March 25


Munich Kindl – for over 600 years…

By Frank

March 25, 2023

Facades, fountains, spiers, bridges or manhole covers - the Munich Kindl is omnipresent in the city .

You just have to look a little. Munich's official small coat of arms shows a monk looking to the right , wearing a black robe with a gold border and red shoes in a silver coat of arms.

He has raised his right hand to swear an oath , in his left he is holding a red oath book or city law book, according to the official interpretation. But a book of the Gospels and a blessing hand are also considered possible. The coats of arms - there is also a less well-known large city coat of arms - have been in force since 1957 and are so-called talking coats of arms . They refer to the name of the city, which was Munichen - from the Old High German Munich for monk - when it was first mentioned in a document in 1158.

AHA! cool...

Further development of the city coat of arms "Münchner Kindl"

Munich_development of the city coat of arms

Munich_Wappen Source:Münchner-Spaziergä

The first surviving city seal from 1239 shows the head of a monk with his hood pulled over a stylized city gate. From 1304 onwards, a standing monk with a tonsure , a blessing hand and a book of the Gospels is depicted. The monk in the triangular shield has been the city 's coat of arms symbol since 1304 . The raised right hand of the monk is interpreted as a blessing gesture . The red book in the left hand refers to the city's oath book (the right oath hand goes with it) or the city law book, which has been handed down as a red-bound manuscript from 1365. It is also interpreted as a gospel book.

Since the 16th century, the city coat of arms has been repeatedly changed and presented differently by various artists. The monk became more and more childish. The name Münchner Kindl was first documented in 1727 .

Secularization 1803

Following the example of France, the electors were given the opportunity to appropriate the land, property and rights of the Catholic Church , the free imperial cities and smaller imperial princes. This expropriation of church property is referred to as secularization ("secularization"). On February 25, 1803, this procedure was legally secured by the so-called Reichsdeputationshauptschluss . Through the annexation of bishoprics and monasteries in old Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia, it was able to more than compensate for its losses to France on the left bank of the Rhine .

In the course of secularization in Bavaria in 1803, not only were the monasteries abolished , but the monk in the Munich coat of arms also had to give way . But civil protests and the later overthrow of the responsible minister Montgelas would have allowed the monk to return to Munich's landmark. It has existed in its current form since 1957 and serves as the national emblem of the offices and institutes in Munich .

Brought to life, chosen as a cult figure...

The Münchner Kindl was first brought to life by the painter Kaspar Braun . He had the Munich child (represented as a boy) rise from the coat of arms in his 1847 drawing. The 85 meter high town hall tower is crowned by the Munich Kindl , which was created by Anton Schmid, with his son Wiggerl (Ludwig Schmid-Wildy) posing as a model . Then the figure - especially on picture (post) cards - achieved overwhelming popularity , which also provides information about the lifestyle of the people of Munich and their visitors at the time.

At the turn of the century , writing postcards was as popular as selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower. Kindl mania broke out and the popular postcard motif adorned logos and objects and was often depicted in everyday scenes . Quite often she had suspiciously red cheeks, a beer mug, radishes or radishes in her hand.


Münchner Kindl - First male, then female...

Incidentally, the Munich Kindl was originally a guy . A monk, more precisely, who stands for the first documented name of our city: apud Munichen . Munich is the Old High German term for monk . As the official heraldic figure, the Munich Kindl wears a gold-edged black robe and red shoes , holds a red book of oaths in its left hand and raises its right hand to swear an oath . Since the 16th century, the city coat of arms has been altered and represented differently by various artists . Because the monk was becoming more and more childlike , he was first called the Munich Kindl in 1727 . Finally, in the 1920s, the boy became a girl .

Munich Kindl in the Nazi era

In 1936, the capital of the movement was given a new coat of arms by a decree by the Führer, which was in use until 1945: the lion above the gate with the monk was replaced by the National Socialist regime’s national eagle , and the roofs of the gate towers and the adjoining crenellated wall were removed. In 1949 there was a return to the two coats of arms of 1865, for which Eduard Ege created modern, stylized designs.

During the Nazi era, the image of the Munich Kindl in beer advertising was consolidated. Black and white postcards appear, with the new sights... the " Brown House ", the " House of German Art ", the " Fuehrer Buildings " on the " Königlicher Platz ". Finally, the Second World War is too terrible, it is not accompanied by any Munich Kindl operations . In the years after the Second World War, the Münchner Kindl experienced only a slight rise in Munich's self-portrayal and beer advertising.

What's exciting to see

Companion through Munich

However, the Munich Kindl does not only embody the city coat of arms . It is also a Munich essence that is present at various festivals and events. The Oktoberfest is considered the most important venue for the Munich Kindl. It leads the entry of the Oktoberfest innkeepers and stands next to the mayor of the city when he opens the festival with a ceremonial "Ozapft is ".

Sitting on a horse, dressed in a black and yellow Franciscan habit and holding a beer mug , the Munich Kindl also leads the traditional costume and rifle parade that takes place annually on the first Sunday of the Oktoberfest. Since 1938, a young woman from Munich has been regularly married by the Festring München e. V., mostly from the circle of breweries, showmen or Wiesn landlords , is appointed to the Munich Kindl and represents the Bavarian capital as a kind of ambassador.

Famous Münchner Kindl were, for example , Pumuckl author Ellis Kaut in 1938 or the presenter Hannelore Fischer in 1979/80.

Munich Kindl on the horse

Munich Kindl Source: Pinterest

The Munich Kindl is often used as a symbol

used and is for the Bavarian coziness and way of life

an important part of the Bavarian culture, hospitality and openness of the city.

About the author

It is more valuable to experience a place in detail than many small impressions of an incomprehensible whole.

Genius Loci - discovering, capturing and experiencing the spirit of a place. Perceive - understand - enjoy!

As a graduate industrial engineer with an additional MBA degree from a renowned university in England (EMBA, EQUIS and AACSB accredited), I have been showing other, often surprising, paths to success for more than 30 years at C-Level (Head of Marketing and Sales worldwide).

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