Here you will gain an insight into the lives and times of Bavaria’s kings and rulers.
The first palace in the old town was commissioned by Emperor Ludwig the Severe in 1255 and is called the “Alter Hof”. Since then, Munich has been the residence of the Wittelsbach family from which the Bavarian dukes, electors and kings originated. Sooner or later the Alter Hof became too small to accommodate all the family members and this led to the construction of a new and larger royal residence in the second half of the 14th century. This was to be the first part of the Residenz which would be extended in later centuries by the respective rulers until, by 1918, it had become a huge complex comprising 1,300 rooms and six inner courtyards. The Residenz was used as a winter residence by the Wittelsbachs from the beginning of the 18th century onwards.
The summer residence – the Palace of Nymphenburg – is located in the west of the city in the middle of the sprawling grounds of Nymphenburg Park. The Wittelsbachs resided here between May and September. While the palace façade is in typically baroque style, the interior reveals a combination of several styles including baroque, rococo and classical which were King Ludwig I’s particular favourites. As we proceed through the rooms, we pause to admire the portraits in the Gallery of Beauties (Schönheiten-Galerie). Arguably the most famous painting here is the one portraying Ludwig’s mistress, Lola Montez.
15 kilometres north of the city, we find Elector Max Emanuel’s palaces of Schleißheim – old and new – with a baroque park which ahs survived in its original form.
I will accompany you through the palace interiors showing you how and where the rulers lived and presenting to you the elaborately lavish rooms with their fine frescoes, precious furniture and outstanding paintings.