Munich Residenz (Royal Palace and Treasury)
The Antiquarium at the Residenz
The real focus of the Odeonplatz is the royal palace of the Wittelsbach
dynasty, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious palaces of
Germany, if not Europe. The Residenz originally constructed
in the14th century as a small and unremarkable fortress
surrounded by a moat.
The main entrance to the Residenz is off Max-Joseph-Platz. Pass
through the courtyard and ascend the stairs. When you enter
the building, continue
up the stairs ahead to the bookstore where you can buy tickets to see the Residenz
Museum and the Schatzkammer, its treasury ( a combo ticket is
required to see both). The price of
admission includes a free audio tour, which is available in several languages.
Return to the ground-floor foyer (entrance) to snag your
audio-guide. The entrance to the Museum is at the north end of
The Residenz was the home to and seat of government for the Wittelsbach
dynasty and the once modest fortress grew larger and more ornate as
its owners gained notoriety and power. During the period
between 1509 to 1918 the Residenz evolved into one of the most
lavish palaces in Europe. The Wittelsbach family was forced to give
up the Residenz at the end of World War I and it was opened as a
public museum in 1920.
The Residenz was heavily damaged during World War II and largely
rebuilt in the postwar era, although many of the furnishings and decorations
are originals. The building provides examples of various styles of
architecture, including early Baroque, Rococo and Neo-classical.
There are a large number of rooms
to explore and several staircases to negotiate in order to see them.
Perhaps the grandest room in the Residenz is the Antiquarium, a
beautiful, richly decorated hall with elevated entrances on both
ends, which was built to house a collection of over 300 busts,
mostly of Roman emperors.
Detail of the extraordinary Antiquarium at the Residenz
The Treasury at the Residenz contains displays of royal crowns, bracelets,
jewels, enameled boxes, cabinets and objects of art collected by the rulers of
Bavaria over the centuries. The works range from the Middle
Ages to the 18th century and include many famous treasures.
Cuvillies Theater in the Residenz, named after its architect, is
Munich's oldest and most sumptuous opera house. It was here
that Mozart's first glorious opera Idomeneo was premiered in 1781.
The original building housing the Theater and many of its treasures
were destroyed in 1944. Fortunately much of the decorative
work has been removed for safe storage during World War II.
The renovated Cuvillies is regarded as an exemplary Rococo
Click here for a PhotoGuide of the lavish interior of the
For more information on visiting the Residenz and the Treasury, see the official Residenz
To the north is the Hoftgarten
, the manicured garden
of the Residenz. There are with several fountains and a small
temple to Diana
in the center of the garden. The Temple is often occupied by violinists whose music is of
professional grade. The Hofgarten has numerous benches and is a
great place to rest you feet and watch the world go by. To the east
is the stately Bayerische Staatskanzlei
, (the Bavarian State
At the Hofgarten, you have three choices for more exploration. First, if the weather permits, continue from the Hofgarten to the Englishe
, a three mile long park where you can rent a bike, drink beer
or just escape from the crowds that are attracted to Munich year
If more park is not for you, consider continuing north along the
Ludwig Strasse (one of the grand boulevards of Germany) to Schwabing
, if you have
an appetite for eating,
drinking, and some trendy shopping. If you stay until evening,
you might find the nightlife to your liking.
Alternatively you could head back down Residenzstraße and pass by
the impressive National Theater
(and there is underground public
parking at the adjacent Max-Joseph-Platz if you are traveling by
car). If you are interested in ultra-luxe shopping follow
Maximillianstraße east from the Max-Joseph-Platz
Eventually return to the Marienplatz. About two blocks
south you will find the Viktualienmarkt
, the city’s world-famous outdoor food-market
featuring meats, vegetables, fruits and cheese. If you tired of
touring, proceed along your
original route to the Marienplatz for transportation to return to the train station (hauptbanhof)
or to your hotel.
Of course, if you still have time and some energy, Munich offers
a world-renowned arts quarter, fantastic museums and the beautiful Nymphenburg
Palace. We discuss these attractions
on the next page of our Munich Guide.
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.
The spires atop the Theatinerkirche
Interior view of the dome of the Theaterinerkirche
to Visit in Germany
The Residenz - north end
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Interior courtyard at the Residenz
Some of the treasures from the Residenz Treasury.
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Diana's Temple in the Hoftgarten
The Chinese Tower and Beer Garden in the Englishe Garten
The Bavarian State Chancellery