Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Munich - Day 4

As I had enjoyed myself in the Nymphenburg Palace the previous day, I decided to absorb more Bavarian culture and went to the Residenz Museum, which was conveniently located just off Maximilian Strasse.

The Residenz Museum used to be the home to the Wittelsbach family - the old rulers of Bavaria (now the South Eastern part of Germany), so it's not surprising that this museum showcases the way the family used to live - the way they decorated the rooms etc. However, the Munich Residenz was heavily bombed in WWII, so many pieces of furniture etc aren't the originals as they were destroyed. Nevertheless, the curators tried to furnish the rooms with reproductions and suitable period pieces which they believe conveyed the essence of that period.

I wasn't able to take a picture of the facade of the Residenz Museum as they were in the midst of doing some renovation. Fortunately, the renovation was mainly on the exterior of the building, so I could still enjoy the interior, which was truly impressive.

The first room: The Grotto
(Somehow, this reminded me very much of Hindu temples ... hmm ...)

The Antiquarium
(an exhibition room built for displaying their collection of antiquities
- this is also the largest Renaissance Hall north of the Alps)
... I really liked the frescoes ...

The view from inside the Residenz Museum ...

The Black Hall
(named for the black portals/doorways)

Porcelain Collection
(Once again, I realised how large the Oriental influence was even several hundred years ago)

This is the blue-and-white range ...

Apparently, the Europeans looked to the orient as they were famous for their skill in making porcelain. However, once the pieces were acquired, they "enhanced" them with European features/designs, like these ...
... these incredibly Chinese "foo" dogs or "Stone Lions" (石獅) were transformed into candelabras / candle holders ...

In other instances, Chinese motifs/scenes were used ...
(these were my personal favorites ... so pretty ...)

Elector's Second Antechamber / Dining Room

Elector's Bedroom

Gorgeous embroidery!

Just looking down the passageway with all the interconnecting doors took my breath away ...

Yellow Cabinet
(part of the Electress' Pte Apt)

Electress' Bedroom

Electress' Audience Chamber

Electress' Second Antechamber
(used as a waiting or reception room for those who came for an audience with the Electress)

Second Court Garden Room

This was one of my favorite pieces of furniture in the museum ...
I loved the beautiful floral embroidery ...
I just couldn't believe that it was a period piece ..
I would love to have this in my modern day home!
(I only wish I had taken a sharper picture!)

Bedroom in the "Court and Garden Rooms and Charlotte Chambers"
(the rooms here are in an Neoclassical Epoch style)

Another beautifully embroidered chair ... of birds this time ...

A Dressing/Writing Table in another bedroom?
So pretty ...

Music Room


A pianoforte or harpsichord?

Conference Chamber

State Bedroom

Cabinet of Miniatures
(The walls in this baroque rococo style room were filled with beautiful miniatures ...)

... miniatures like these ...

I found these miniatures fascinating cos apparently they served a number of functions:

Frequently, the subjects of the portraits used them as gifts. Depending on the sitter's financial means and on the importance of the occasion, the miniature would be mounted in a more or less expensive setting, often on precious boxes.

Miniatures in the form of brooches and pendants, on armbands, rings and bridal bags, proclaimed the wearer's closeness to the person depicted. As a sign of special intimacy, an elegantly arranged lock of the person's hair might be preserved beneath glass on the reverse.

Miniatures were also hung on walls or displayed in glass cases. This might be done to provide a visual record of family relationships ... much like our modern day photographs?

Cabinet of Mirrors/Porcelain
... also in the baroque rococo style ...
(If you look really closely, you'll see these little dots of blue on the walls - those are the porcelain ... displayed on the walls!)

Madame de Pompadour's writing set

There are only 3 examples of this set which are known to exist. This one was originally owned by Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of French King Louis XV. It is said to have come to the Bavarian court as a gift from Queen Marie Antoinette, consort of Louis XVI of France.

The porcelain is from Sevres, famous for its radiant background colours.

The Red Room / Heart Cabinet

An ornate passageway ...

Emperor's Staircase

Emperor's Hall

Ancestral Gallery
(Baroque rococo style)
(Portraits lining the walls were of ancestors and their consorts/spouse/companions, including Emperor Ludwig)

Porcelain Cabinet / Former Treasury
(Baroque rococo style)

On a personal note, I was toying with writing these couple of posts for Nymphenburg Palace and the Residenz Museum when "Marie Antoinette" came on TV the other day. The movie was set in the Versailles in France. Whilst watching the movie, I couldn't help but be reminded of the rooms in the Nymphenburg Palace, Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace and now the Residenz Museum - totally inspired me to write these posts!

Anyway ...
after my tour ... which was pretty long owing that the Residenz Museum was rather large, I decided to get a snack ...

Pretzels anyone? :)

For dinner, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal at Geisel Vinothek (in the Excelsior Hotel) which combined Italian and Bavarian cuisine ...

Our starter:
poached char (a local fish) with apple, celery and nut cream

Halibut with vegetable tartlet, fried avocado and romanesco

I think this was roast pork ...

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