Ayear ago we were taking in the sights of Munich and that was an incredible experience. While Munich is somewhat more low-key when compared to Paris, it still offered a lot to see and from a very different perspective than what we’re used to as Americans. 🙂 What was interesting is that things were familiar yet very different in many ways and part of it was due to the language. Language can act like a curtain, blocking our view of various cultural nuances and thus we had to work harder to understand. But, that’s the point of travel and for us, the experience was nothing short of amazing. 🙂
First day in Munich…after an incredibly long flight due to delays caused by mechanical issues, we have finally arrived in Munich! After a good night’s rest, we then set out to get acquainted with the City. The first stop on our list was the Munich Residenz Museum, formerly the main palace of the House of Wittlesbach, the family who ruled Bavaria from 1180 through 1918 (interestingly enough, Ludwig III, the last king of Bavaria never abdicated his throne so technically, Bavaria could have a Wittlesbach as a king again).
The Residenz Museum is a fairly large complex divided into three main areas: the Residenzmuseum, Treasury, and Cuvilliés Theatre. Just to note, much of the entire complex was severely damaged during WWII and what we view today is largely been rebuilt although many of the original fittings survived. Below are some views from our visit, beginning with the Residenz itself. First up is the grottenhof which is essentially a grotto covered with sea shells and decorated with busts of various Roman Emperors and Bavarian nobles:
This area was not in the best condition and signage was minimal so we had to draw our own conclusions, at least until we’d purchased a guidebook. Next is the Antiquarium:
Originally built from 1568-1571 by Duke Albrecht V, this was originally intended as a hall to house his various antiques (mostly Classical Greece and Rome supplemented by a lot of crude knock-offs). However, over time, the hall was expanded by Albrecht’s successors and used for various large scale social events- the hall is HUGE and could easily fit 500 or more. Our pictures don’t do justice to the sheer scale.
The Residenz was expanded over time with various additions added, creating a veritable labyrinth and it’s easy for the visitor to get overwhelmed by the sheer scale. Here’s a few more pictures of later additions:
In terms of architecture and decor, the Residenz reflects a variety of styles, heavily represented by Baroque, Louis XIV, and Neo-Classical styles. The sheer volume of furnishings, china, silver, and various objects d’art were overwhelming and there’s enough there to warrant at least two or three trips. After about two hours, we decided to take a break and go to bunch at this nice cafe that located close by…
(To be continued…)