The former summer residence of the rulers of Bavaria is located in the west part of the city in the middle of one of Munich's most beautiful parks. Five generations of Wittelsbach rulers were involved in the construction of this Baroque castle.
The central section owes its present appearance to the efforts of Josef Effner, who in 1715, designed the pilasters, arched windows and busts that now grace the exterior. A few years later, the south section of the castle was added to serve as the court stables. As a counterpart, the orangerie was added to the north.
Central section: Stone Hall (Steinerner Saal; 1755-57) with ceiling frescoes by J. B. and F Zimmermann (Homage to the Goddess Hora); the Rococo stucco work is based on designs by Cuvillies.
North wing: Wood paneling by J. A. Pichler in the first anteroom, Brussels tapestries (ca. 1700) in the Gobelinzimmer, Max Emanuel's "Gallery of Beauties" (Schbnheitsgalerie), Heraldry Room and former bedroom with paintings by J. Werner.
South wing: Anteroom and bedroom with ceiling paintings by A. D. Triva, "Chinese Varnished Chamber" (redesigned by Cuvillies the Elder in 1763-64), the gallery of paintings of Bavarian castles (ca. 1750), and the famous "Gallery of Beauties" of Ludwig I with portraits of 36 beautiful women from all levels of Munich society. These include the dancer, Lola Montez, whose attractions proved irresistible to the king and were to contribute to his eventual downfall. It was the cause of the revolution in 1848, when Ludwig I was forced to abdicate.
The Bedroom: Baroque paneled ceiling with paintings by Antonio Domenico Triva 1675, with the goodness Flora in the centre. The bed baldachin with silver embroidery on green silk, around 1730
The queen's Bedroom was furnished by Andreas Gartner in green silk wall coverings. Ludwig II was born in this room on August 25, 1845.
The Castle Garden was greatly enlarged in the eighteenth century and was laid out in the French style (using Versailles as a model) by Girard from 1715 onward. As the more natural style of the English park became fashionable in the nineteenth century, Sckell remodeled the garden according to the tenets of English landscaping while retaining the main elements of the Baroque garden.
The Amalienburg, a hunting lodge built by Francois Cuvillies in about 1740, is considered to be a perfect example of court Rococo architecture. The circular Hall of Mirrors (with silver ornament on a blue background) with its symbolic hunting scenes is quite unique. Along with the Rest Room and Hunting Room with their silver and gold decoration, the kitchen decorated
Paneling with blue and white decoration and between the panels still lifes of flowers with animals. The rear wall was used as a commode, with a toilet chair concealed behind its folding doors.
The Badenburg is one of the first heated indoor baths to be built in modern times. Built in 1719-21 by Josef Effner, the two-storied building provided bathing facilities for the court society of Max Joseph. thee main hall is ornamented with stucco fruits and mussel shells, and the ceiling painting 'Apollo in the Sun Chariot" is the work of J. Amigoni.
Effner also designed the Pagodenburg, a pavilion with a cruciform ground plan, which served as a place of repose for members of court society. The chinoi serie of the rooms reflects the fashion for oriental decoration prevailing at the time, while the exterior is ornamented with masks of Bacchus, Flora, Neptune and Ceres.
The Hermitage of Mary Magdalen (Magdalenenklause) was built in 1725-28 by Effner as a retreat for the ageing Elector Max Emanuel. Deliberately given the form of a partial ruin, this "place of penitence" has elements of Romanesque, Gothic and also Moorish architecture. The ceiling painting in the chapel showing scenes from the life of Mary Magdalen is the work of N.G. Stubner.
The Baroque waterfall, the "Grosse Kaskade," by the west entrance to the garden was designed by Effner; the marble covering is by Cuvillies.
The Marstall Museum in the south wing of the castle, were, the former court stables, has an interesting collection of ceremonial carriages, sleighs, harnesses and saddlery that recalls the heyday of the Wittelsbachs. The most famous exhibit is the splendid carriage of Ludwig II
The Porcelain Museum is also located in the south wing. The pieces on show comprise a comprehensive history of the products of the Nymphenburg porcelain manufactory (founded in 1761), which is based in the north-east section of the round tower in front of the castle.
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