Munich's Top 10 : Residenz

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Located in the heart of the city, this former residence of Bavarian kings and home of the Wittelsbach dynasty until 1918 was gradually transformed from a moated castle (1385) into an extensive complex with seven courtyards. Highlights include the largest secular Renaissance building (the Antiquarium), interiors from the 17th century and the Rococo period, and Leo von Klenze’s Classicist Königsbau. The complex also houses special collections such as the silver and church vestments collection, and porcelain from the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • Residenzstr. 1

  • U3/U6: Odeonsplatz

  • 089 29 06 71

  • Open Apr–mid-Oct: 9am–6pm daily; mid-Oct–Mar: 10am–5pm daily (one section of the Residenz is open mornings, one, afternoons)

  • Closed 1 Jan; Shrove Tue; 24, 25 & 31 Dec

  • Adm: €6 (reduced €5); Combined adm to the Residenz and Schatzkammer: €9 (reduced €8, under-18s free)

Cuvilliés Theater

  • Open Apr–mid-Jun & Oct: 2–6pm Mon–Sat, 9am–6pm Sun; mid-Jun–Sep: 9am–6pm daily; Nov–Mar: 2–5pm Mon–Sat, 10am–5pm Sun

  • Adm: €3 (reduced €2)

  • Not wheelchair accessible

Destruction and Reconstruction

Bavaria’s rulers built the Residenz over hundreds of years; in just a few hours during World War II, large sections of it were destroyed. Reconstruction began immediately after the war ended. Many of the art treasures stored elsewhere during the war were returned safely – sometimes by circuitous routes. Visitors can view some 130 rooms documenting princely culture from four centuries.

Plan of the Residenz

View into the Grottenhof of the Residenz

The historic Café Tambosi in the Hofgarten offers light meals. The Pfälzer Residenzweinstube (Residenzstr. 1) offers heartier fare.

There are numerous guided tours in and around the Residenz.

The Coin Collection and the Egyptian Art Museum have separate opening hours and entrance fees.

The Herkulessaal in the Residenz, formerly a throne hall, is a popular concert venue because of its excellent acoustics.

Top 10 Sights
  1. Antiquarium

    Commissioned by Albrecht V, this Renaissance jewel was built between 1568 and 1571. Allegoric frescoes, grotesques, and Bavarian landscape scenes embellish the 69-m- (225-ft-) long barrel vault. The Antiquarium was restored between 1995 and 2000.

  2. Cuvilliés Theater

    Built between 1751and 1755, this beautiful Rococo theatre by Cuvilliés the Elder is widely regarded as Europe’s finest.

  3. Schatzkammer

    The 16th-century Schatzkammer contains worked gold, porcelain, the Wittelsbach dynasty’s crown jewels, and many other treasures.

  4. Hofkapelle

    This elaborately stuccoed chapel was built by Krumpper in 1601–14.

  5. Courtyards

    You enter Kaiserhof through the northern Renaissance doorway; the southern doorway leads into the Mannerist Grottenhof. Brunnenhof has an octagonal shape. Apothekenhof is the largest courtyard, the Cuvilliés Theater courtyard the smallest.

  6. Reiche Kapelle

    With its ebony altar and silver bas-reliefs, Maximilian I’s private chapel (1607) is a prime example of Mannerist architecture.

  7. Reiche Zimmer

    Walk through the Rittersaal to reach this series of rooms done in the early Rococo style. The Reiche Zimmer, designed in 1730 by François Cuvilliés, and the Grüne Gallerie, are but two of the stunning rooms.

  8. Egyptian Art Museum

    This museum, opened in 1970 in a wing of the Residenz alongside the Hofgarten, houses a fine collection of pieces from ancient Egypt and the Coptic period.

  9. Coin Collection

    Here the largest coin collection in the world can be found, along with exhibits of weights and measures.

  10. Hofgarten

    Bordered by formal flowerbeds and hedges, and shaded by linden trees, this Renaissance garden on the north side of the Residenz has an Italian air. The Temple of Diana, a small pavilion lined with seashells designed by Heinrich Schön the Elder, marks the centre of a network of paths, which criss-crosses the garden. To the east lies the Bavarian State Chancellery, a much-debated modern structure incorporating the ruin of the former army museum.

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