When viewed from the front, this enormous bench looks like it’s isolated on an island within a creek. Look closely, and you’ll realize the peaceful seat is actually plopped atop a peninsula and can be walked to. A strip of land behind the bench, hidden from view by a veil of trees, leads in-the-know visitors to the secluded spot.
A beautiful wood and stone temple once stood where the bench is within Munich’s English Garden. The temple, which had been designed and built in the 18th century, featured a statue of Apollo. But as much of the temple was made of wood, it wasn’t long before the whole structure began to fall into disrepair.
In 1838, Leo von Klenze, court architect to Bavarian King Ludwig I, replaced the ruined temple with the massive stone bench. The round base of the temple inspired its curved design. The seat is inscribed with the a simple reminder of the changed landscape: “Hier wo Ihr wallet, da war sonst Wald nur und Sumpf” (“Here where you meander was once only wood and marsh”).
The bench is occasionally used by local students to read, study, or have a late night beer. It would be more popular, but many don’t realize it’s publicly accessible.