The Residenz

We had been planning to go to Neuschwanstein on our last day in Munich to see Mad King Ludwig's famous castle, but getting there would not be easy. It takes over 2 hours to get to the town of Fussen from Munich on the train, and then you must catch a bus for a 1/2 hour ride to the castle itself. We were leaving for Zurich the next day, and the thought of traveling 5 hours 2 days in a row was not appealing. Still, it was the place I had most wanted to see on this trip.

Fortunately, we consulted the web for more information and discovered that not only was the castle covered in scaffolding, the prime location for taking photographs - a bridge on a hill that overlooks the picturesque castle - would be closed that day.

The final deciding factor was that Walt was not feeling well so we gave up on our ambitious plans. Walt would rest at the hotel and Jeanette and Morgan and I would visit The Residenz, the 90 room palace that was once the home of Bavaria's royal family.

First, however, we decided to go inside the Theatine Church on the Odeonsplatz. The church, which was designed by an Italian architect, was built from 1663 to 1690 to express gratitude for the birth of Prince Max Emanuel.

After admiring the interior of the church, we headed off to The Residenz.

One of the first rooms we entered was The Antiquarium or Hall of Antiquities. The hall is the oldest room in the Residenz. It was built from 1568 to 1571 to house Duke Albrecht V's collection of antique sculptures. The paintings on the wall and ceiling were added later by his successors when they made the room into a banquet hall.

On this day, a musical trio was being recorded as they performed in the hall.

Walking through a 90 room palace takes a surprising amount of stamina. There is no conveniently placed restaurant where you can take a break and have a cup of coffee. There aren't even any chairs where you can sit for a moment. Actually, as far as I could tell, there are no exits. You just have to keep walking through room after room after room until you reach the end.

Many of the rooms were filled with cases of interesting objects. Below are pictures of some of the things that caught my eye.

The picture on the left is part of a very large tapestry that was on a wall.

Love the outfit worn by this noble - especially the shoes and stockings.

The ceramic of the dog playing the piano is my absolute favorite. The bear is a close second.

The room on the right was a chapel.

Just as we thought we would collapse from hunger, we came upon a friendly guard who assured us there were only a couple more rooms to go.

I would definitely recommend a visit to The Residenz if you find yourself in Munich, but make sure you are well-hydrated, well-fed, and well-rested before you begin your trek through the many, many rooms.

When we finally emerged from The Residenz, we wandered on to the Viktualienmarkt near The New Town Hall - a collection of little shops and stalls and tables surrounded by huge trees. We purchased large beers and pretzels and rested our weary feet.

It was there that I finally found the little cat pictured on the menu bar. The woman I purchased it from felt compelled to tell me that it was not made from real cat fur. This confession was very surprising to me because it never occurred to me that anything but synthetic material might have been used, but I was happy to hear it.

I would have loved to spent another week in Munich. There was still much to see and do, but it was time to head for Zurich.