Photo Journey to the Munich Residenz
T he Munich Residenz is one of the largest and most opulent palaces in Europe and served as
the main palace and house of government f or Bavarian rulers f or 400 years dating back to 1508.
Today, visitors can tour 130 rooms in the palace with a self- guided audio tour (available in several different languages)
and signage that is both in German and English. The Munich Residenz was severely damaged in World War II, but
significant efforts have been made to restore it and its furnishings as close as possible to its original state.
One of my favorite rooms is the Renaissance Antiquarium pictured above. This impressive room was where royal
banquets were held and today hold the honor of being the largest Renaissance Ceremonial Hall north of the Alps. As I
wandered through the impressive hall, I secretly pretended I was attending a royal banquet. Instead of mingling with
tourists, I was really mingling with royalty. This room is one of the reasons that I believe that frescos are the most
dangerous cultural attraction in Europe.
El e cto r s b e d r o o m
Elector’s bedroom. The original silk wall hangings were destroyed in WW II so these ones intended for another palace
were brought in. While obviously lavish, I personally find it a bit feminine for an Elector.
The Electress’s sparsely decorated Audience Chamber left me wondering about her body functions. The room has one
throne, but two commodes.
An entire section of the Munich Residenz is devoted to the ornate rooms, which was the official apartment of Elector Karl
Albrecht. The lavish rooms are meant to impress and reflect the Elector’s self- claim to Emperor status. The ornate
rooms are one of the most important interiors of the German Rococo style, sometimes referred to as “Late Baroque” a
much different style than found in Heidelberg Castle, Hohenz ollern Castle Lichtenstein Castle. And definitely different
from eccentric King Ludwig II’s fairy tale castles: Linderhof Palace and Neuschwanstein.
The State bedroom may look fit for a king, but in fact was only for representative purposes, the Elector never slept in this
display bedroom. I’m sure it would have been different at Schloss Ludwigsburg where the king’s bedroom got a lot of
use with frequent visits from his lady friends.
The Emperor’s Hall is one of the Court Garden Rooms and largely destroyed in WW II. It has only been partially
reconstructed, but is impressive nevertheless. Today, the Bavarian government hosts events here, but in “exceptional
cases” may be rented out for other functions.
The Court Chapel was reserved for members of court. The ruling family sat in the galleries, while the royal household
sat in the nave. The Court Chapel can be rented out for special functions.
Much more intimate than the Court Chapel is the Ornate Chapel, my favorite room in the Munich Residenz and private
oratory to Duke Maximilian I. The marble on the walls is fake marble, imported from Italy that is more expensive than
And what’s a palace without its very own theater. In the past the theater was only available to members of court, but
today the Cuvilliés theater is the primary venue for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which would be less rainy
than watching a Shakespeare play in Hohenz ollern Castle. The building was largely destroyed in WWII and the original
ceiling paintings are gone, but it is still a major work of Bavarian Rococo and makes an impact upon entrance. Can you
imagine seeing a production here? (It’s on my list!). In addition to the palace, the Munich Residenz also houses the
Treasury, a collection of crown jewels, one of which you can see at The World’s Most Luxurious Travel Kit? making it
one of the largest and most importance palace museums in Europe. For more info visit the official home page of the
Munich Residenz .
Have you visited the Munich Residenz ? What was your favorite part?
Laurel Robbins is a free- spirited adventurer, award- winning travel blogger at Monkeys and Mountains
Adventure Travel Blog. Many hats, one travel obsessed Canadian in Germany.