Residenz Munich: The largest inner-city palace in Germany

Residenz vom Hofgarten aus gesehen, Foto: muenchen.de/Katy Spichal
Foto: muenchen.de/Katy Spichal

Court Garden, Treasury, Culture: Discover the Residenz in Munich

The Munich Residenz (Residence) is the largest inner-city palace in Germany. Why a visit to the former seat of Bavarian royalty is definitely worthwhile:

The Residenz: The most important information at a glance

Residence, Foto: München Tourismus
Foto: München Tourismus
  • What makes it special : The Residenz in the center of Munich is the largest city palace in Germany
  • What you must see : The bronze halls with their sculptures, the Hercules Hall (Herkulessaal), which is used as a concert hall until today, the All Saints' Court Church (Allerheiligen-Hofkirche), the Treasury and, of course, the royal apartment of bavarian king Ludwig I. It's best to sign up for one of the guided tours
  • What distinguishes the Residenz culturally : With the Cuvilliés Theater and the Residenz Theater, two of Munich's most important venues belong to the Residenz. In addition, there are the Residenz Serenades or the concerts in the All Saints' Court Church
  • What the outdoor facilities offer : The Residenz is surrounded by the Hofgarten (Court Garden) park area and Max-Joseph-Platz, two sights you shouldn't miss.
  • Directions: You can get to the famous Residenz theater with tram 21 (St. Veit strasse) from the Munich central station, or the S-bahn (S1 or S8) and stop at Marienplatz.

Find out more about the Hofgarten

Learn more about Max-Joseph-Platz

Highlights of the Residenz: Treasury, Hercules Hall, Bronze Rooms

Herkulessaal in der Münchner Residenz, Foto: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung - www.schloesser.bayern.de
Foto: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung - www.schloesser.bayern.de New Hercules Hall

The bronze halls of the Residenz contain over 40 original bronze sculptures from the late 16th and early 17th centuries, which are also opened to visitors several times a year. 

The New Hercules Hall (Herkulessaal) was built on the site of the former Throne Hall. A monument of neoclassicism, it was funded and made possible by a donation of millions from the broadcasting company. To this day, more than 1,000 guests visit to listen to not only classical but also modern pop concerts.

Of course you can also marvel at expensive works of art - in Munich's best-kept rooms, the  Treasury of the Residenz. Many a visitor will have secretly wished to wear the crown of the Bavarian kings on his head at least once in his life.

Classicist extensions: Court Garden, Max-Joseph-Platz, Court Church

Dianatempel
Diana Temple

Under Bavarian King Ludwig I, the Residenz took on its present appearance. By 1842, the mighty building on Max-Joseph-Platz , its counterpart in the Hofgarten (Court Garden) , as well as the National Theater and the Court Church had been built.

The representative royal apartment of Ludwig I is one of the highlights of the tour. 

The Hofgarten with the round Diana Temple in its center celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2013 and is one of the most popular places to stay in downtown Munich - which is mainly due to its enchanting ambience.

Culture in the Residenz: The Cuvilliéstheater and the Residenztheater

Cuvilliés-Theater Innen, Foto: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung
Foto: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung Cuvilliéstheater

One of the most magnificent sequences of rooms in the Munich Residenz was built during the Baroque and Rococo periods. 

An extremely important extension was built by 1753: The Cuvilliéstheater.
Vivid red and lots of gold dominate the four-story gem, where concerts and smaller operas are still performed today.

The Residenztheater on Max-Joseph-Platz has a more modern design:
Built in 1951, the venue now seats more than 1,000 spectators.

History of the Residenz: From fortress to Renaissance palace

Das Antiquarium in der Residenz
The Antiquarium is one of the Residenzes most magnificent rooms

The starting point of the Wittelsbacher Residenz was the Neuveste, a Gothic moated castle dating from 1385, which grew to immense size over the centuries in the northeast of the city center.

The first building of the new residence on the Neuveste was to be the first museum north of the Alps: The Antiquarium, completed in 1571. Further parts of the palace followed shortly after that. The Brunnenhof court also dates from this period. The Neuveste had to give way to the ornate Renaissance castle to make more room.

During the bombing nights of the Second World War, the Residenz was badly damaged and lay partially open except for the first floor. However, the city palace was successfully rebuilt within a few years after the war ended.

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