As winter turned to spring this year, my husband and I said, “we live so close to the Alps, and who knows for how long… we must go, and often!” Really, in about an hour, we can be surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes. So we decided to take some day trips. Road tripping, but with the train. Rail tripping.
First up? Murnau. Ever since I had visited the Lenbachhaus in Munich, where the Blaue Reiter art is on exhibit, I’ve wanted to visit the home of Gabriele Münter in Murnau, where she and Kandinsky and their posse lived and painted. The house is a museum, and is the birth place, so to speak, of the Blaue Reiter movement. The surrounding landscape and local culture provided their inspiration. When you see the explosions of color on canvas depicting the village of Murnau and the mountain panorama there… you just want to go see the real thing!
So, off we went on a Sunday afternoon. It was a glorious, sunshine-y day!
We spent time first walking in the center of the small village and up around the large church and cemetery on the hill, where you can get a great view of the mountains. On a Sunday afternoon, most shops are closed, but restaurants (and, importantly, ice cream shops) are open.
We then headed to the Münter house, which is a little walk away from the center of the village. The way is well marked with signs. Admission was only 3 Euro.
The house and the artwork housed there have a “meta” feeling. In some cases you’re viewing the subject matter (on a painting) within the subject matter (the actual room itself). Paintings of the house inside the house. Most of the rooms are furnished with the original pieces that can also be seen in the artwork. It was interesting to see the “real thing” and the artists’ depiction of that thing side-by-side. The artists also turned the house itself into a work of art, painting on the walls, furniture, and woodwork.
From the garden, you could see the view of the house that appears in several paintings and over to the church in the distance where we had been earlier in the afternoon. This gives an idea of the distance we walked, from the church to the museum.
After our museum visit we headed back to the center of Murnau and landed in a biergarten behind the Schloßmuseum, where we sat in the late afternoon sunshine and tried a local brew before heading back to the train station.
What a beautiful day.
The train ride from Munich to Murnau am Staffelsee takes 55 minutes and leaves hourly from Munich Hauptbahnhof. The cheapest way to go is with a Bayern Ticket. There’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the Murnau train station to the village itself.
It was the perfect little trip for a Sunday afternoon!