The Residenz Palace in Munich is a complex of immense size. It was begun in the 14th century and it has been added to over the centuries. It was home to generations of the Wittelsbach family as Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria. In addition to the two museums, the Residenz houses a theatre, a church, gardens and more.
You may begin your visit in the Treasury Museum which has about a thousand years of treasure. Among the vast amount of treasures is the crown of Anne of Bohemia who was the 1st wife of King Richard II of England. An unbelievable St George and the Dragon which is enameled gold covered with emeralds, rubies, diamonds and pearls will catch your eye as will a 14th century Jewish ceremonial wedding ring and a bowl designed by Hans Holbein that was in the Tower of London until 1649.
|Anne of Bohemia's Crown|
A large, carved wooden rosary with beads about the size of a Faberge egg with the mysteries carved inside is just one of the magnificent items on display. The mantle of the Kings of Bavaria, a whole room of religious items including ivory crucifixes, gold chalices, lots of enamel and lots of gems continues the theme. A garter from the English Order of the Garter that belonged to the winter king, Prince Rupert's father and also the ceremonial crown of the kings of Bavaria made in France in 1806 are also on display.
One whole room is filled with crowns, orbs, scepters and 2 cases packed with medals encrusted with every imaginable gem. And this was just the treasury. By now you will be suffering from treasure overload. I would suggest that if you want to retain any sanity you take a break and have lunch or go shopping or do something besides a museum because the Residenz itself can be quite overwhelming.
|Residenze By Raphael Fetzer, Pheraph -|
The Residenz Palace has more than 100 rooms, including a magnificent throne room, an ancestral gallery of pictures, rooms of porcelain, silver and magnificent furniture. Depending on your interest, this can take hours to see in total. One of the first things that you encounter is a magnificent hall of mirrors. It is done with off white and gold trim, beautiful and gaudy at the same time. Because the palace was built over such a long period of time you will see many different architectural styles represented here.
It is really hard to believe looking at the Palace today, that it was extensively bombed during World War II. Most of Munich was destroyed by allied bombing. The reconstruction work on the Palace began almost immediately and great efforts were made to be sure that not only the building was rebuilt but that the treasures were replaced in the location they would have been before the war.
Visiting a palace museum of this size takes quite a while and can seem endless. This is almost too much of a good thing, almost but not quite.
Allow half a day for touring the Residenz Museum and Treasury.
This article is written from personal experience but the photos are not my own.