Munich I

Munich … the last time I was here I didn’t manage to see the Residenz (i.e. the residence of the Bavarian Dukes/Electors/Kings) … but this time I did. The Treasury is quite amazing … the things the rulers managed to pick up over the years!

The Residenz Treasury

A 10th century crown supposedly belonging to Queen/Saint Kunigunde, wife of the Holy Roman Emperor/Saint Henry II. There’s no actual evidence it ever did belong to her, of course, and the earliest mention of it is several centuries later, but the style is consistent with what would be expected of the period 901-1000 AD. Note the use of Pearls and the fact that the gemstones are polished rather than faceted.
A Portable Altar – since early medieval Noble households were peripatetic, they needed to have the necessities for performing Mass while moving around the countryside. One of those requirements was that the Host (? some physical component of the Mass) could only be rested on sanctified surfaces … hence this portable altar. The greenish stone square in the centre of the base is the blessed bit … the rest is embellishment. The gemstones remaining are all polished rather than cut.
St George slaying the Dragon – jewels, enamel, gold, silver and silver-gilt statuette on top of a reliquary supposedly holding a relic of St George. Dating to the 16th century, IIRC. Really over the top (the relic, of course, is long gone).

The Residenz Rooms

There are supposedly close to 300 rooms in the Palace, and you can visit over 200 of them … though not always the same ones. I must have had a good crack at seeing almost all that were open … here are some highlights …

The Hall of Statues/Great Hall. This is, IIRC, the largest (or very close to it, see below) room in the entire Residenz as well as one of the oldest. Though that’s evidently a bit moot as it has been extensively remodelled … partly to hold the extensive collection of greek and roman statues (or copies thereof) of one of the Dukes/Electors and partly because it was used for banqueting etc back in the day (the ceiling artwork is, of course, a later addition).
The other candidate for ‘largest room’ … much later construction, there is a throne at the end behind me. It was, of course, used for formal presentations and court functions as well as Balls and Banquets. Lots of art, even in the ceiling.
One of the early 19th century rulers was a family-loving man and preferred smaller, intimate, rooms … this was one of the family sitting rooms … the portraits are of his children.
One of the several State bedrooms – it was the fashion from the late Middle Ages through to the 18th or early 19th centuries for the local ruler to sleep in private quarters but to ‘wake up’ in a State bedroom … really meaning they simply wandered in there in their bedclothes and got in the bed to receive favoured courtiers …
Silver and Silver Gilt table service … one of several large formal table services (the other two on display were china/porcelain) used by some of the Bavarian rulers. This particular one wasn’t originally owned by them – it was sold by an impecunious noble – and it dates to the Napoleonic period.

That’s all for today, folks. More on Munich … later …


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