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Residence Palace

Gallery

A royal location where the monarchy of Bavaria lived & reigned, a location where architectural elegance & art were of utmost importance & a location where today anyone can delve into the Bavarian history & enjoy remnants of this German dynasty.

Photo Hotspots

Residenz, Munich

Hofgarten

War Memorial

Cuvilliestheater

Antiquarium

Allerheiligen-Hofkirche

Wittelsbacher Fountain

Colour Gallery

The complex of buildings making up the Munich Residenz, containing 10 courtyards and more than 130 rooms is the largest palace in Germany & was once the home to the Wittelsbach family, a Bavarian dynasty founded by King Otto I way back in 1180. Since then Dukes, Electors & Kings have had the power to the last ruling King of Bavaria, Ludwig III who was deposed in 1918. Today, the head of the Wittelsbach family & pretender to the Bavarian throne is Franz, Duke of Bavaria, born in Munich in 1933 who lives to this day in a wing of the Palace of Nymphenburg.

The Residenz boasts a number of architectural highlights such as 10 courtyards of various sizes including the Brunnenhof (Fountain Courtyard) where tornaments were held before the Wittelsbacher Fountain was installed in 1610.

The Festsaalbau, a neo-classical 250 m long Banquetting Hall Wing bordering the Courtyard Garden was added between 1832 & 1842 for King Ludwig I by Leo von Klenze & houses the large throne room & the royal reception halls.

These are just a few of the numerous highlights to be discovered inside the grounds of the Residenz, others include the Cuvilliés Theatre, the Königsbau on Max-Joseph-Platz, the Herkulessaal, the Byzantine Court Church of All Saints on the east side facing the Marstall, the former Court Riding School & the royak stables, the Residenz Museum, the Treasury & the State Coin Collection.

ANCESTRAL GALLERY

This opulent hall of fame was commissioned to court architect Joseph Effner who in cooperation with Francois Cuvilliés, Wenzeslaus Miroffsky & Johann Baptist Zimmermann created a richly gilt & stucco decorated gallery housing over 100 portraits of the Wittelsbach family.

ORNATE ROOMS

One of the many lead crystal chandeliers to be found throughout the Residence Palace especially in the Electoral & Rich rooms.

ORNATE CHAPEL

Much more intimate than the Court Chapel is the Ornate Chapel. It’s one of smallest, intime rooms in the Residenz serving as a private oratory to Duke Maximilian I.

COURT CHAPEL

The Court Chapel was only worshipping members of the court seated on the ground floor whilst the ruling family sat in the galleries above, made easily accessible from their apartments. The large painting behind the altar by Hans Werl describes the the Virgin enthroned in glory beneath the trinity.

IMPERIAL STAIRCASE

This stately looking stairway in the northern wing of the Imperial Courtyard was built under Maximilian I & granted access to the state rooms of the early Baroque Residence & is decorated with ancestral figures of the Wittelsbach family.

IMPERIAL HALL

The Imperial Staircase opens into the vestibule of the Imperial Hall, also built under Maximilian I at the beginning of the 17th century. At this time the hall was the largest and most important room in the whole palace for festivities and other important ceremonies.

OPTICAL ILLUSION

I discovered this rather extravagant looking chandelier in one of the many halls that you can walk through on the museum tour but what fascinated me more was the painted optical illusion of perspective depth on the ceiling.

COURTYARD LANTERN

The imperial Courtyard entered from the east from the Residenzstrasse is the second largest courtyard in the palace annex & was constructed from 1612 to 1618 during the reign of Duke Maximilian I. Not very charismatic for my taste with the only interesting detail being the ornamental iron lanterns lining the courtyard.

THE ANTIQUARIUM

This 66 m long hall is the largest, most lavish piece of Reanaissance architecture north of the Alps built during the reign of Duke Albrecht V between 1568 to 1571 for his collection of antique sculptures, thus the name.

HOFGARTEN FLAIR

The Courtyard Garden adjacent to the Residence palace is a much frequented park to relax for a while, rest the weiry feet & observe the daily life in Munich. The central pavilion is often the scene of buskers & classical dancing in the summer months adding additional cultural flair.

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

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STATELY GREENHOUSE

The Bavarian State Chancellory was built between 1989 & 1993 around the central dome of the former Bavarian Army Museum which after being built in 1905 was destroyed during the Second World War. The two fully glazed wings of the chancellory remind me personally of a greenhouse.

HOFGARTEN IN AUTUMN LOOK

An Autumn view of the Hofgarten Pavilion with the Theatinerkirche with its yellow facade in the distant background.

COMMUNICATION OLD SCHOOL

Not normal these days that a young couple talk to each other on a one to one basis as demonstrated here. The modern way of communication has been reduced to SMS & Social Media.

ROMANTIC BANTER

Who knows, maybe this young couple have just met & are engaged in a romantic conversation or on the other hand having an argument & drifting apart. Speculation over speculation. They might even be talking about the weather which was glorious today.

HOFGARTEN IN WINTER LOOK

A rather cold & depressing weather front today I’m afraid but is all part of living in Munich in Winter you know.

ARCHITECTURAL ILLUSION

The walls of the buildings surrounding the Imperial Courtyard are painted probably due to the extreme destruction during WWII air raids where much of the Residence was destroyed or severely damaged. I didn’t believe the walls to be painted the first time I saw them but it is true & that is why the decoration is also called an Optical Illusion, pretty awesome.

HOFGARTEN TEMPLE

The pavilion centered in the Court Garden next to the Residence was designed by Heinrich Schön the Elder & built in 1615. The eight arches define the division of the garden by a cross form & diagonal paths. Capped by a bronze figure of Tellus Bavarica this symbolizes the treasures of the Bavarian land: Grain, game, water & salt.

WITTELSBACHER FOUNTAIN

The Fountain Courtyard (Brunnenhof) an octagonal construction completed during the reign of Duke Maximilian I takes its name from the fountain in its centre depicting a bronze statue of Duke Otto I, the first duke of Bavaria from the Wittelsbacher family.

UNDER THE ARCHES

On the northern edge of the Hofgarten is this long covered gallery originating from 1780 & at that time used as the Electoral Gallery of the Art Club founded in 1824. Today the long arcade is home to creative boutiques & art galleries.

ARISTOCRATIC ENTERTAINMENT

The Cuvilliés Theatre named after its architect Francois Cuvilliés the Elder was an exclusively reserved opera house for the members of court only.

CULTURAL HIGHLIGHT

Many exuberant operas have been performed here over the past couple of centuries including the first ever performances of Mozart’s Idomeneo in 1781.

ROCOCO DREAM IN RED & GOLD

Sadly, due to destruction of the original building housing the theatre in 1944 the site was taken over by the New Residence Theatre built between 1945 to 1951.

CUVILLIES THEATRE

The Rococo style theatre was originally situated on the site where the present New Residence Theatre resides between the Residence Palace & the National Theatre on Max-Joseph-Platz. The four floors, each consisting of 14 loges enclose the ground floor in a horseshoe form.

SNOWY SPRING MORNING

A nice winter view of the Theatinerkirche on Odeonsplatz captured from the northern gallery of the Hofgarten.

COURTYARD GARDEN TEMPLE

It is hard to imagine how quiet it was as I set up my tripod here in the Hofgarten that evening. It is amazing how much sound snow can absorb making the surroundings feel so serene. The sky was coated with a thin layer of cloud & the Theatinerkirche looked awesome with its illuminated facade.

BAVARIAN STATE CHANCELLORY

This is where Horst Seehofer, present Bavarian State Minister has his place of work.

THEATINER CHURCH ST. KAJETAN

This prime example of Italian High-Baroque was inspired by Sant’Andrea della Valle in Rome & indeed designed by an Italian by the name of Agostino Barelli. The yellow facade in Rococo style was completed in 1768 by François de Cuvilliés & became a renowned symbol for Munich & had great influence on the German Baroque architecture.

BAYERISCHE STAATSKANZLEI

Influenced by the Italian Renaissance the central dome is what has been left of the Bavarian Army Museum after being reconstructed as the Bavarian State Chancellory. Today the State Chancellery is represented by Bavarian missions in the German capital Berlin and to the European Union in Brussels.

IMPERIAL COURTYARD

The Imperial Courtyard with its painted facade was restored after 66 bombing raids during World War II. The clock tower that you see here was rebuilt from scratch & many of the rooms were restored by the 1980’s.

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Did You Know?

Munich was founded in 1158 by Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony & Bavaria near a settlement (Munichen) that was established in Carolingian times. In 1255 it was chosen as the home of the Wittelsbach family, the dukes of Bavaria and became later in 1506 the capital of the dukedom.

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