The Residenz

10:49:00 AM Brooke Neal 0 Comments




This morning I set out for a grand adventure, visiting the Munich Residenz. My goal was to enjoy something kid free and dilly dally as much as I liked.  I bought a ticket and proceeded to get on the train when the person behind me said, "you have to validate your ticket before getting on."  That bit of info came a bit too late and I ended up missing the train and had to wait 20 minutes for the next one.

The Details
Address: Residenzstrasse 1, 80333 Munich, Germany  (089) 290 671
Transportation:  U-bahn Odeonsplatz, S-bahn Marianplatz
Cost: 7e adults, children under 18 free
Time: 2+hours
Tip:  If you are a lover of historic homes, palaces and monuments you might consider the yearly Bayerischen Schlosserverwaltung.  It gives you free access to over 40 sites in Bavaria.  45e single/65e family pass.  Well worth the money if you want to explore Bavaria.  Buy it at any participating site. 


Next stop, Marinplatz where I would walk to the Residenz, the family palace of the Wittlesbachs, the ruling family in Bavaria for 700 years. It promised to be grand and boy did it deliver. This was a rare treat that I could not have enjoyed with children. I actually listened to all the facts on my audio guide. I sat down and gazed at the beautifully painted ceilings. Every painting, fresco, scene has symbolic meaning. If you know the symbols, you get the point of the painting.
This cool fountain shows Mercury cutting off the head of Medusa. Originally, red wine flowed from the base of her head. Today it's just water, but cool huh!

This court yard was reserved for family and important courtisans.


This crazy garden area is called the grotto. It is made of fresh water shells. It is odd and sort of cheap looking, but it was en vogue at the time.

This room is called the antiquarium because it houses a collection of busts from antiquity. It also served as a large banquet hall.


You can see porcelain dishware made especially for the family for such events in this glass cabinet. Each dish has a different scene taken from Bible stories or Greek/Roman myth.


This ceiling was painted to give an optical illusion of the room being taller than it really is. Unfortunately for the artist, you have to be standing in the center of the room for the illusion to work. It does work, but I couldn't get a good shot because the chandelier is right there giving off to much light.

This gorgeous bed was for show only, no one actually ever slept in it.
This church is now used as a concert hall. Very little of the original decoration remained after WW2. You can see just a small portion of painted plaster under that arch.
If you look at the ceiling, you can see where the original building meets the reconstructed ceiling.
The photo on the left shows what the Cathedral looked like in it's hay day. In the middle you can see the bombed out version after WW2 and the photo on the right is during reconstruction.
I love this photo because of the symbolism behind it. The emperor is holding a stick (military rule) in one hand and The Bible (the law) in the other. Behind him on one side are lawyers and on the other soldiers. A ruler with wisdom (the lawyers) will rule with both military strength and God's law--weighing them equally.

Music room and that checker board table was the Emperor's game table.

All the decoration has symbolic meaning. The sun, the pine cones, the metal chain, cornucopia and crown.

This is a crazy fancy chest--Rococo style


These rooms were kept empty, reserved for special guests and high dignitaries. Only when guests came to town were the walls covered in these gigantic tapestries.


This part of the house was for the Pope when he visited. This is his receiving room. Bavaria was given to the Wittlebach family by the church.



When guests arrived at the palace they were brought up the stairs, through a set of double doors into this room. Everything that looks like marble is actually stucco polished and painted to look like marble. The effect is amazing because it looks like the real deal.
This was the private chapel of Maximilian I. It originally held the "holy relics" pictured below.

Another chapel

According to the Pope, the reliquary was the sign of your wealth. Holy Relics were a big thing during the Renaissance era. They were good luck charms and something you prayed to. Artisans created elaborate pieces to hold the hair and bones of these Saints. This skull wrapped in green cloth and pearls is said to be the head of John the Baptist.
There is a baby mummy in this case. It is said to be the remains of a child thrown in the river during the reign of King Harrod. Honestly, the room was pretty creepy to me!

This is the Ancestory Hall.  I love the idea of knowing your ancestry in such a personal way.


I dilly dallied way to long at the Palace, but it was an awesome first outing alone.


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