Old Schleißheim Palace near Munich: A great tip for tourists

Altes Schloss Schleißheim, Foto: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung - www.schloesser.bayern.de
Foto: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung - www.schloesser.bayern.de

Art Museum with Historical Charm: The Old Schleißheim Palace

The Old Schleißheim Palace (German: "Altes Schloss Schleißheim") is rather modest in size, but is still a great tip for tourists. See why a trip to the Munich area is worthwhile.

The Old Schleißheim Palace at a glance

  • The Oberschleißheim palace complex comprises a total of three palaces and an extensive garden. It can be reached quickly by S-Bahn from Munich and is perfect for a day trip.
  • The Old Palace dates back to the Schwaige Schleißheim, which the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm V had built in the lonely moorland in 1597. Under Wilhelm's son Maximilian I, the courtyard and the palace building acquired their present dimensions.
  • The building currently houses, among other things, two important collections of paintings from the Bavarian National Museum.
  • The rooms can be visited independently, there are no regular guided tours of the Old Palace.

Villa Building of the Late Renaissance

Altes Schloss Schleißheim, Foto: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung - www.schloesser.bayern.de
Foto: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung - www.schloesser.bayern.de

If you approach the Old Palace of Schleißheim from the west, you initially have the impression that you are entering a simple courtyard estate. Only the passage at the clock tower reveals the view of the Old Palace. The ornate villa building in the style of the late renaissance already impresses its visitors from the outside.

During a walk through the courtyard garden, you can then wander along broderies, hedges, water features, fountains and cascades.

Painting Collections of the Bavarian National Museum

Museum im Alten Schloss Schleißheim, Foto: Bayerisches Nationalmuseum München
Foto: Bayerisches Nationalmuseum München

Today, the building houses two collections of the Bavarian National Museum: The north wing is home to the museum "The Year of God and its Festivals" on religious festive and everyday culture. Here, colorful displays of cross-community calendar customs from around the world await the visitor.

In the south wing, the museum "Es war ein Land ..." (There was a country ...) is dedicated to the regional studies of East and West Prussia in a collection comprising 400 objects. Furthermore, the exhibition revolves around famous personalities, such as philosopher Immanuel Kant, painter Lovis Corinth or writers Ernst Wichert and Max Halbe.

Directions and parking

Public transport: S-Bahn S 1 to "Oberschleißheim", then it is a 10 to 15 minute walk or you can take the bus to the "Schloss" stop.

By car: Oberschleißheim can be reached via the A 92 (exit Oberschleißheim), A 99 (exit Neuherberg), as well as the federal roads B 13 and B 471.

Excursion destinations near the Schleißheim castle complex

  • There are other castles to discover on the Schleißheim castle grounds. A special attraction are also the gondola rides on the castle canal in summer.
  • Helicopters, military aircraft and many other aerospace exhibits await you at Flugwerft Schleißheim.
  • The nearby Feringasee is the largest bathing lake in the immediate vicinity of Munich.

History of the castle

Altes Schloss Schleißheim, Foto: Landratsamt München
Foto: Landratsamt München

The Old Schleißheim Palace dates back to Duke Wilhelm V, who had already made the Residenz in Munich the ducal seat and had the Church of St. Michael as well as the famous Hofbräuhaus built. From 1597 on, the Schwaige Schleißheim was built in a lonely moor area. It was gradually developed into an estate with a cheese dairy, brewery and stud farm. 

Under Wilhelm's son Maximilian I, the Old Palace was built in the dimensions still visible today: An extensive courtyard complex with an adjoining palace building.

The destruction of the Second World War also left its mark on the Old Palace. Almost the entire roof and several rooms of the castle building were destroyed. Reconstruction did not begin until 1970. Although the exterior façade was restored, only the southern room structures and the Great Hall have been preserved inside.

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