Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Directions to go to Munich

From Bram Stoker's Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller p. 34-5: 'Directions in letter of Count to go to Munich stop at Quatre Saisons & wait instructions. Start on same day & arrive direct service. Visit to Pinacothek museum & to Dead House - telling how brought about.'
According to Bram Stoker's notes for Dracula, Jonathan Harker's travel route was: London - Paris - Munich - Salzburg - Vienna - Budapest - Klausenburg - Bistritz. In Munich he stayed at the Quatre Saisons hotel, now Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Maximilianstrasse, part of the Kempinski group. Opened in 1858 as a state of the art hotel, it is still considered one of the leading hotels of the world. Judging by the only Kempinski hotel I have myself stayed at, the luxurious Hotel Adlon in Berlin, the Vier Jahreszeiten is no doubt worth a stay - if you can afford it.

Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten
The relationship between the short story Dracula's Guest and Dracula, the novel, is disputed, but elements from the short story can be found in some of Stoker's notes for the novel. These include a visit to the Pinakothek, which at the time consisted of two collections, the Alte Pinakothek and the Neue Pinakothek. Today a Pinakothek der Moderne has been added. The collections exhibit many well-known and important pieces of art, e.g. Michael Pacher's 15th century set of four paintings from St. Augustine's life, including that of the Devil showing Augustine the Book of Vices. Currently the Alte Pinakothek is exhibiting an interesting collection of motifs from the Old Testament.

Alte Pinakothek
Stoker possibly intended Harker to visit the Opera for a performance of Wagner's Flying Dutchman, no doubt at the Nationaltheater München. There are, of course, also other things to enjoy while in Munich.

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