Nymphenburg (German: Schloss Nymphenburg) is a palace complex, the summer residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty . The palace was built in the best traditions of Italian Baroque, and the park area is a classic landscape creation in the French and English style. The palace and the park also contain several artificial canals and ponds, the summer pavilion Pagodenburg, the Badenburg Bath House, the hunting pavilion Amalienburg, the Magdalenklause (grotto and chapel), the funny Dörfchen Peasant Village as well as the Porcelain Museum and the Carriage Museum.
|Gallery of Beauties|
|Museum of Man and Nature|
|Interiors of palace halls|
|on the map of Munich|
History of Nymphenburg
Five generations of the Wittelsbachs built the palace complex over a period of 200 years. The Nymphenburg was founded in 1664 by Elector Ferdinand Maria, who ordered the Italian villa to be built as a gift to his beloved wife Heinriette Adelaide of Savoy, who two years earlier gave birth to their long-awaited heir (the couple had waited nine years for a child), the future Maximilian II Emmanuel. The villa was completed in 1674. At that time it was a massive cubic pavilion, surrounded by a church, several outbuildings and a small garden. In keeping with the wishes of the romantic Henrietta, the villa was dedicated to the flower goddess Flora and her nymphs – hence the name “Nymphenburg”, or “city of the nymphs”.
As soon as he came to the throne, Maximilian II enlarged the Nymphenburg, adding two wings (north and south) and several pavilions. He also modernized the facade of the central cubic pavilion, taking the example of the recently built Versailles. Thus, the modest summer villa was transformed into a sumptuous Baroque palace. Subsequent members of the Wittelsbach dynasty also contributed to the development of the complex, but without major architectural changes.
Schematic diagram of the palace complex
The interior of the palace of Nymphenburg underwent a period of absolute splendor. The rooms and halls, fully corresponding to the royal status, surpass all notions of luxury. Today, however, not all of them are accessible to visitors. Some of the rooms are still in the possession of the present head of the Wittelsbach dynasty, Franz Bonaventure Adalbert Maria of Bavaria, born in 1933. Others are closed due to restoration work that is still underway following the devastation of the Second World War.
The Festsaal is the main hall of the central pavilion, which was used for official receptions and balls. It is also called the Stone Hall. The large-scale interior of the Festsaal in the Bavarian rococo style, richly decorated with moldings and frescoes, has remained unchanged since 1758. On one side of the Great Hall were the King’s apartments, on the other the Queen’s apartments.
Gallery of Beauties
The Gallery of Beauties (Schoellenheitengalerie) – a unique collection of portraits of the most attractive women in Bavaria in the second quarter of the 19th century. The inspiration for the collection came from King Ludwig I, and the executor was the court painter and renowned painter of his time, Karl Josef Stieler. The amorous king personally approved the contenders regardless of their social status. For example, Helena Södlmaier, the daughter of a shoemaker, can be seen in the same row as the Queen of Bavaria. Meanwhile, one of the beauties depicted was a truly femme fatale for Ludwig I and the reason for his abdication. It was Lola Montes, dancer, mistress of the king and adventuress of European proportions. It was her attempt to blackmail the unhappy monarch with love letters that formed the basis of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous story, Scandal in Bohemia.
All 36 portraits in the Gallery of Beauties were painted between 1827 and 1850 and give an idea of Ludwig I’s preferences. Even in modern times, the paintings remain unsigned. The king liked to repeat that beauties need no introduction.
The Marstallmuseum (carriage museum) is a rare exhibit of the ceremonial carriages, sleighs, faetons and harness of the Wittelsbach dynasty. The museum occupies the former royal stables. Especially magnificent and beautiful are the exhibits that belonged to the “fairy tale king” Ludwig II. Ludwig II. The carriage made for his wedding to Sophia Charlotte Augusta deserves special attention. However, the King was not destined to have the chic work of Bavarian craftsmen at the head of his wedding motorcade – he broke off the engagement.
The Porcelain Museum (Porzellanmuseum) displays a collection of the best works of the manufactory, which has operated in Nymphenburg since 1761. The museum includes famous, handmade figurines that are recognized as true masterpieces because of their quality and originality. The pieces are not only on display for all to see, but are also for sale in the Porcelain Manufactory building.
Museum of Man and Nature
Museum Mensch und Natur (Museum Mensch und Natur) is an interactive natural history museum that not only adults enjoy, but also children. Museum exhibits are presented in the form of games, interactive and multimedia exhibits. For example, on a special model you can see the movement of blood through the human body. You can continue learning about nature through quizzes. For example, on the screen there are leaves of different trees, and from the proposed answers you need to choose the right option that corresponds to each type of tree.
A special pride of the museum is a stuffed bear named Bruno, which is depicted at the moment of opening a beehive. He was killed in 2006. Researchers believe that Bruno was the last bear to live in the wild in Germany for the last 170 years.
April to October 15: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. October 16 – March: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chapel: April-15 October: daily from 9:00 to 18:00.
From April 1 to mid-October – 15 euros, discounted – 13 euros. from mid-October to March – 12 euros, discounted – 10 euros.
Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg) is located in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, in southern Germany. The occasion of this magnificent summer residence was the long-awaited birth of a son by Henrietta Adelaide of Savoy, wife of Elector Ferdinand Maria Wittelsbach. The couple had been waiting for an heir to the throne with increasing anxiety for ten years. Their joy, however, was unbounded in 1662, after the event.
The Elector decided to build a palace west of Munich on the royal estate of Kemnathen (Hofmark Kemnathen). In 1664, the court architect Augustin Barelli commenced construction. Thirteen years later, the “Lust Schloss Nymphenburg” (“Nymphenburg Palace for Amusement”) was finished. Originally the castle really looked more like a fortress. A large cubic structure, outbuildings and a small geometrically laid out park.
It was the heir apparent at the time, Max Emmanuel, who, during his reign from 1680 to 1726, had already built up the palace and expanded the park complex to the extent we see today.
Nymphenburg Palace with its adjoining park and park castles is the largest palace ensemble in Europe. The length of the complex from north to south is 632 meters, exceeding the size of Versailles.
Another court architect, also Italian, Enrico Zucalli, supervised the construction. At the beginning of XVIII century Emmanuel II, however, had no time for the palace. Moreover, during the Spanish Succession War, after his defeat at the battles of Munich, he was forced to flee Bavaria and spend 14 years in Paris. But upon his return, Max Emmanuel considered it a matter of honor to build a palace no worse than the French Versailles.
Emmanuel II’s son, Elector Carl Albrecht of Bavaria (1726 bis 1745) and, from 1742, Kaiser Karl VII. inspired by the idea of transforming Nymphenburg into Karlstadt, proceeded to enlarge the ensemble. Nymphenburg Palace and the rotunda were to form the center of the town. Four more small castles were built in the park. The Amalienburg, richly decorated in white and silver Rococo style, became Charles VII’s favorite park palace.
Under Emperor Karl VII’s successor, Elector Max III, the Rococo hall of the palace was refurbished in the same manner.
It was also during his reign that the porcelain manufactory in Nymphenburg was given its current location. Max III added the sculptures of the most important gods of Olympus to the decoration of the park.
Elector Carl Theodor, whose reign coincided with the French Revolution, allowed the people access to the park in order to prevent unnecessary disturbances. When Bavaria became a kingdom at the beginning of the 19th century, King Max I restored some of the rooms of the palace and refurbished the interior in the Classical style.
Even after the death of the first king, the Nymphenburg remained the favourite residence of the Bavarian kings.
In 1845, Ludwig II, the famous Bavarian king and builder of Neuschwanstein Palace, was born here. Today 21 rooms are open to the public, including the stone hall with Zimmermann frescoes, the apartments in the north wing, the south wing with the famous gallery of King Ludwig I’s 36 portraits by Stiehler, the apartments of Elector Carl Theodor, the Queen’s suite and the Chinese room with lacquer coatings.
The collection of the Stables Museum, located in the former royal stables, consists of royal and count’s carriages, princes’ sleighs, stretchers for ladies, saddles and much more. On the second floor of the Stables Museum is a museum of Nymphenburg porcelain.
Founded in 1743 by Elector Max III, the porcelain manufactory existed until the 20th century. The success of the Nymphenburg porcelain factory was the work of the master craftsman Franz Anton Bustelli. Today, his porcelain figures are the main pride of the museum. In addition, a collection of royal table porcelain and a collection of unique art nouveau pieces are on display.
In addition to the main palace, there are four smaller park palaces that are open for visits.
Magdalenenklause was erected on the orders of Max Emmanuel. This brick, one-story building was conceived by him as a place of prayer and solitude. One part is the Maria Magdalena Chapel, while the second part houses very modest, monastic-style apartments. The Magdalenklause was deliberately placed right in the middle of a densely overgrown forest to enhance the sense of hermitage. The Elector’s castle, completed in 1728, was never seen by the Elector.
Directly opposite the Magdalenklause a very different castle was built. was built in 1739 by Charles Albrecht for his wife Amalia as a hunting and entertainment castle. It is one of the finest examples of European Rococo. The central part of the building is occupied by an oval mirrored study. The blue study and rest room make up the southern part, and the hunting and pheasant room make up its northern part. There is also a dressing room, a dog room, and a kitchen.
Badenburg, as the name implies, is a place for royal bathing and occupies the southern part of the Nymphenburg park ensemble. It has a bathing room, heated pool, dressing room, kitchen, and royal suite on the second floor.
This elegant lodge – a castle built in the 18th century, is located in the northern part of the park. The first floor is painted in white and blue exotic plant ornaments, according to the fashion of that time, in the Chinese style; the second floor is covered with Chinese silk wallpaper with birds of paradise and trimmed with precious wood. The building itself does not resemble a pagoda.
Not far from the Nymphenburg Palace is a botanical garden.
For a walk in the park you can use the App “Schloss Nymphenburg”, available as a free download.
There are three virtual tours of the park, operated via GPS, with information on 27 park sites.
How to get there
Nymphenburg Palace is located in the western part of Munich and can be reached conveniently by all means of transportation.
By public transport
- By subway: U1 or U7 to the Rotkreuzplatz stop, then walk or take streetcar 17 to the Schloss Nymphenburg stop.
- By local train: S-Bahn lines S1, S2, S3, S4, S6, or S8 to the Lime stop. This is the entrance from the side of the park. After getting off the train, go down the tunnel and cross to the opposite side of the train tracks, then turn right and walk to the Nymphenburg Park Gate.
- By streetcar: Take route 17 to the Nymphenburg Palace stop.
There is a free parking lot for 450 cars in front of Nymphenburg Palace.
Nymphenburg Palace in Munich is conveniently reached by Uber cab.
All Nymphenburg: from April 1 to mid-October – 15 euros, 13 euros with discount. From mid-October to March – 12 euros, with a discount – 10 euros.
The card includes visits to Nymphenburg Palace, the Stables Museum, the Nymphenburg Porcelain Museum, the Museum of Man and Nature, and the park palaces Pagodenburg, Amalienburg, Badenburg, and Magdalenkauze.
Nymphenburg Palace only – 8 euros, with a discount of 7 euros.
Stable Museum and Porcelain Manufactory – 6 euros, with discount – 5 euros.
Park Castles of Pagodenburg, Amalienburg, Badenburg, and Magdalenklaose – 4 euros discount.
Children under 18 years have the right to visit all museums of the Nymphenburg palace complex for free.
Discount tickets may be purchased by students on presentation of an international student card.
Entrance to the park of Nymphenburg Palace – free.
In the former greenhouse Geranienhaus houses temporary exhibitions. Admission is free.
Nymphenburg Castle, the Nymphenburg Porcelain Museum and the Stables Museum are open
- April 1 to October 15 – daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m,
- From October 16 to March 30 – daily from 10 am to 4 pm.
Park palaces Magdalenecklause, Pagodenburg, Amalienburg, Badenburg are open daily from April 1 to mid-October from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. From mid-October to March the park palaces are not open.
The Palace Chapel is open daily from April to mid-October from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The main gate is open:
- January through March, November and December from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m,
- April and October from 6 to 8 p.m,
- May through September, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The remaining park gates close a half hour before the specified main gate time.
The park fountains are open from Catholic Easter through mid-October daily from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The historic pumphouses in the “park village” and the north wing of the palace can be visited from Catholic Easter through mid-October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Geranienhaus with its temporary exhibitions is open from April to mid-October from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.