Residents of the Bogenhausen, Lehel and Haidhausen neighbourhoods, as well as people from all over the city, gather annually one weekend in July to celebrate the Friedensengelfest (Angel of Peace Festival). Although many revellers have no idea about this event's history, it marks the anniversary of the monument having been saved.
The Förderkreis Friedensengel (Sponsors of the Angel of Peace Monument) was founded in 1981 to save the monument, which over the years had fallen into disrepair. The names Gustav Matschl and his colleague Paul Reinhardt, both members of the Bavarian CSU political party, come up repeatedly when people talk about those early days. Their organisation was able to raise the funds that ultimately kept the golden angel perched atop the column, and from tumbling down.
In 1983, they had the first party to celebrate the monument's successful renovation, and apparently they had such a good time that the organisers decided to make it a yearly event. This year was no exception.
On Saturday, local singers Lady Sunshine and Günther Grauer entertained the early arrivals with well-known, crowd-pleasing tunes. There were German Schlager and English-language lounge songs crooned to the delight of those gathered. When asked where one could hear them sing, the friendly performers immediately responded that Mr. Grauer's nightclub, in Herzog Willem Street near Sendlinger Tor, had nightly music on every evening except Sunday.
As the evening progressed, a greater variety of performers arrived to the pleasure of the ever growing crowd. Typical Bavarian fare was enjoyed, along with the requisite beer and Sekt that one might expect in such a setting. Despite temporary rain showers, the assembled party-goers enjoyed each other's company on a cool summer's night.
The weather was much kinder to those who chose to take part on Sunday. Beautiful skies and glorious sunshine helped create a bit of typical Munich Gemütlichkeit (a word best translated as coziness), which was on display as the sun set over the rooftops of this beautiful city.
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