A comedy story with Dionysus 4 min read

Thunder and Beer

A 'Greek' 19th century temple spotted in Munich (Germany )

Zeus roared. The god of thunder and lightning, master of the skies, son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea and supreme ruler of gods and men cursed and shouted. Hera and Aphrodite stared at him from a distance, occasionally stepping back when he thundered too close by. Ares was at the other side, enjoying the burst of violence from his father. “Husband, please be calm”, the mother goddess pleaded, “there is nothing to be done about it. It is the same story every year”. “And this year I am fed up with it”, Zeus assured while poking his finger annoyingly close to his wife’s face. “I will not allow it anymore.” Ares, the god of war and violence stepped into the inner circle of the temple. “Shall we ‘remove’ them, father? It is very easy to create tensions between humans. Within hours the field will be full of fights. You can take care of what is left with a heavy lightning strike.” “Ares”, Aphrodite shouted, “you shall do none of the sort, you bloodthirsty monster. This is an area of love and peace”. “I want some of that peace”, the supreme god burst out so loud, the Monopteros shook softly on the mountain.

Thunder and Beer
“Hmm,… Beer”, the god of wine and celebration grinned.

Alerted by the noise, Athena and Dionysus walked up the pathway around the small hill. Athena’s armor shone brightly in the low afternoon sun. Upon arriving, Dionysus ignored his brethren and moved to the rails at the end of the temple where a beautiful view over the Englischer Garten took the breath away of a dozen people. The large field stretched out all the way to the horizon which was clearly defined by a skyline of the familiar Munich towers. All over the field were people enjoying the sun. The sound of drums floated softly to his ears. In the distance, he could see a small circle of drummers jamming while others were dancing. There were people frisbeeing, playing football, walking, sunbathing and many, many more were just sitting, drinking a beer and enjoying each others company in the beautiful setting. “Hmm,… Beer”, the god of wine and celebration grinned.

He turned back to the gods, invisible to the people who wondered at the inside of the Monopteros. It was a bright white, round temple. The pillars holding the roof were finished off with typical Greek or Classicist decorations while the roof itself had a red egg-like shaped decoration, like a strawberry on top of a cake. The inside too was beautifully formed. The dome was divided in small red and green squares, while in the middle of the floor, there was a small monument to the kings Maximilian and Ludwig I.

Monopteros,… the Münchner Olympus

“Every year my throne is cold and covered with snow. Every year when the sun finally comes around and warms the Monopteros, hundreds of people swarm to this place to annoy me. I want peace and quiet.” The gods listened in silence.  “Ares is right”, Zeus continued, “I am putting an end to it right now”. Ares smiled and licked his lips in anticipation of the carnage while Zeus walked to the edge of the Monopteros.

Thunder and Beer

From behind the desperate gods, Dionysus stepped forward. “Father, might I first bring your attention to another side of the people here”, he softly smiled while popping open two bottles of beer. He handed over one of the drinks to Zeus. “Look there”, he pointed in the distance, “and there, and there also”. The thundergod’s face softened. “And come look at this side”, his son continued while Zeus started smiling. The other gods stretched their necks to see what was so powerful to be able to change the mood of Zeus. “What is there to be seen?”, Hera wondered out loud. Her eye fell on a girl in a bikini and then another one. And a girl in short skirt. “Husband!”, she shouted, “don’t you dare”. But it was already too late. Happily skipping, Zeus and Dionysus went down from the Monopteros, down from the Münchner Olympus.

About the spot

When we first saw the Monopteros, an image popped into our heads: The Olympus. If the Greek gods were among us and had a summer residence in Munich, surely it must be the Monopteros. A Greek temple on top of a hill, looking out over Munich is a place where these deities would feel at home. And of course, in a city as Munich, known for its celebration, there can only be one true star among the gods: Dionysus, the god of feasts and drink.

Spot brought to you by our friend Simply Munich

Background

A monopteros is a round shaped building with a roof, but no walls. It had, of course, its origin in Greek and Roman times but had a revival of popularity during the Baroque and classicists periods where it was often used in French and English gardens. In German parks too you can find monopteros, for instance in Kassel (The Breakfast Pavilion), Munich (The Apollo Temple) and Hanover (The Leibniz Temple).

Architect Leo von Klenze designed the Englischer Garten Monopteros on a commission of King Ludwig I. It was built in the first half of the 19th century. von Klenze was also responsible for the creation of Bavaria, Ruhmeshalle and many other buildings in Bavaria.

What makes the Monopteros so special is that it is situated on a small hill which gives you a beautiful view over the south part of the Englischer Garten and especially the skyline of the city itself. While visiting the park, this is a must.

80538 Munich, Allemagne Website

Practical information

The Englischer Garten and Monopteros are open 24/7

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