The square in front of the ancient gate Karlstor is also called Stachus after the pub Stachusgarten, once owned by Eustachius Föderl. Officially the square was named Karlsplatz after Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria who created the square in 1797. Karlsplatz is surrounded by the ancient gate Karlstor, the Neuhauser Straße and the rondell buildings. On the other side of the road are the neo-baroque Justizpalast (Palace of Justice), the Hotel Königshof and Galeria Kaufhof, the first postwar department store of Munich. Until the 1970s there was a lot of traffic at Karlsplatz. At this time the Neuhauser Straße was completely pedestrianized. The big fountain at the beginning of the Neuhauser Straße was built in this period, too.
Below Karlsplatz with about 7,500 sqm the shopping mall Stachus Passage as well as U- and S-Bahn are situated. It is one of the biggest underground buildings in Europe. Until 2010 the passage was rebuild and modernized. Today, on working days about 160,000 people pass Stachus Passage. They are a popular place because they have been decorated in bright colours and have a friendly atmosphere.
The History of Karlsplatz (Stachus)
In 1175 the town wall together with the Neuhause Tor was built with a square in front of it. Since 1630 a market was held on the square where Swedish soldiers who occupied Munich in the Thirty Year’ War were selling stolen goods. Over the years Karlsplatz always got busier until it became the busiest square in the whole of Europe in 1960. A saying used by locals until today is „Da geht’s zu wie am Stachus“ (it is busy like the Stachus). In the 1960s the city council decided to change the flow of the traffic at Karlsplatz and to build the Stachus building. The construction work was started in 1966 and when it was finished in November 1970 it was the biggest underground building in the whole of Europe.