The Munich Residence - History and Facts | History Hit

The Munich Residence

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

The Munich Residence was a focal point of Bavarian power for over four centuries.

Image Credit: Noppasin Wongchum / Shutterstock

About The Munich Residence

The Munich Residence (Residenz Munchen) was a focal point of Bavarian power for over four centuries.

History of the Munich Residence

Begun in 1385, the Munich Residence was initially a small castle, but slowly grew to be one of Germany’s most impressive palaces, and certainly the country’s largest urban palace. From 1508, the Munich Residence took its place in the history books as the seat of Bavarian dukes and monarchs, a role which it would play until 1918.

Following the end of the German monarchy in 1918, the Residenz was turned into an interior design museum which opened in 1920. The palace was badly bombed during the Second World War and was subsequently heavily restored over several decades. Only a tiny corner of the palace is original pre-WWII design.

The Munich Residence today

The Munich Residence is now open to the public as the Residenz Museum, and is one of Munich’s top tourist attractions, with a range of exhibits and things to see, offering a glimpse into the history of the building and its residents. Highlights of a tour of the Munich Residence include its vast hall of antiquities or “Antiquarium” – one of the largest of its kind – as well as its elector apartments (Kurfurstenzimmer), ancestral gallery (Ahnengalerie) and the stunning works in its treasury, to name a few.

Allow plenty of time – the audio guided tour is long, and there are normally around 90 rooms open to the public at any one time. Don’t expect to cover the whole museum in one go – there’s a lot to see, including the opulent interiors which are an attraction in themselves. The Residenz is open year-round, with slightly shorter hours between October and April.

Getting to the Munich Residence

The Residenz is in the heart of old Munich: it’s a 5 minutes walk from Marienplatz and the Hofbrauhaus, and 5 minutes south of the English Garden. If you’re on public transport you’ll need to get off at U-Bahn station Odeonsplatz, and walk a couple of hundred metres from there.