Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

Situated near the heart of Munich’s Altstadt you’ll find the vast complex of the Munich Residenz. This grand collection of imperial buildings and gardens was home to the Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria for many centuries and seat of the Bavarian government. Suffice to say that Monsieur Le Chic and I spent the best part of a day there (with a pause for lunch in the middle of the day) and still felt we rushed through large sections of the place!

 

 

Originally the Residenz started out as a small citadel or castle to the north east of the centre of Munich in 1385. Gradually more and more buildings were added on to the existing castle until eventually it became the magnificent palace that you can still see today (restored to its glory after heavy destruction in World War 2). The Wittelsbachs began their rule in 1180 and made the Residenz their seat of power from 1508 to 1918 until Ludwig III relinquished his family’s ruling rights at the end of World War 1 and Germany became a republic. With its many courtyards and buildings it took us a while to locate the reception area! We decided to buy a combination ticket for the Residenz Museum, the Treasury and the exquisite Cuvilliés-Theater. Architecture and artefacts that you can see at the Residenz include examples from the Renaissance, early Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical periods. It would be impossible to describe or feature them all here so I’ll include some of my favourites!

The Antiquarium (Hall of Antiquities) is described as “the largest secular Renaissance Hall north of the Alps” and was to my mind the standout feature of the museum – the photos don’t do its beauty justice. It was built between 1568 and 1571 to house the antique sculptures collected by Duke Albrecht V. Thankfully the Antiquarium was restored to its grandeur following its collapse during 2nd World War bombing raids. You can read about the history of the Residenz and its post war reconstruction here.

 

 

 

 

I particularly liked the beautiful decorations of the Reiche Kapelle (Ornate Chapel) with its stunning gilt ceiling and rich lapis blue colours. This chapel was the private place of worship for Duke Maximilian I and his wife and was dedicated in 1607.

 

Gilt and lapis blue decorate the Reiche Kapelle (Ornate Chapel)

Gilt and lapis blue decorate the Reiche Kapelle (Ornate Chapel)

 

Maximilian also oversaw construction of the court chapel, the Hofkapelle, in the early 17th century.

 

Hofkapelle Munich Residenz

Hofkapelle Munich Residenz

 

However the beautiful Rococo style Cuvilliés-Theater would probably be my personal highlight. We nearly passed it by altogether with time being of the essence and didn’t get to see it until later on in the afternoon, by which time our heads were spinning from treasures, antiquities and trying to work out which Wittelsbach ruler was which! The pretty theatre designed by the architect François Cuvilliés the Elder was built by the Elector Maximilian Joseph III between 1751-55 as his new opera house. Mozart’s “Idomeneo” had its first ever performance there in 1781. The Cuvilliés has a French Rococo style feel to it and is surprisingly cosy and intimate with its gorgeous red and gold tier fittings and beautiful carvings. Many of these beautiful fittings are original as they were removed for safe keeping in 1943 and thus survived destruction by the bombing, which devastated many parts of the Residenz in 1944.

 

 

In the event of any confusion about the Bavarian rulers you can come face to face with their images as you walk towards the entrance of the museum. Parts of the Residenz are currently undergoing restoration and so some exhibitions are not on public display but there is still so much to see and do here I doubt anyone would notice the absence of a collection or two!

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

27 thoughts on “A Fine Residenz

  1. The chapel looks indeed very well decorated, I love the blue ceiling !I think blue and gold go perfectly well together, for me it’s a winning pairing !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it was a lovely combination too Gin, which is why I liked it so much. It looked like it had jewels all over it – made a change from some of the darker rooms. Overall I though the Residenz well worth visiting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really impressive. I love the decoration – the painting in the roof. So much details and history. And that theater, wow! I will have it on my lost for next time I visit Munich.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’d been told that the Residenz was well worth visiting by a few people beforehand Hanne and it certainly was! You can buy separate tickets for the museum, treasury and theatre but I’d recommend all 3 if you have the time. I loved the theatre – it wasn’t that big but beautifully decorated 🙂

      Like

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    I think I like the Hofkapelle best. The rest is stunning, but like an over-rich pudding!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The decor of the Reiche Kapelle and Cuvillies Theatre is certainly stunning Anabel but might well be over the top for some tastes! I thought it was so pretty – I loved the colours! The Hofkapelle is wonderful in a different way – larger and very elegant with more muted colours. However the whole Residenz complex is so varied and beautiful in so many different ways that I think most people would find something to their taste (unless they don’t like history or older buildings of course!)

      Like

      1. Anabel Marsh says:

        Dear, dear – who are such people? 😉 I would definitely love to visit.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m sure you’d love it Anabel! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. So grand and spectacular Rosemary – I just love it. Those colours and those ceilings, all incredible. I’ve never been here, I definitely want to go now!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s well worth visiting Joy – had been recommended to me before we went to Munich and so glad we made it there! There is so much more to the Residenz that I couldn’t feature here – vast collections of beautiful china and procelain, jewels etc. I loved all the colours too in the theatre and that gorgeous ceiling in the chapel. Plus I also found all the history of the Wittelsbach dynasty very interesting. So all in all can highly recommend if you’re visiting Munich again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely one for “the list” Rosemary – thank you for the recommendation!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re very welcome Joy 🙂 If you’re ever in Munich and only have a short time for museum and gallery visiting this would be on my “don’t miss” list! Hope you’re having a lovely week 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. ledrakenoir says:

    Really a fascinating walk here – very well captured… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Drake am so glad you enjoyed the tour – the Residenz is well worth a visit! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. restlessjo says:

    What an incredible place, Rosemay! That Antiquarium is special isn’t it? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jo and yes the Antiquarium is pretty special – just standing at either end and looking down the hall was incredible! It’s a beautiful place and so good that it was completely restored after the 2nd World War 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Imposing looking places, Rosemary – particularly the Ornate Chapel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Susan – yes it certainly is an impressive place! The chapel roof looked like it was covered in jewels from a distance it was very sparkly!

      Like

  8. poshbirdy says:

    Wow. This is stunning. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks am glad you enjoyed it – well worth visiting if you’re ever in Munich! 🙂

      Like

  9. Lovely pictures of what looks like a lovely place. We never made inside the Residenz on our visit to Munich as we were too busy drinking hot wine at the various Christmas Markets…(Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds irresistible Suzanne – Christmas markets and gluehwein I’m not surprised you didn’t make it to the Residenz I wouldn’t have done so either in that case! The Christmas Markets remain high on my wish list – one year! 🙂

      Like

      1. It is indeed and I loved the Christmas Markets experience…the only problem for you would be that you have to leave your comfortable summer to get to Germany in winter. It was quite cold the day we visited Munich and there were a bit of snow on the ground…(Suzanne)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes I would definitely feel the cold Suzanne! Last night, after a spring heatwave, it dropped down to 6 degrees overnight and we thought that was freezing! I thought it was rather cold in April when we were in Munich…! Still I would love to visit the Christmas markets one day 🙂

          Like

  10. Sartenada says:

    Chapel photos are gorgeous. Thank You showing them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – the Residenz was very impressive glad you liked the photos! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: