The Residenz (palace) in Munich’s city center was once the city castle of the Bavarian dukes, princes, and emperors. In terms of style, the complex of buildings constructed through centuries is a mix of Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Classicism.
Inside the museum
With the Residence, Munich owns one of Europe's most significant interior decoration museums. For 500 years, the facility in the middle of the old city was the residence and center of power of the Bavarian dukes, electors and kings, but also the expression of art intellect and passion for building. The rooms of Duke Maximilian I - Kaisersaal, Steinzimmer and Reiche Kapelle - show the palace construction art of the 17th century. The ancestral portrait gallery and the Reiche Zimmer represent courtly rococo according to drafts by François Cuvilliés. The classical apartments in the King's Building go way back to sketches by Leo von Klenzes.
An aristocratic home
The castle layout includes 10 courtyards, making the Munich Residenz the largest city center castle in Germany. The most well-known Residenz buildings include the Königsbau (next to the National Theater on Max-Joseph-Platz where the Treasury is housed), and the Festsaalbau at the Hofgarten (where the well-known Herkulessaal or Hercules Hall) concert hall is located.
The larger inner courtyards of the Residenz buildings, the Kaiserhof, and the Brunnenhof, are used for cultural events like open-air concerts and a medieval Christmas village. Other buildings of the Munich Residenz include the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche ("All Saints Court Church"), the Maximilian Residenz, and the Cuvilliés Theater.
Gold & pomp
The highlight of the guided tour is the Antiquarium: the largest and most beautiful Renaissance hall north of the Alps was built around 1570 for the antique collection of Duke Albrecht V, and later used as a festival hall.
The 130 rooms of the Residence Munich have been filled with furniture and oil paintings, tapestries and porcelain from the best artists of their time. In addition to the resplendent showrooms, numerous special collections such as silver, porcelain or relic rooms can also be viewed.
The treasury of the Residence offers unique gold work from the Middle Ages right through to the times of classicism. But the eminent collection also comprises precious works made of mountain crystal and ivory, gems, jewelry, tableware, right up to Ottoman daggers. Among the highlights of the collection are the Bavarian crown insignia and the precious statuette of St George the Knight. World famous exhibits are the Arnulfziborium, the cross relic of Emperor Heinrich II or the Gisela cross.