The Munich Residence is another one of the exquisite palaces that the Bavarian Kings and Queens called home.
About The Munich Residence And Its History
The history of the Munich Residence begins in 1385. Duke Stephan III (“the Fop”) started construction of this grand palace with the Neuveste, the “new fortress” and its large moats.
The palace was extended during his reign and even further under the rule of Duke Albrecht V who was responsible for adding on the Antiquarium for storage of the royal collection of classical sculptures. His successor, Duke Wilhelm V was instrumental in the expansion and embellishment of the Antiquarium. He added more elaborate furniture and also brought the Grottenhof buildings and Schwarzer Saal (Black Hall).
While each ruler of the Munich Residence added their own distinct part of the palace, perhaps Maximilian I was the most ambitious of all these men. His accomplishments and embellishments of the Residence are numerous. Among his contributions are the Court Chapel, the Ornate Chapel, the Ladies-at-Court rooms, and the origins of the Court Garden. He also began the construction of buildings around the area of the Fountain Court and the Emperor’s Court.
Over the centuries, each ruler made further developments in the palace. The last duke of the Residence, Ludwig III, installed electricity, modern plumbing, central heat and an elevator in the early 20th century. By 1920, the Munich Residence became a public museum.
In 1944, the palace was heavily damaged. The Munich Residence once boasted 23,000 square meters of roofing; in the aftermath of the bombing, just 50 square meters remained. Reconstruction started swiftly after the war’s end and continued up to 2003.
Munich Residence Highlights And Features
In the Residenz Museum, you’ll see many treasures that were once hidden away to protect them from the Allies’ bombs in the 1940s. There is an extensive collection of porcelain, silver, miniatures and paintings, all of which were much loved by the Wittelsbachs.
There are also classical sculptures that date back to ancient times, precious tapestries and of course, the Royal Rooms themselves which include the Throne Room among others.
What you don’t see in the Residenz Museum, you will find in the Treasury. Some amazingly intricate and priceless pieces are on display here. You’ll see royal crowns — including that of the Queen of Bavaria — decorated with ivory, jewels and crystal. The Wittelsbachs’ penchant for collecting is evident here as treasures from medieval times up to their contemporary time are all here for your enjoyment.
Don’t miss the jeweled statuettes, ornate cups of ostrich eggs and sapphire or the incredibly intricate carved chests of ivory.
The Court Garden was another of Duke Maximilian I’s improvements to the Munich Residence. Dating back to 1613, the garden lies just beyond the old defensive moat of the castle. The graceful central pavilion is one of the oldest parts of the garden, and designed by Heinrich Schön the Elder.
Visitors will delight in the many fountains, trees and sculptures in this elegant park.
Munich Residence Location And Opening Hours
Enter the street address Residenzstraße 1 in your GPS for step-by-step directions. Just be aware, the Munich Residence doesn’t have its own parking lot. You can use the National Theater’s underground parking garage for a nominal fee.
It may be even simpler to get here by public transportation. Use the S-bahn suburban railway, lines S1, S2, or S4-8 and get off at the stop for Marienplatz. You can use the underground metro, the U-bahn, lines U3 or U6 to Marienplatz or Odeonplatz. Bus 100 will also run right to the Odeonplatz. Or, lastly, you can use tram number 19 to the National Theater.
Munich Residence Opening Hours
The Munich Residence is open daily in the summer months (April to October) from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. In the winter, the hours are shorter, from just 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Residence is closed on certain holidays, namely, New Years, Christmas and Shrove Tuesday.
Munich Residence Web site: http://www.residenz-muenchen.de