In late June 2009, shortly after the news of Michael Jackson's passing, residents of Munich came together to create a makeshift memorial in his honor. They commandeered the base of a statue dedicated to a renaissance composer and transformed it into a tribute to the King of Pop, leaving wreaths, personal tributes, and other mementos as a way to pay their respects.
I had only had one beer - that was one thing I could be sure of, and even then, German beers are nowhere near as potent as their Belgian counterparts. Since having spent the hour prior mopping up sauerkraut and mustard with freshly baked bread and weisswurst in the Viktualienmarkt - washing it down with only one small “Konterbier” – I had begun aimlessly ambling the Altstadt, Munich's Medieval Old Town, famous for its great buildings, Beerhalls, and pedestrian lined streets.
Wandering further afield I stopped upon the Promenadeplatz – a delightful small city park home to multiple statues and monuments to great Bavarians. I was initially drawn in towards a larger-than-life statue of Maximilian Joseph Graf von Montgelas, an imposing aluminium layered block sculpture depicting the statesman in portrait pose. Perhaps made more attention-grabbing for its unusual colour, and contemporary appearance and presence amongst the neighbouring traditional monuments.
Aluminium block sculpture of Maximilian Joseph Graf von Montgelas
However, as I walked towards the adjacent exit I stumbled across something I never expected to see: a shrine to the King of pop, Michael Jackson.
So many questions running through my mind.
Merely hours after his death in June 2009, residents of Munich – and ardent fans of Michael Jackson - commandeered the base of a renaissance composer's statue and turned it into a memorial to the late great King of pop, laying wreaths and personal tributes.
The statue proudly stands in front of the hotel "Bayerischer Hof", a posh five-star hotel where Michael reportedly stayed whilst touring in the German capital. Not to be mistaken with the hotel "Adlon" in Berlin where Michael Jackson was famously recorded dangling a baby over a balcony window.
Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus
Although it has never been officially sanctioned, the unofficial monument to Michael Jackson has so far been "tolerated" by locals and city officials, and has continued to serve as a makeshift pilgrimage for over a decade. The monument itself is surprisingly well-maintained, with fresh flowers and laminated images, drawings, photographs, memorabilia, poems, and other keepsakes being left constantly.
Lots of tributes and messages, with old photographs of the late star
"Angel of love"
If you're passing through the area, it's definitely worth checking out this weird and offbeat tribute. And after all that walking, perhaps it's time for another German beer or two!
Alistair is a passionate traveler who has explored a diverse array of cultures and countries, having visited over 50 destinations across multiple continents.
Currently in: London, United Kingdom — @0_7734