The Rathaus-Glockenspiel of Munich is a tourist attraction in Marienplatz, the heart of Munich, Germany.  Munich's mechanical clock is part of the second construction phase of the New Town Hall, it dates from 1908. Every day at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. (as well as 5 p.m. in the summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the amusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures.

The top part of the clock recounts the story of the fantastically expensive and sumptuous marriage of Bavarian Duke Wilhelm V in 1568 (who also founded the world famous Hofbräuhaus, more details below) to Renata of Lorraine. The original party lasted two weeks, and was attended by thousands of revelers, the highlight being the royal joust, which took place in the Marienplatz where the clock is now located.  In honor of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and blue) and Lothringen (in red and white). The Bavarian knight wins every time, of course.

This is then followed by the bottom half and second story: Schäfflertanz (the coopers' dance). According to tradition, the Schäfflerstanz, or Cooper’s Dance is tied to the end of a 1517 plague when the local coopers lured the frightened residents back out into the streets with some foot slapping dancing. The coopers are said to have danced through the streets to "bring fresh vitality to fearful dispositions." The details may be apocryphal, but Munich did indeed suffer a terrible plague in 1635 which wiped out about a third of the population.  The coopers remained loyal to the duke, and their dance came to symbolize perseverance and loyalty to authority through difficult times. This was described in 1700 as "an age-old custom", but the current dance was defined only in 1871.  Considered one of the last original guild dances in Germany, the Schäfflerstanz is traditionally reenacted by live dancers every seven years during the festival of Fasching. The next one is in 2019.

The whole show lasts somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes long depending on which tune it plays that day. At the very end of the show, a very small golden rooster at the top of the Glockenspiel chirps quietly three times, marking the end of the spectacle.

A relatively recent addition to the ancient town square, the glockenspiel was built in 1908 as part of the second half of building on the gingerbread Gothic-revival New Town Hall. Amazingly, the building escaped major damage during the heavy bombardment during WWII which left other buildings nearby roofless. A 2007 renovation apparently left the carillon out of tune, but it has since been remedied.

The show starts daily at 11am, with additional shows at noon and 5pm in the summertime, lasting 12-15 minutes long. For a higher vantage point, head to the Hugendubel bookshop across the street and climb to the third floor.

Making a smaller nighttime appearance, at 9pm two figures - an angel on one side, and a night watchman on the other - emerge below the clock face.

A couple of blocks away is the Hofbraeuhaus founded by Wilhelm V to meet his needs for brown ale, the first brewery in the city. Lavish wedding and beer aside, Duke Wilhelm V was also known as a militant Catholic leader who took increasingly drastic measures both of personal piety and of public anti-Protestant policy. Under his leadership Bavaria became known as the center of early counter-reformation actions, including the final expulsion of Catholics from Bavaria and numerous witch hunts - a legacy which continued after his death by his son Maximillian I.