Nantes

Nantes is a river port, and, during the pre-modern period, was a major player in sea trade as it was about as high upstream as ships of the day could go. When the Industrial Revolution led to the possibility of iron hulled ships which soon became bigger than any wooden hulled ones, Nantes found it couldn’t handle the larger vessels … and that’s where St. Nazaire came in … it was just a sleepy fishing village until the merchants of Nantes decided to turn it into the front end of their trade.

Anyway, I stopped overnight and hit the Ducal Palace and Museum …

The Chateau walls – this was originally an important part of the town’s defences and its defences were first rate … for the medieval period. Unfortunately, the Dukes ran out of male heirs and the last female in the line was married to the King of France and thus Nantes, and Brittany, became a French Royal possession and lost much of its previous importance as a semi-independent province.
One of the major Towers that formed part of the Chateau’s defences. The wooden structure arching up along the wall on the right is a giant slippery dip that leads down around the walls to just near the main entrance. The moat … dry and wet … is now mostly grassed and (evidently) a very popular recreational area.

There were some interesting Roman, Medieval and Modern (WW2 German occupation & Resistance) displays in the museum … but, as is all too common, they were poorly situated and badly lit, so no photos of the interior, sorry.

Puy du Fou

This is a French ‘historical’ (for some limited values of ‘historical’) theme park that is, evidently, much better than Disneyland Paris … and on the recommendation of one of the backers of Orbis Mundi I spent two days there …

Oh Deer! This is the interior of a ‘reconstruction’ of a 10th-11th century peasant’s home. Notice the glaring error? No? The Fireplace has a chimney. BZZZTTTT!. No Chimneys for several hundred years yet, guys. Sadly, a lot of the ‘historical’ stuff was like that … history only for those who haven’t got a clew about history (probably, I suspect, because the creators either didn’t have a clew either [most likely] or didn’t care [also possible]).
The 13th-14th century Village Church is somewhat better done … except for the fact that the altar would have been screened off from the congregation by a screen, and they wouldn’t have been able to see the Priest perform Mass … and, even if they could have, he would have had his back to them. Wall paintings and other decorations seem reasonable … but I am sure a specialist in medieval art could easily tear them apart.
The Blacksmith’s shop in the 10th-11th century village … and another massive fail. The dual bellows and their cunning arrangement that (if it had been hooked up properly – as far as I can tell seeing it in operation, it wasn’t) allowed a continuous (sort of) draft to feed the furnace is way anachronistic. Probably late 13th and more likely 14th or 15th centuries. Far too technologically advanced for the alleged period.

Sure, it’s a theme park. I get it. But it was annoying.

The real reason for being there was, anyway, the live performances – which were amazing … at least the ones with English commentary (or English commentary that worked) were … around 10 or 11 and it took me two days to manage to squeeze them all in as the place was hugely crowded both days (the end of August and just before most French schools outside of Paris and the deep south went back.

Of course, the performances were even less historical than the villages … but, what the heck, they were huge fun.

The next post will be about the Musee des Blindes (Tank Museum) at Saumur followed by two Loire Chateaux.

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St Nazaire

The site of some of the German WW2 U-Boat Pens … so big and made of such thick concrete that they are still there … too bloody hard to demolish!

The U-Boat Pens from the entrance to the inner harbour.
The Espadon (Swordfish) a French Diesel-Electric submarine of the postwar period. And bloody cramped inside, like all such boats.
Look cramped? If you’re tall, you have to duck … a lot … and it’s barely enough to squeeze through.
One of the control positions … compare this with le Redoubtable, the SSBN at Cherbourg. Like I said, huge difference.
The Helm – note how cramped it is compared to le Redoubtable – the reason I took the photo from such a close angle is that there wasn’t any space to do any different!
Cramped? Bloody hell yes. And these are the officer’s quarters!
The Galley – hardly bigger than a closet … yet to cook had to prepare meals for 65 crew!I seriously doubt they had fresh Lobster except on the first night out! If ever.
The Head. ‘Nuff said.

You seriously wouldn’t want to suffer from even mild claustrophobia if you had to travel or work in one of these things … or any of the WW2 or immediately post WW2 diesel-electric subs. SSNs and SSBNs, however, are a different kettle of fish … as Le Redoubtable (Cherbourg) shows.

Mont St Michael

Famous? Sure! A small island off the coast of France and the site of a famous Monastery … and connected to the mainland, historically, only at low tide.

These days it’s connected by a permanent causeway/bridge and recent works have reversed and will, in future, prevent the silting that the causeway was causing and which threatened to make the island permanently (at least in human chronology) connected to the mainland.

This is the view from near the end of the Causeway where the Navettes (shuttles) from the Parking lots (a good half hour or more walk away) drop you off. The ground level walls on the right circumscribe the main drag winding up to the Abbey on top … and the civilian settlement (now a collection of tourist trap gift shops and restaurants).
That’s the causeway from on top of the mount. You can see that it’s low tide … or all those people just to the left of the end of the causeway would be being swept out to sea!
Interior of the main chapel – there are older ones, but this was the last major one created.
Partial view of a treadwheel used to bring loads up the almost sheer side of the mount back in the day … the room in which it is emplaced is so narrow that this was the best I could do. Believe me, this would have been a godsend … I walked up the 99% tourist free ‘easy’ route to near the entrance to the Abbey and I was pretty buggered. It was *steep* … I guess the higher ups back in the day rode horses or, more likely, donkey or mules.
Double fireplace of the old Kitchen area.

Walking back down the bloody hill was as bad, worse in some ways, than walking up … I went down the main drag, which is narrow, chocka with idiot tourists who thing it’s their absolute right to walk three or four abreast going in either direction, and unwilling to stand aside unless you simply stand your ground and don’t give way … considering the main drag is only 3-4 people wide for 90% of its length, this makes negotiating it a chore.

St Malo

Not as famous as St Michael’s Mount, but an important Breton port with a well preserved old walled town.

The Main Gate (well, one of them, I suppose) from where I parked on the narrow neck of land that connects the city to the mainland from the east.
City wall to the east of the Main Gate … the end of the wall on the right side is actually where it turns 90 degrees or so and runs along the sea front.
The nearer of two close inshore offshore forts – it’s accessible when the flag is flying, at low water basically … not while I was there, of course.
What passes for a beach … and the seaward walls.

The Old Town was full of narrow, cobbled, streets … what is it with Europe and cobbled streets? The uneven surface is enough to cause severe danger of twisting or breaking ankles … gimme tarmac any day! Still, it looks touristy, I suppose. I understand they are a bugger to maintain and replace as well.

Pegasus Bridge & Stuff

This the last of the D-Day/Normandy stuff … some of the vehicles on display at the various museums as well as the site of the famous Pegasus Bridge which the British Paras took and held against German counterattacks …

US M-10 Tank Destroyer
US Cast Hull Sherman
British Churchill Tank
German Hetzer
British Sexton self propelled gun – 25 pdr on a Canadian Ram tank chassis.
Life size replica of a Horsa glider such as was used at the Pegasus Bridge … none survive in the real world, so this was built using period documents and the examples of the few surviving parts found in the UK.
The original Pegasus Bridge – it was replaced in 1994 and moved to the museum a short distance away.
The replacement in action … same basic design, but … bigger

Caen & La Coupole

There is an excellent WW2/D-Day Museum in Caen, well worth a visit … but a lot of what’s inside, most of it actually, is audiovisual … so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

About 30 klicks or so outside, however, is La Coupole, the remains of the prime German V2 site in France … where rockets would have been assembled from components brought in from elsewhere, prepared and then rolled out to twin launch sites in the adjacent quarry.

Or it was … until about 2-3 months before it would have been completed in early 44 when the Allies bombed the crap out of it. They didn’t destroy it, actually, but it was damaged badly and, after the war, they did do a number on it for security reasons (afraid the French were going to be taken over by the Commies, I guess … reds under the beds … )

In the last decade or so the locals have excavated it and opened up the main levels under the damaged dome as museums … one on the V weapons and the Resistance in the area during WW2.

That’s the dome/cupola of the Bunker and its damaged surrounding supports from the car-park. Massive bugger. They built it by moulding earth in a cupola shape, pouring the concrete over that, then removing the earth from underneath. Pretty smart, actually.
The main entry tunnel.
V2 from the V Weapons display.

Again, a lot of the stuff inside the museum was audiovisual and the few physical artifacts were poorly lit or in cramped spaces that made it impossible to capture accurately. Couldn’t get an angle on the V2, for example, no matter what I tried.

The D-Day Beaches

The next several days I spent hitting the various D-Day Beaches (not all by any means) and on a trip up to Cherbourg.

The main memorial at the US Cemetery near Omaha Beach.
Remnants of Port Winston (the Mulberry harbour) at Arromanches … both on the beach in the foreground and in the middle distance in the channel.
The memorial on Bloody Omaha.
Point du Hoc – notice the massive cratering from the pre-invasion allied bombing. This is where the Rangers came up the cliffs to find there were no guns! Fortunately, they found them a few hundred meters inland, unmanned, and destroyed them,
The Ranger memorial at the point of Point du Hoc. A stone dagger thrust symbolically into the earth.
One of the two completed Casemates (of four planned) destroyed by Allied bombing.

Bayeaux

The location of the famous tapestry … rubbish lighting make it impossible to capture on a camera. However, there are some displays in the museum upstairs that are of interest.

A reconstruction of a Viking inshore craft. Not a Drakkar.
Preparing the invasion fleet – no, not from the Tapestry proper, from a blow up of important sections in the museum upstairs.
The final stages of the Battle of Hastings. The Norman cavalry are charging through the English lines (over dead Englisg Fyrdsmen, bottom left and centre) …supported by Norman Archers (below right)

Cherbourg

Not much in the way of easily accessible WW2 stuff there … but the Cite de la Mer had Le Redoubtable on display, one of the very first French nuclear ballistic missile subs.

The first thing you notice about the interior, at least if you’ve been aboard as many WW2 era US, British and German diesel electric subs as I have, is how much room there is. It meant i generally didn’t have to hunch over or cram through narrow passageways … and that the officers had roomy cabins (comparatively, of course!) such as this … I’ll post some photos later (in a separate Blog post) of the French Diesel Electric Espadon which is at St Nazaire and you’ll see the difference!
One of the Engineering control spaces
The Officer’s Wardroom.
Crew Bunks … no ‘hot bunking’ aiui, each crewman had his own permanent space.
The Crew Mess.
The Helm
The Plotting Table
The best shot you could get of the whole shebang externally.

Liege

The Grand Curtius

On my way to Lille I stopped at Liege and checked out the Grand Curtius museum. It is actually several museums in one – but, as is usual, it was undergoing renovations while I was there and the arms & armour collection (it’s near Herstal, of FN/Fabrique Nationale fame) was mostly not on display in the one spot, or even at all. Still, a chunk of it was …

A Mitrailleuse, one of the precursors of the true machinegun and, like early MGs, treated as artillery. You can clearly see the multiple barrels at the muzzle.
A european version of the Gatling type ‘machine gun’ … also treated as artillery.
FN-2000 in the centre … ring any bells, Adrian?
P90 SMG so beloved of Stargate SG-1 teams, just above the FN-2000.
WW1 Bergmann MP-18, the one with the Luger snail drum magazine rather than the post-war MP-28 which had a more practical ‘stick’ magazine.
German FG-42, a failed attempt at the ‘assault rifle’ concept. Fired a full size 7.92 mm cartridge rather than the 7.92 ‘kurz’ used by the later Sturmgewehr series.
Sorry about the fuzzy picture … crappy lighting … but the centre rifle is a Karabiner 43 automatic Rifle. Not an assault rifle, but a step in the same direction … more so than the FG-42 which was overly complex and too heavy.
Lewis LMG with the horrible pan magazine.
They also had an impressive selection of period furniture and clocks … including this one, which, IIRC, was 2nd Empire … possibly Napoleonic.
There was also the usual selection of religious-y things, including this elaborate gold (or silver-gilt) tryptych. Not medieval, though.

Mons

The Mons city museum covered WW1 and WW2 overall and as it affected the local area.

A ‘French’ 75 mm cannon.
Different types of WW1 gas masks.

As usual, piss poor lighting and badly placed glass cases made most of the displays unphotographeable … but the museum was actually quite good despite all that.

Ypres

There are a lot of WW1 museums and memorials in the area … wonder why?

The famous Menin Gate. A replacement of the original medieval one destroyed in WW2 … built by the Imperial War Graves commission to list the names of all those MIA … but someone didn’t do their sums properly and … there wasn’t enough space. So the Canadians and some others are listed elsewhere. As new bodies are discovered and (occasionally) identified their names are removed from here as they will now have an actual marked grave.
One of the two Lions, one on either side of the gate. These aren’t the originals – Menin/Belgium gave them to Australia as a ‘thank you’ for our part in WW1 … but we had exact copies made and re-gifted them to Menin in 2017.

Passchendaele Museum

This small but excellently presented museum is at Passchendaele – unfortunately most of the displays are, you guessed it, behind glass, poorly lit and almost impossible to photograph.

However, the basement has a reconstruction of a Trench Bunker system and this leads ourtside to the reconstruction of a section of German and of British trenches … but, again, the lighting in the Bunker was piss poor and only the trench sections were possible to take decent photos of!

A section of reconstructed trench – the use of wickerwork to reinforce the sides is indicative of German works (they were running out of raw materials of all sorts by the end of the war) and you can see the shelter in the rear, probably for ammo storage for a trench mortar or the like …
Better quality work indicates this was a British or Allied trench … and, of you look carefully, you’ll note that the trench proper isn’t all that deep … it only goes up to the sandbag level. This sort of arrangement was used where trenches couldn’t be dug deep enough, sometimes because of underlaying rock, but more often because the ground was too waterlogged … as was all to common at the end of the trench lines in Belgium.
A more conventional section of allied trench … note the duckboards at the left edge, designed to try and keep the solders’ feet out of water, and usually failing to do so, especially after any sort of rain. Also note the ‘zig-zag’ arrangement designed to limit the damage radius of any grenades lobbed in … and make it impossible for a raiding party to fire down more than a a dozen feet or so if they managed to take a section of the trench … turning any corner and they could be in the line of fire of waiting defenders.
Inside of one of the prefab shelters for ammo.

Diekirch, Luxemburg

National Museum of Military History

Never heard of it, you say? Well, if you know a little about the Battle of the Bulge you may have. Diekirch was one of the locations attacked by the Germans during that period and the civilians were only just evacuated in time by elements of a US army unit whose officer realised that the Germans were going to make a huge mess of the town.

The town was substantially damaged, but is now rebuilt – and the old Kaserne (military barracks, originally for the Luxemburg contribution to the Belgian Army and later for their own forces has been converted into a museum with lots of WW2-Occupation-Bulge memorabilia as well as a comprehensive look at the Luxemburg armed forces and their pre- and post-war existence (lots of contributions to UN ops and the like).

As is all too common, displays are either so dimly lit that you can’t take decent photos without flash … and flash isn’t permitted … or they’re behind glass and lit so that reflections from the poorly placed lighting make photography impossible … and in a number of cases they are simply so jam-packed together that you can’t get a decent angle on anything.

Still, I managed to get a few shots …

Better equipped than they probably were in real life, this mannequin is meant to represent one of the Volksturm units’ Anti-Tank elements … a guy on a bicycle with two Panzerfausts (90s or 150s, not sure which). Like the guy in Band of Brothers shouts at the German POWs marching along the centre-line of an autobahn with the occasional horse drawn waggon (from the back of a truck) … What were you thinking?
The box contains two different types of Panzerfausts — 60’s, I think, on the right, which were probably obsolete by the time of the Ardennes offensive, but still around (obviously) and the ones on the left are 150’s, I am pretty sure, which were the very latest.
Three generations of the late war German assault rifle … from top to bottom, MP-43, MP-44, and Sturmgeschutz-44. They’re really the same basic weapon with a few minor changes to make production easier and cheaper … and very few were available. Some were, however, used by elements of the various Volksgrenadier units during the Ardennes offensive.

They have a large hall (in the process of being expanded) on one of the top levels which contains a large number of soft-skinned WW2 era vehicles (and some light armoured cars and the like) … but, well, remember what I said about things being jam packed? That was the case. For the most part you simply couldn’t get an angle that would show the whole vehicle without something else getting in the frame.

There are, however, several large items (tanks and artillery) outside at the front of the museum … see below …

A US early model cast-hull Sherman with long 76mm gun. This sort of tank would have been used in US Armoured/Mechanised Divisions during the Bulge (this particular one wasn’t, IIRC, it’s merely representative).

Luxemburg was interesting … cheaper by far (for fuel) than Germany or Belgium since they have either no fuel tax or a much reduced one and, interestingly, open on Sundays. The place I stayed at was actually built over a huge shopping mall less than a dozen klicks from the Belgian border and not more than a half hour from the German one … and it had huge numbers of German and Belgian number plates in their parking areas, and was massively crowded inside … probably because Belgians and Germans (some of them, at least) are normal people and don’t really like having the entire country close down on Sundays … so they go to Luxemburg to shop!

Germany is like Australia was in the 1950’s, bugger all is open on Sundays … Belgium and France are like Australia in the 1960’s, there are usually limited trading hours, with supermarkets opening late (9-10) and closing way early (usually 12-1:30). Backward as all get out.

Mainz

Not a lot of things to see along the Rhine between Munich and Mainz/Trier … or not in the time I had left in Germany, so I prioritized and did a long drive up to Mainz where there is the …

Gutenberg Museum

Gutenberg was a Mainz boy – born into a wealthy family there. Need I explain why he is a rather important figure?

Unfortunately, the lighting inside the museum was absolutely piss poor and I simply couldn’t get any worthwhile photos … of the printing presses.

Still, they had quite a few … and two Gutenberg Bibles.

Museum of Ancient Seafaring

This was the unexpected sleeper … technically speaking it’s not really about seafaring so much as it is about riverine craft. Building on actual boat remains excavated at various nearby sites the museum has reconstructed actual full size replicas of several riverine craft from the Roman riverine forces as well as commercial craft.

Roman riverine warship taken from above, stern. Note the steering oar and the simply rigged square sail. With such a low freeboard this would not have been the craft you’d want to actually take to sea with … heck, it’d be darned unsafe even for inshore coastal work.
Another of the reconstructed ships … this is more seaworthy and actually has a higher freeboard. It also has a typical rear ‘cabin’ … see below.
Yeah. Not much of a cabin for seagoing. But remember, Roman (and ancient ships in general) usually didn’t sail out of sight of land for long periods … they hugged the coastlines or island hopped and more often than not pulled up on shore or in a safe anchorage at night and slept on shore. For very short hops this would probably have been adequate. Notice the outriggers for the steering oar.
A Scorpion – medium tension engine (there were smaller models) usually used for throwing spear-like ‘bolts’ – they were carried into (some) battles on carts and commonly found on Roman warships or city/camp defences. They were light enough so that they may well have been left set up, but with the skeins of rope/fibre used to keep the throwing arms under tension) not twisted and under strain. Most of the time, however, they were probably stored away, disassembled and, indeed, only the metal parts may have been kept in store with the wooden parts constructed as needed to reduce transport requirements

The museum also has many dozens of wooden models of Roman and Classical era ships, ocean going (well, mediterranean going) and riverine.

A typical riverine/coastal or even north-seafaring boat of the type used by the Veneti on the Rhine.
A Roman Quinquireme – it used to be thought that these vessels had five banks of oars, based on the fact that Triremes had three – but it is now believed (as is shown here) that they only had two, but that the oars had multiple rowers … three on the lower bank and two on the upper, most likely. These large vessels were the Roman Imperial equivalent of a Battlecruiser or Battleship. There were larger vessels, but they were rarely built except in wartime, and rarely even then.
Two variants on the ‘typical’ Roman merchant ship design … some of these are known to have carried 1200 tons of grain on the Alexandria-Rome run (many days out of sight of land – an exception to the normal rule of pulling in to shore each night … and only done for around six months a year, those with the best expected weather).

Munich II

The Antiquities Museum

Being an actual Kingdom, and a pretty large one in pre-1870 terms for Germany, the Wittelsbachs (the ruling dynasty) managed to collect some nice stuff … a lot of which is in the Residenz, which I covered in my last blog post. However, they also encouraged the development of a number of major museums, including this one, which has a really nice collection of Greek, Roman and miscellaneous antiquities, mainly pottery (which wass both ubiquitous and has the fortunate property of being damn near eternal, even when broken).

Bronze Griffin heads, Greek, pre-classical.
Greek Bireme or Trireme on a wine serving dish … Black Figure ware, classical period. It’s from surviving (reconstructed from smashed bits, usually) pottery like this that we get a lot of our understanding about Greek technology, culture and society … in this case we can get details on the rigging, the shape of the sail, the shape of the bow and stern and the arrangement of the steering oars for the ship
Polychrome ware – late Classical or Alexandrian/Successor. Hairstyles, fashion, trade (the leopard skin) etc can be gleaned. It’s also pretty great art.

The Egyptian Museum

When I was in Munich last portions of what’s on display here were evidently on display in the Residenz, but not optimally … so they built a new, smallish, museum in the museum precinct to contain a much large selection of the items they have on hand … and display them much more advantageously …

A lot of what we know about Ancient Egypt’s ‘everyday life’ comes from relics found in tombs belonging to the upper classses … here we have some poor sod grinding grain into flour. The much more efficient rotary quern was not yet invented … regardless, it is estimated that it would have taken a whole morning’s work to grind enough grain into flour to bake the bread needed for a ‘typical’ family … whatever that was. Such work was, of course, mostly done by women … or slaves/servants, if you were wealthy enough to have such!
Cats were very popular – keep those bloody rodents out of your food (grain) supply. It is now thought that cats were first domesticated (actually domesticating themselves … deciding that humans were OK since they provided all those nice cat-sized rodents to snack on!) in Mesopotamia sometime after 4400 BC … the Egyptian variety, however, is a different lineage and only appears around 1500 BC … self selected for their character (aka ‘dogs have masters, cats have servants‘ … they decided humans would make their lives easier, and we did!)
They also liked Ibises … a lot. There are tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of mummified Ibis and Cat bodies all over Egypt. This isn’t a mummy, however, but, I think, ceramic?
Strangely enough, the museum also has an Assyrian collection. When they were doing the original collection catalogue in the late 19th century they found they had a significant amount of Assyrian and Babylonian stuff … and it seemed to fit in best with the Egyptian stuff, so it’s remained connected ever since. Typical four winged Assyrian/Bablonian deities on a gold armband.
Another four winged deity in enamel on gold.

More tomorrow, probably of Mainz.

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 …