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Munich Travel Guide

Best Places to Visit in Munich

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Munich - The Residenz

When you reach Odeonplatz    you will see the impressive Saint Kajetan’s, popularly known as the Theatiner-kirche.  It was constructed from 1663 to 1692 (with later additions). Both the outside and inside of the church are quite impressive. The interior has a number of interesting Baroque touches, while the exterior detailing on its towers deserves a closer look.

Sitting between the church and the Residenz is the infamous Feldherrnhalle built by King Ludwig 1(1841 – 1844). Although largely unremarkable as a monument, it is best known for its use by the Nazis as a public forum during Hitler’s rise to power.  It is now closed to the public.

 

Munich Residenz  (Royal Palace and Treasury)

The Antiquarium in the Residenz is stunning.
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 room.

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. 

Interior detail of the Antiquarium in the Residenz

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.

The 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 masterpiece. 

Click here for a PhotoGuide of the lavish interior of the Munich Residenz.

For more information on visiting the Residenz and the Treasury, see the official Residenz  site.


Nearby Attractions

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 Chancellery).

At the Hofgarten, you have three choices for more exploration.   First, if  the weather permits, continue from the Hofgarten to the Englishe Garten , 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 round.

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.     

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The spires atop the Theatinerkirche

Interior view of the dome at the Theatiner-kirche

Interior view of the dome of the Theaterinerkirche

 

The Felderherrnhalle in Munich

The Felderherrnhalle

Best Places to Visit in Germany

 

THe north end of the Residenz

The Residenz - north end

 

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Interior courtyard at the Residenz

 

 

Golden tableware from the Residenz treasury in Munich

Some of the treasures from the Residenz Treasury.

 

 

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Diana's Temple in the Hoftgarden of the Residenz

Diana's Temple in the Hoftgarten

The Chinese Tower and Beer Garden in the Eglishe Garten in Munich

The Chinese Tower and Beer Garden in the Englishe Garten

 

 

The Bavarian State Chancellery

The Bavarian State Chancellery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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