WELCOME HOME: A royal shield held in place by a couple of cherubs greets you at the entrance to Munich’s Nymphenburg Palace.
DECOROUS: Perfect circles and straight lines mark the Garden Parterre at the back of the palace. Its baroquey French formality contrasts the wild “English” garden style of the rest of Nymphenburg’s Schlosspark
JEWEL OF THE CROWN: Master artist Johann Baptist Zimmermann created the wall frescoes in Nympehnburg’s showpiece ballroom, the Steinerner Saal (Stone Hall).
COURTLY LOVERS: Paintings of beautiful courtiers commissioned by Elector Max Emmanuel (1662-1726). They’re ladies he met at Versailles Palace, near Paris. Max was forced to take refuge there for a couple of years during the War of the Spanish Succession which raged 1701-1713. Despite being on the losing side of the war, we can assume had a good time in France. Max Emmanuel’s beauties are in Nymphenburg’s north wing.
ALL MY SINGLE LADIES: King Ludwig I’s famous Gallery of Beauties (Schönheitengalerie) in Nmyphenburg Palace’s south pavilion. The 36 ladies are an international bunch – the gallery includes an Israelite, a Briton, a Scot, an Italian and a Greek.
WHERE QUEENS SLEPT: The bedroom of the queens and electresses (Room 12, south wing). The green and silver bed-canopy is the original from 1730. Above the bed floats a fresco dedicated to Flora, Roman goodess of flowers.
ROYAL ROOM: A portrait of Elector Max Emaunuel looms over this anteroom in the north wing. In his day, Max was the head of Bavaria’s Wittelsbach clan and an elector (German: Kurfürst) of the Holy Roman Empire. In his role he was one of only seven or eight European rulers with the right to elect the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, which covered most of Central Europe.
DEER ME: Deer still roam the grounds of Nymphenburg’s Schlosspark. They were originally kept, of course, as game, so the sovereigns could show off their hunting skills and thereby prove their soldiering ability. Ironically, one of Nymphenburg’s most enthusiastic hunters was Elector Karl Albrecht’s wife Maria Amalie.
PARK OASIS: The Schlosscafe im Palmenhaus (Palace Café in the Palm House) is a nice spot to stop for a coffee after touring the palace grounds. It’s to the north of the Grand Parterre.
LUSH: The audience room of the queens and electresses in Nymphenburg’s south wing. The walls are covered in red damask and the back-wall portrait depicts Elector Ferdinand Maria and wife Henriette Adelaide of Savoy. They laid the foundation stone for Schloss Nymphenburg in 1664.
SWAN LAKE: One of Nymphenburg’s many swans steals the limelight at the front of the famous Munich palace.
DAYS GONE BY: A 1760 painting by Venetian artist Canaletto of Nymphenburg Palace. You can see boats filled with frolicking nobles roving around the basin at the end of the central canal, behind the palace.
A TOUCH OF ATHENS: The Monopteros (Apollo Temple) in the palace park. Originally a timber temple, King Ludwig I had it rebuilt 1862 to 1865. You can find a dedication to Apollo by the king inside.
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