The Munich Residence originated as a small moated castle, built in 1385, and was gradually expanded by the Wittelsbach rulers who used it until 1918 as their residence and seat of government.
The Munich Residence served as the seat of government and residence of the Bavarian dukes, electors and kings from 1508 to 1918. What began in 1385 as a castle in the north-eastern corner of the city (the Neuveste, or new citadel), was transformed by the rulers over the centuries into a magnificent palace, its buildings and gardens extending further and further into the town.
The rooms and art collections spanning a period that begins with the Renaissance, and extends via the early Baroque and Rococo epochs to Neoclassicism, bear witness to the discriminating taste and the political ambition of the Wittelsbach dynasty.
Much of the Residence was destroyed during the Second World War, and from 1945 it was gradually reconstructed. Today, with the museums of the Bavarian Palace Administration (the Residence Museum itself, the Treasury and the Cuvilliés Theatre) along with other cultural institutions, this is one of the largest museum complexes in Bavaria.
Highlights are the Antiquarium (Hall of Antiquities), the largest secular Renaissance hall north of the Alps, the early 17th-century rooms, including the Reiche Kapelle (Ornate Chapel), the Steinzimmer (Stone Rooms) and the Trierzimmer (Trier Rooms), the magnificent Rococo Rooms (Ancestral Gallery and Ornate Rooms by François Cuvilliés the Elder) and the neoclassical Königsbau (King’s Tract) created by Leo von Klenze.
Also on display are special collections such as silver, ecclesiastical vestments and porcelain from Europe and East Asia.