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The Splendor of the Munich Residenz & Why You Should Visit It - California Globetrotter

The Splendor of the Munich Residenz and Why You Should Visit It



Of all the times I had ever been to Munich, I had never much been interested in visiting the Munich Residenz. From the outside, it looked like a boring, plain building in the city center, no different from the other buildings. And then I was on Pinterest one day, you could call me a Pinaholic and I stumbled upon a picture that was so beautiful of the a room inside the Residenz. I pinned it for later and it soon got buried in my list of things to see and do in Germany.

Until one rainy day.

We had planned to go down to Munich for the day, but as the weather would have it, it was a day with torrential rain and a bit cold for a late Spring day (yes, this post is a bit late in coming). Well, I grew up traveling and never letting rain stop me from seeing what I want to see….Ok, maybe a little bit. It wasn’t the kind of day you wanted to do any sightseeing in Munich or sitting out at a biergarten.

So, we headed in doors for the day. To the Munich Residenz. And booooy, was I WRONG!

In case you’re interested, PIN IT FOR LATER!!


With over 100 rooms spewling with beautiful furniture, art, chandeliers and splendid treasures, it made for the perfect rainy day activity. We spent the entire afternoon going from one room to the next, imagining grand royal balls and learning the family history of the Wittelsbach family.

Originally built as a castle in 1385 and eventually turned into the royal residence of the Wittelsbach family (The family of King Ludwig II of Bavaria who built Schloss Neuschwanstein), as well as a government seat from 1508 – 1918. During WWII, much of the Residenz was heavily damaged, but thankfully many of the priceless masterpieces were moved to safety. Reconstruction and restoration began immediately in 1945 and finished in 2003.

As the Residenz is one of the largest city palaces in Germany, it has 10 courtyards, each unique. As you head to the entrance of the Residenz Museum, you will pass the Brunnenhof or Fountain Court which had once been used as a carriage entrance and has a statue of the first Duke of Bavaria, Otto I.


Since it was a rainy day and we had the entire afternoon to kill, we went all out and bought the Combination Ticket which gave us access to the Residence Museum, the Treasury and the Cuvilliés Theatre for 13 each, which included a free audio guide. Every exhibit was numbered and all we had to do was punch in the numbers to the corresponding room or items.

Upon entering the Residenz, one of the first rooms we walked through was this unique grotto decorated entirely with seashells, although partially being refurbished.


But for the whole reason why we had finally broken down to visit the Residence was the room that would seriously leave me breathless and which I did not want to leave was the Antiquarium. Stretching 216 feet (66 meters) long, the room is was built by Duke Albrecht V in 1568 to showcase his antique sculpture collection, hence the name. It is the museum’s oldest room.

Munich, Germany - the Residenz - California Globetrotter

Not only that, but this room was also used as a banquet room! Could you possibly imagine dining in such an opulent room showcasing some of the most beautiful artwork and sculptures!


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Afterwards, As any girl who loves jewelry, we naturally headed straight to the Schatzkammer (the Treasury) which houses the Bavarian Crown Jewels for which I was incredibly excited to see! Not only were there priceless jewels, crystals and other sparkly objects, there was even weaponry and religious artifacts spread out through 10 rooms! Overall, there are more than 1,250 items!

Munich, Germany - the Residenz - California Globetrotter

I was completely and utterly mesmerized by the crown jewels! I would have visited sooner if I had realized these were here!

After spending a good amount of time perusing the sparkly items, we headed to the Residence Palace Museum. Even though it has been magnificently reconstructed after the war, today it is considered to be one of the most important palaces museums in Europe.

The opulence of the royals who have lived in the Residenz is shown throughout the entire architecture of the building. Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicist and Historicist styles can be seen not only in the architecture but even the furnishings, dating back from between the 16 -19th centuries. The rulers were from the Wittelsbach dynasty which was the longest dynasty in Europe, dating back to the 17th century! Munich, Germany - the Residenz - California Globetrotter

We moved from room to room, checking out the different apartments, the throne room, Emperor’s room and chapels. Thankfully, there are little information boards in each room to give you some historic insight into each room and what they were used for and when they were built. I was absolutely drooling over the beautiful red velvet looking damask walls!


I seriously loved how each room we visited had a different color or style, magnificent chandeliers and furnishings.

After a while, you just become so overwhelmed by the splendor of each room. Some rooms start to blend into room after room. There were some parts of the Residenz that we quickly glided over, for example, the exhibit of the silverware and china. After having done a huge tour in February while visiting the Hofburg Palace in Vienna and seeing all of their silverware, we didn’t feel the need to spend the time checking out Munich’s.

There are also several little chapels in residence museum that the royals used for their own private mass. In the Hofkapelle, Royalty was able to watch mass from the gallery which overlooked the chapel below where members of the court worshiped.


Just after the Hofkapelle was the Reiche Kapelle or Ornate Chapel.This chapel was rightly named because it was incredibly ornate with a stunning blue ceiling, decorated in gold accents. This was the Duke’s private worship area and therefore was pretty small, only allowing for a few people at a time, therefore making it difficult to take the time to snap any good pictures. Although most of the residence was destroyed during the war, the chapel’s centerpiece is an original. Not being the religious person, I was more interested in the stunning ceiling.


Finally, we came to one of the last rooms, which in my opinion was one of the most magnificent. The Green Gallery was absolutely jaw-dropping with its opulent chandeliers (yes, I have an obsession), green silk damask walls and gold embellishing. I seriously didn’t want to leave! It was once used as a ballroom as well as a gallery for mirrors and paintings.


The last room we ventured into was the Ahnengalerie or Ancestral Gallery, which displayed over 100 portraits of the Wittelsbach family dynasty, each framed by delicate gilded, golden frames on the walls.

Munich, Germany - the Residenz - California Globetrotter

After leaving the Residenz Museum, we headed over to the Cuvilliés-Theatre. I had seen pictures of this as well on Pinterest and knew I just had to see it. I had never seen any royal theaters before and I wanted my first taste. And boy did I fall head over heels in love! Now, everywhere we travel from now on, we will make the time to visit royal theaters! You can’t miss this part of the Residence!

Munich, Germany - the Residenz - California Globetrotter

Unfortunately, this theater is a replica of the original that was destroyed during the war. The original theater was built in 1751-55 by Elector Maximilian Joseph III as his “new opera house”, in a different location from where today’s theater is. It was exclusively for members of court before being destroyed in the war.

Munich, Germany - the Residenz - California Globetrotter

Today, the painted wood carvings and other tier fittings are original pieces of the theater which had been safely removed prior to its destruction.

I could have stayed here all day daydreaming about the lavish opera productions that had once been performed here, admiring the intricate wooden decorations.

At the northern end of the palace is the Hofgarten (Court Garden) which was laid out by King Maximilian I in the typical French style with a circular temple built in 1615.


I would say that this concludes your tour of the Munich Residenz, but there is so much to see and do, it would take you forever to really see every single corner of the the Munich Residenz.

So, what did I learn by visiting this castle? Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. It might not look very interesting from the outside, but it will leave you jaw-gaped through the whole thing! It was definitely the perfect thing to do on a rainy day and is definitely NOT to be missed! You should definitely add it to your Munich itinerary!

Last but not least…

On your way in or out of the Residenz, look for the lions at the entrance to the castle which can be found in Odeonsplatz. Take a moment to stop and watch as locals rub the bronze shield the lion is holding. Apparently, this will bring you good luck, so get to rubbing!!


Tips for Visiting the Munich Residenz

  • Tickets can be purchased individually for the Treasury, Residence Museum or Cuvillies Theatre or go for the “Combination Ticket” (Residence Museum/Treasury 11 ) or (Residence Museum, Treasury & Cuvilliés-Theatre 13 ). Check the Munich Residenz site for more information.
  • Entrance is FREE to everyone 18 years old and under.
  •  Give yourself PLENTY OF TIME as there is a lot to see
  • Audio guide comes in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish versions with a purchase of your ticket.
  • April -October1 15th: 9 am-6 pm (last entry: 5 pm)
  • October 16th – March: 10 am-5pm (last entry: 4 pm)

    If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide or the Lonely Plant Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! These are my travel Bibles!


    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

    Other Posts Related to Munich:

    The Best Sights to See in Munich

    Dachau Concentration Camp

    Schloss Nymphenburg

    Starnberger See

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Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

37 thoughts on “The Splendor of the Munich Residenz and Why You Should Visit It

  1. Munich Residenz is gorgeous! I’ll have to add it to my bucket list!

  2. I’ve seen Ludwig’s Munich Residenz about 15 years ago, Lolo. I remember I was extremely impressed by its opulence. Reading about it again now makes me want to go back and revisit the place. It is quite astounding.

  3. Oh my goodness, what an incredible place!

  4. Wow, wow, wow. This looks like the sort of place you could spend days exploring. They must have needed huge tables for a banquet in the Antiquarium! Everything looks so ornate and well-preserved. This is going on my list of must-sees! #citytripping

  5. Munich Residenz was actually my first taste of Munich on my trip to Germany in 2008. I loved it and would love to go back and explore more as we were running short on time. #citytripping

  6. The Antiquarium is just amazing – the whole palace is beautiful, although I can see why you wouldn’t suspect. The outside is certainly grand but doesn’t give much clue of the detail and decor inside. I love the theatre too. Definitely one for any Munich list. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  7. I can only say this place is insane! I think it is some of the best I have seen in terms of palaces and opulence. I didn’t even know about this place. I am glad I found about it. Hopefully, it will not get buried on my pins! #citytripping

  8. Great pictures, we went this summer and were bowled over by it, we quite liked the beer garden in the park behind as well! #CityTripping

  9. We only had 2 days last time when we visited Munich but I know that I want to come back one day and stay longer. Will definitely bookmark your article for that. Hadn’t heard of Munich Residenz before but it really does seem perfect for a rainy day!

  10. I was told to visit the palace because it was so beautiful, but I didn’t know it was this stunning!! Amazing pictures!

  11. Wow! Why isn’t this as well known as Versailles? It would seem every bit as magnificent. So ornate! The Antiquarium…just wow! #citytripping

  12. Oh my goodness me, what an wonderfully opulent building! Never would have guessed that from the outside and each room just appears to get better and better! I can see why you loved it so much. We past the outside on an open top tour bus but wouldn’t have had enough time to pop in and see it all, but now that you have made me aware of this fantastic location, I can also pin it for later 🙂 #wanderfulwednesday

  13. Oh wow – it is superb. Those ceilings! It really is fantastic and your photos are wonderful too.
    And pretty good value with the combined ticket. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  14. O.M.G, this is literally jaw-dropping and incredibly ornate! In fact, it’s more ornate and embellished that the Versailles Palace. I’m definitely adding this to my bucket list for Munich, thanks for sharing 🙂 #citytripping

  15. WOW, these details are incredible! So intricate and just wonderful 🙂 I can see why you adored it!

  16. It looks absolutely stunning! Definitely one for my Munich wishlist 😀

  17. Love your photos! We absolutely loved our visit to Much Residenz a few summers ago. You’re so right that we could have spent days exploring it. It really is a special place and really makes you gape at all those ornate designs and ceilings. We couldn’t stop taking pictures of the theater and the Antiquarium too.

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  22. Wow someone really outdid themselves with the decor in this place, it really is impressive and so elaborate. I would love to see it in person. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  23. Absolutely amazing, thanks ever so much for this post. I can see how lots of time could be spent here.

  24. Absolutely stunning architecture! The details inside of this place are amazing

  25. I’m pretty sure I remember walking past this building during my free walking tour of Munich years ago, but had no idea what was inside. Glamorous doesn’t seem to do it justice! I often find royal residences a bit “samey” but that banquet room would entertain me for ages! Definitely a reason to return to Munich! #wkendinspiration

    • As I mentioned, it took me years to go in because on the outside it looks like a generic, plain building but then I saw an amazing picture of the Antiquarium and knew I had to go! You should definitely return to Germany! Would be happy to show you around!

  26. Wow, I kind of thought about the Residenz as “just another palace” but your photos have inspired me to get back to Munich for a visit! Thanks for linking in this week at #wkendtravelinspiration!

  27. Wowser! That’s pretty epic inside! Filing this one under Good 2 Know & definitely pinning for later. I’m a bit surprised there are not more people in the pictures. Maybe because of the rain…or they just judged the book – or building – by it’s cover? Just gorgeous. SO glad you decided to go in and share with us!

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  30. Wow, I’ll definitely agree that the outside of the building barely hints at the elaborate splendor of the interior. I like how every room is different — so unlike today’s residential style of having everything “flow”. Of course, this is no normal residence. I’ll keep it in mind for when I finally make it to Munich again.

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