Munich Residenz (Munchner Residenz) was the seat of government and residence of Bavarian Kings from 1508 to 1918 but opened to the public in 1920! The first building on the site was erected in 1385 and numerous extensions came through the centuries that follow transforming the small castle into the largest palace of Germany, hence you can see many architectural styles (late renaissance, baroque, rococo etc). It was heavily damaged during WWII but reconstructed later not always on the original style.
With 130 rooms and ten courtyards there’s really a lot of things to do/see here.
It houses Residenz Museum, the Treasury and the Cuvillies Theatre. There are individual and combination tickets depending which part you want to visit.
In the treasury you can see the impressive jewels of Wittelsbach family, a dynasty that begun by duke Albrecht V in 1565. So what we have here is a spectacular collection of crystals, gold, precious stones, crowns, swords, icons and other royal items like a prayer book from 860, crosses that date from 11th century etc
We spent much more time in the museum walking through numerous rooms following the arrows. Most of the rooms’ original furnishings and fittings were lost so what you really see in most of them is a reproduction of that era or items that were transferred in the room later. The good thing is that in every room there is a small info board to know what you ‘re looking at, the audio guide (it’s included in the price of the ticket) has more information of course. For example the small Blue Cabinet next to Elector’s bedroom contains fine furniture from 18th century but nothing really from the original inventory except the carved frames above the doors. After some rooms I passed by All Saints’ Corridor where I saw frescoes with views of Italian cities and landscapes. Most of the paintings were removed in safer places during WWII. Then I visited Court Garden Rooms and Charlotte Chambers, new rooms (hopefully some of them were closed for renovation), more bedrooms, furniture that belonged to King Max I Joseph of Bavaria(ruled 1799-1806 as electore then till 1825 as King), there’s also a small collection of musical instruments that belongs to him at Music Room, Trier Rooms that belonged to Duke Maxililian (ruled 1598-1651), room of Judgement with some nice ceiling paintings. At this point I was a bit tired so I stopped listening to the audio guide for a while and just read the info sign at every room for a while until I reached Ornate Chapel, the small private oratory of Duke Maximilian I that was largely destroyed during WWII but rebuilt again (but still the Altar and the ornate organ date back to 17th century). The most impressive hall is the antiquarium (pic 1) which was the largest renaissance hall north of the Alps
We skipped the Cuvillies Theatre that was built in 1751 in rococo style although I’d like to see a theatrical play there.
Residenz museum and Treasury are open daily 9.00-18.00 (October to march 10.00-17.00), the entrance fee is 7e for each one or 11e for both
The audio guide is free.
Cuvillies Theatre is open daily 14.00-18.00 (Sundays 9.00-18.00) October to march 14.00-17.00(Sundays 10.00-17.00), the entrance fee is 3,5e or 13e for combination ticket that include the museum and the treasury
The Court Garden/Fountain machinery is free
This long room of Rococo architecture has many paintings of the heirs to the throne in addition to many other of the elite people. Designed in 1726-31it has a porcelain display besides many of the ruling people of Bavaria
The inside is why you came-right? They have a lot of rooms decorated for the period mostly of 18th-19th century. The most outstanding area is the Antiquarium(Hall of Antiques)with numerous statues of the Roman gentry and Bavarian elite. Late in 1581 the barrel vaulted ceiling was added that is ornately presenting many paintings.
This is one big place to live and the Wittelsbachs surely enjoyed the moments here. It is truly the city's main treasure-but Nymphenburg isn't too shabby either. It began as a small castle in the 14th century, and continued to expand. The Wittelsbach family moved here when the common folk encroached on the Alt Hof in the center of the town; they wanted to get away form the commonplace folk. It continued to expand to include and additions of Max Joseph Platz, Alte Residence, Festaal for banquets, Cuvillies theater, and All SAints Church, and National theater.
Building began in 1385 with the new fortress in the northeast section. Most of it burned in 1750, but the Antiquarium was only what remained that was build in the 16th century by Duke Albrecht V. It has a wonderful collection of statues today, and even back then.
The Schatzkammer has a great treasure to view, with a main piece of ST. George having 2,291 diamonds, 209 pearls, and 406 rubies.
The Residence has paintings, tapestries, porcelain, furniture, and much more to see.
The Munich Residenz served as the seat of government and residence of the Bavarian dukes, electors and kings from 1508 to 1918. What began in 1385 as a castle at the north-eastern corner of the town (the Neuveste, or new citadel) was transformed over the centuries into a magnificent palace, its buildings and gardens extending further and further into the town. The architecture, interior decoration and works of art collected in the Residenz range in time from the Renaissance, via the early Baroque and Rococo periods to the neoclassical era. They all bear witness to the discriminating taste and the political ambition of the Wittelsbach dynasty.
The Residenz houses a number of museums and monuments maintained by the Bavarian Administration of State-owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes (the Residenz museum itself, the Treasury, the Cuvilliés-Theater and the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche) along with other cultural institutions. The complex as a whole is one of the largest museums in Bavaria.
We went to a lot of museums, castles, churches and none could approach the Residenz for overall quality and bang for your buck as did the Residenz. This spectacular home to Bavarian kings has 140 rooms available for public viewing; some were under construction while we were there, but it didn't lessen the experience. Cost to view just the Residenz is 7 euros or about $11 USD. That price includes a hand held audio guide that gives you detailed information about every room. For those so inclined, information is also available for particularly noteworthy pieces within each room. After about 1 hour it became clear to us that if we didn't speed things up, we'd never get out. Exceptionally well done and a model for all museums. Also available for an additional 7 euros was access to the Treasury, also with audio. The crown jewels, furniture, religious items were works of art in their own right and not to be missed. A combination pass is available for 11 euros or $16 USD. Be prepared to spend at least half a day, a full day would be better if you have the time. They will permit you to leave and re-enter. We broke for lunch. Also available is the Cuvilliés-Theatre - the king's private theatre for 3.50 euros. Quite frankly, you can skip this one - 5 minutes and your done. No audio tour is available. An all inclusive pass is available for 13 euros or about $19 USD. Nowhere in Marienplatz will you find more entertaining and informative way to spend a day at such a bargain basement price.
This is the “royal palace” and is right in the centre, close to Marienplatz.
We took in the theatre, the museum and the treasury. I think there are a few other “bits” too, but we saved them for another day.
Quite a few of the museum rooms were closed for renovation, but it’s such a big place that we were tired out anyway. Some of the rooms are reconstructions, having been destroyed during WW2. Some of the delicate treasury items had been removed to protect them from vibration damage during the renovations.
It’s well worth the visit. I can’t help with prices, as my friend paid. She was at university in the city, but had never been into the Residenz - didn’t even realise what it was! Well, she loved it.
Check out the website for detailed information
The Residence originated as a small moated castle, built in 1385, and was gradually expanded by the Wittelsbach rulers who used it until 1918 as their residence and seat of government.
Highlights are the Antiquarium (Hall of Antiquities), the largest secular Renaissance hall north of the Alps, the early 17th- century rooms, including the Rich Chapel, the Steinzimmer (Stone Rooms) and the Trierzimmer (Treve Rooms), the magnificent Rococo Rooms (Ancestral Gallery and Rich Rooms by François Cuvilliés the Elder) and the neoclassical Royal Palace created by Leo von Klenze.
Also on display are special collections such as the Silver Chambers, the Sacred Vestment Rooms and porcelain from the 18th and 19th centuries and East Asia.
When I visited I found some pictures of the Residenz made after the war. About 45% to 70% (it looks opinions vary) of the town was destroyed after the World War II and the Residenz, as many other building, were reconstructed in the way they were before.
As another visit apart you may discover this new marvel inside: the precious Cuvilliè's Theatre, made at XVIII th century by this famous architect in a magnificent Rococo style. A sober courtyard and round gallery leads to a narrow entrance with few sifnificance but, in the moment you pass through, the world lights around you in a red and gold symphony while you stands in the middle of a whole ancient, magnificently adorned theatre, a pure art piece. Here you feel like transported to 1770 like if you were about to watch an original Mozart opera, a kind of travel in time.
This place was bombed too during WWII but most of carving work was preserved so many years later it was completely rebuilt and, few years ago, technically actualized so nowadays this space is used for real performances along with the nearby National Theatre.
At the ground floor, separated from the Palace rooms visit you can choose to see also this amazing collection: the Treasury. Its name tells everything. What you will find here, in a silent and low light environment, is a hughe amount of every kind of valuable objects ever. I confess I had never seen in my life such a great amount of richness, gold, silver, jewels, ivory, etc. anywhere. The collection is hughe and you are visiting room after room all of them full of inimaginably valuable art pieces from all time.
Since XVIth century Wittelsbach members had been fond to collect any kind of valuable item adding it to their Treasure. Here you can find ancient England crowns dated from IXth century, the Bavarian crown and insignia, rino's horn and ivory items, swords, goblets, any kind of religious treasure and a big amount of relics apart from those you could see at the Rich Chapel.
When exiting you feel bewildered. Did you ever want to know what you can feel among a real treasure of gold and emeralds?. Now you can say you know it!.
Following the luxury of Maximiliam's rooms these rooms from XVII to XVIIIth century go in a crescendo which a climax at the early and fastuous rococo by genious architects Joseph Effner and Francois Cuvilliès. The Portrait Gallery, the Porcelain Cabinet or the Green Gallery are an explosion for senses. Golden stucco, glass, porcelain, brights and colours all around fulfill everywhere and makes you feel surrounded of splendor.
These rooms are a part of what are called "rich rooms" -you may think why-. The superb Portrait Gallery is a hughe collection of Wittelsbach family members with portraits covering every wall while white and gold decorate the whole. The Green room shows monumental paintings in a hughe space where green and gold adorn everything trying to rivalize
with the other luxury rooms.
There are much more rooms: Audience Chamber, Mirrors Cabinet, State room... All of them seem to be in a contest for your surprise and amazement and they get it, really! Photos can't reveal the real shape. You have to discover and enjoy it for yourself.
Some of the richest and best-known rooms date from XVIIth century under the ruling of Maximiliam I. Here there are some highlights such as the Court Chapel, a big and true Chapel inside the palace. When I visited it there was a violing playing essay so, along with the arched structure and stucco decoration the ensemble was truely special. But few after you face the much smaller but amazingly richly decorated "Rich Chapel" -appropriate name-, the walls and domed ceiling of which brights everywhere with golden glints such is the supreme achievement of artisans in the moment. This one may be one of the very best worship in the whole palace and holds a hughe collection of relics many of which are shown apart, at the Treasury.
In this point I had to smile for myself for one reason. Many times you hear about the exagerate devotion and hardly religious fanatism of spanish king Felipe II and critics mention the hughe relics collection at El Escorial Palace. Well now: if you compare this, Bavarian kings may have been much more devotionals and religion fanatics for the enormous amount of relics here could probably show poor king Felipe as a dwarf!. With the number of bone pieces here you could probably assemble many complete human skeletons!.
After chapels you find the Imperial stair, the spectacular Imperial Hall or the beautifully adorned Stone rooms and some of its furnitures like the luxury cabinets. Despite of the amount of rooms is better taking your time for all of them are fantastic: they were made for the royal delight so, enjoy them now for yourself.
It's difficult to speak briefly about this enormous palace complex placed in the middle of Munich. Its variety, its size, its unvaluable art and material richness and the amazing amount of marvels inside turns the visit another MUST-SEE -I've lost the amount of "must-see" around this city-. Since XIVth century on the different Bavarian monarchs increased the architectural elements and collections which have become so hughe that you need taking your time to cover it, but it's neccessary. Here again, please, choose the complete visit: palaces' rooms + treasury + Cuvillè's Theatre. You'll find why.
Talking about the older parts you can visit (from about XVIth century) two of them are special: The Grotto Court and, especially, the Antiquarium. The Groot Court is an open-air small courtyard with a nice Perseo's bronze statue and a Hall with a mannerist, strange and wildly ornamented fountain with a Mercury statue, like a playful element.
But the best is yet to come: the Antiquarium. This hughe, spectacular and amazing gallery is unique in the whole world. You will never see a room like this one!. It's like a visual boom, a brainstorm, a praiseworthy architectural and art work. The 70 meters arched hall completely covered with frescoes and statues, the visual and colourful effect makes you to cry an Oooooh!. Duke Wilhelm V showed so his hughe collection of classical statues about the great rulers ever as a show of the greatness of Wittelsbach dinasty. Believe it or not this gallery was partly destroyed during the bombing raids at WWII but the superb restoration has erased all damage and give back the original splendor to this astounding ART PIECE.
If I only had one place to choose for a visit in Munich, this would be it. The Residenz was the home to many Bavarian princes, and it grand and beautiful beyond belief. It's best to read about it on the website. It's a short walk from the Marienplatz, and we were lucky to find nice food stalls and a band after our visit, so we had lunch right there in the courtyard.
Do take the 'long tour,' as there are many rooms to see - each different. A lot of the Residenz was destroyed during WWII, but it has been restored well.
Will take several hours to get through. Self guided tour with an audio device to help you through. Need audio device for palace but no so much for Treasury ( which is an extra cost but worth it).
9 euros for Residenz and treasury.
11 euros for above plus the theatre( i didnt go to theatre, it took several hours just to get through the residenz and treasury)
HOURS OF OPERATION (
April - 15 October: daily 9am - 6pm (last entry: 5pm)
16 October - March: daily 10am - 5pm (last entry: 4pm)
April - 15 October: daily 9am - 6pm (last entry: 5pm)
16 October - March: daily 10am - 5pm (last entry: 4pm)
all the buildings are closed on 1 January, Shrove Tuesday and 24, 25 and 31 December.