thought of it as a cabinet! Then she asked me ” Mama, can I open the little door?” .I never thought there was something in there but then to our surprise, there it was…the jewel of the palace, the Binette Schroeder-Kabinett!” There was a little world inside there that captures every child´s heart.

Absorbed in this small, yet wonderful world of Binette Schroeder-Kabinett.
Thank you International Youth Library!!

It was a wonderful experience and I am so glad that my kid loves to read and appreciates reading at a young age. It was really a great experience and we will be back for sure to Schloss Blutenberg. I did not expect that during Corona times, we will discover another world of love for reading and children´s literature.

As an expat Mama here in Germany, I certainly commend that we have the opportunity for great Libraries and children´s learning mediums!

Isolation. Children, paint yourselves! (Self-portrait of children in Corona Times)

I want to play Football outside and not in the garden! This is my daughter´s entry for this drawing exhibition hosted by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.

I am sure I am not alone in this dilemma.We don´t know yet until when will this all be over, but as long as it is not yet safe outside, children needs to stay at home.Here in Germany, the lockdown measures were relaxed, some shops are allowed to open, wearing mask is enforced, and some schools will open soon next week.But daycares and Kindergarten remains closed. I know personally that staying at home, confined and can´t visit playgrounds and play areas can be tough and is never easy, it is messy, chaotic,sometimes out of control and dramatic. But our times together these days become so meaningful, I guess there´s so much difference when we all take things slowly.

How does she feel about the isolation?
She said her inspiration for her Portrait is that she wanted to play Football and run in the field freely .She wanted to go back again to the Kindergarten and see her friends.

For those who are staying at home with kids during this Pandemic, what have you´ve been doing with your kids lately?

I love to paint and it´s one of my favourite things to do during this lockdown.I think I can paint the whole day and every single day. I just love to create something creative, whether it is with watercolors or Acrylics. Nowadays, I spent more time with my daughter painting, drawing and creating something. I created a journal of my daughter´s drawings so she can have an album of what she created.We even paint stones and joined the creative art here in our neighborhood.Here are some of her doodles and

Another interesting Art exhibition which we are joining is the Isolation, Children Paint yourselves! launched by the International Youth Library Foundation in Munich,Germany .This is an online exhibition of submitted images of children which depics their mood and how they are feeling against this terrible, dire times of Pandemic. I have talked to my daughter many times about Corona virus, especially when we are on the push of frequent hand washing and social distancing. It is very interesting to find and learn from little children about their feelings about isolation and being in restriction .Sometimes they cannot express themselves verbally, but with visuals, we can learn so much more.

The moment that I showed to her that her drawing was in the Gallery, she was thrilled and so happy. She is only 5 years old!

Paint anywhere, everywhere!

I really find this online exhibition super cool and my daughter is proud of what she have done.It´s amazing to see different entries already from different countries submitted and available in their online portal for public viewing wherever you are. I heard that they have received over 800 drawings from 42 different countries! Some portraits with paintings listed are from Mexico,South Korea,Venezuela,Sweden,Great Britain, Japan, France, Iran, Slovenia,Germany, and even the hard hit countries like USA, Italy and Spain! I think seeing another children´s artwork is also a great tool for encouraging the potential of your child to be creative since they can see it as a relatable issue and not just something to kill boredom. Difficult images of people who are sick and death toll are not easily digested in small children´s mind so we, as parents needs to guide them and be careful of the information we feed them. In this way, let them express themselves through their imagination through their hands, the explosion of colored pencils, paints, crayons and doodles.

Let them be absorbed with ART.

The founder of the International Youth Library, Jella Lepman, had already asked for such self-portraits since 1952 and showed them in an exhibition. By that time, it´s still very difficult to create a digital or online exhibition. Nowadays, it´s all handy and accessible for all, even most museums opened their exhibitions online for others to view while staying at home.If you are interested and want to create something different and has a global impact, start painting, start contributing, and start it now!

If your child is 3 to 13 years of age and wants to participate, you can send your child´s portrait or drawing as a scanned copy (with first name, age and country) to direktion @ ijb. de. The online gallery exhibition can be seen in here.

#StayatHome #wirBleibenzuHause

More artworks and creative Crafts we do while we stay at home during this Pandemic crisis.

Here she is when she finally visits the Exhibition in Münich where her own drawing was chosen!

View of some of the children´s drawing from different countries in the Exhibition Center in Schloss Blutenberg, in Munich.
Feeling proud of my daughter´s first ever artwork in display !

The exhibition “Kids, draw themselves” ( Malen sich Selbst) is displayed in the International Youth Library in Schloss Blutenberg, from July 15th up to 9th of September 2020, located in Foyer im Herrenhaus and is free entrance fee. The Library is open from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 Pm and on weekends from 12 pm to 5pm.

Feel free to share this to your friends!

To all parents out there who are taking care of their kids at home, I salute you. You are doing great and you deserved to have a big hug and pat on the back!

Stay safe and see you again next time!

Twisted |Golden Skeletons and caged Angels

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Golden Skeleton with scissors and a frantic Angel

I love visiting churches. I am not a religious person but I am a lover of beautiful buildings and architecture. Be it Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance or Modern Art, a great work is timeless. Speaking of churches, I love the peace and tranquility of being inside a solemn place of worship. I also felt the same amazement when I marveled  at the beauty of the Grand Mosque in Kuwait. Here in Germany, there are so many beautiful churches, in fact, too many to mention. In every city we visit, I always find time to visit historical churches and I am always left with wonder. They kind of look all the  same, all had distinct beauty that is worth of admiration, some  have captivating details and carries a legendary tale. Even for half an hour or so, I always felt being recharged when I let the silence while being inside a church. Walking through the marbled floors, sitting and saying a little prayer, marveling at the lines of statues and gazing up through the illuminated wall decorations and stained windows can be a worthwhile experience. So is the saying that when you travel, you become silent, then it makes you a storyteller in the end.

But churches can also be exhilarating! There are so much to see and so much history. One thing, what about the famous priests of kings buried in the crypt, the artists who painted the frescoes, or the reason why it was built?

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Beautiful frescoed ceiling of the Asam Kirche in München done by Cosmas Damian

The solemn stillness of cascading lights through the Holy Altars and grand statues of saints is more than enough to feed my curiosity. A quick look of the Rococo and Stucco designs, the elaborate paintings, or the exhilarating ceiling  vault designs can be stressful, at the same time interesting. Especially on a busy day full of sightseeing in a new city, churches provides an accent which makes any trip worthwhile.This is one of the reasons why  most churches here in Germany are  full of visitors, tourists, and of  religious groups.

Last week, my parents-in-law visited us for a few days so we decided to take a day-trip to show them a bit of  München. The weather was fine and as usual, Munich is super busy. After our visit in the Dino World in Olympia Park, we strolled along Marienplatz and along the Sendlingerstrasse   to check out Asam kirche, also known as St. Johann Nepomuk church. This church had left a lasting impression to me ever since I saw it last year. But this time, I saw another fascinating, yet twisted detail.

Just below the statue of St. Nepomuk lies a captivating golden sculpture of Skeleton, with a  giant scissors and about to cut a thread that an anxious Angel holds. In most churches, sculptures and statues of angels, saints and heavenly divinities are a normal sight, but this one is something different.If you’re keen enough , the skeleton signifies Death and He holds the scissors to cut the thread , obviously the Thread of Life that a frantic angel holds.

Twisted? Creepy, or unusual?

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The Golden Skeleton can cut the Thread of Life anytime

Asam Kirche is a Baroque Church in München, in southern part of Germany.Built around 1733 to 1746 by Asam Brothers, sculpture and stucco plaster Egid  Quirin Asam  and Architect/Painter Cosmas Damian Asam. They work closely together and are considered to be one of the prolific Artists in the Late Baroque period.Their notable works spread throughout Germany, particularly in Bavaria, and in Austria. They are also responsible for the impressive church that we have here in the Old Town of Ingolstadt, the Asam Church of Maria Viktoria.

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Details inside  Asam Kirche in Munich

They built the Asam Kirche for personal place of worship, in fact, they can see the church from their private dwelling house.If you love Architecture, then this place has full of notable details for you to enjoy.The gold-accented ceiling fresco “Life of Saint Nepomuk“is one of the masterpiece from the work  Cosmas Damian Asam.

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The elaborate ceiling fresco by Cosmas Damian

 

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With all the oddities and twisted allegories, this church is worthwhile to check out if you are planning to visit Munich. I must say that  the Asam Kirche is a hidden jewel, “klein aber fein ” ( small yet beautifully done). There’s a lot of hidden surprises that awaits for those who are willing to explore it!

 

 

This post is inspired by this week’s Photo Challenge |Twisted

 

Further Reading :

Majestic Dom in Trier , the oldest city in Germany

Architecture above the Liebfrauenmünster

Frauenkirche, the Church with the Devil’s Footprint

Rediscovering the Streets of Regensburg