Nymphenburg Castle and it’s Royalties

One of the many attractions which is an absolute MUST for every tourist to see, is “Nymphenburg Castle” or as we call it “Schloss Nymphenburg”! It is located in the west part of the city in one of Munich’s most beautiful parks and is, beside of being a tourist-attraction, a well-liked destination for local culture-lovers and sun-worshipers alike.
As many as five generations of WITTELSBACH-rulers were involved in this baroque castle!

The building of Nymphenburg Castle began when Elector Ferdinand Maria, overjoyed by the birth of his son and heir Max Emanuel, summoned Architect Agostino Barelli and ordered him to build a castle for his wife in the style of an Italian villa (1664-1674) … as “thank you” and token of his appreciation and love.

Around 1700 Max Emanuel extended the castle by adding galleries and pavilions and in 1715 an architect called Joseph Effner designed the pilasters, arched windows and busts which now grace the exterior! A few years later a southern section was added to serve as the court stables, today containing as most famous exhibit the carriage of King Ludwig II – and as counterpart, the “orangerie” or orange grove was planted in the north! Finally a grand circle with baroque mansions (“Schlossrondell”) was erected under Emperor Charles VII Albert.

High morals were not necessarily on the top of the list of those royals and so Max Emanuel started ca. in 1700 the first “Gallery of Beauties” in the north wing … only to be surpassed by his son Ludwig I, who gave order to have 36 portraits of “beautiful women of all levels of Munich society” painted, his mistresses. One of them, “Lola Montez” who’s attractions proved irresistible to the king, won questionable fame and did contribute to his eventual downfall in 1848, the year of the revolution. King Ludwig I was finally forced to abdicate in favor of his son Maximilian II.

Ludwig II became famous due to his fairy-tale castles like “Neuschwanstein” and “Hohenschwangau” … he was born in the so-called “Queen’s bedroom” (picture)
on August 25th, 1845.

In the gardens behind Nymphenburg Castle there are some jewels which one should certainly NOT miss to see … the “Pagodenburg”, an octagonal two-story pavilion, the “Badenburg” which contains a very large tiled bath, the “Magdalenenklause” for retreat and meditation and last not least, the “Amalienburg” which was actually a rococo hunting lodge, constructed for Charles VII and his wife Maria Amalia and containes a hall of mirrors and back then, a kennel room for the hunting dogs.

There is a little rather piquant story about the latter, the “Amalienburg”:
It’s kitchen, which is very famous due to exquisite paneling in white and blue showing “still lifes” of flowers and animals, is hiding a secret! What few people know is that the rear wall of the kitchen was used as a commode with a toilet-chair, which was concealed behind its folding door! Just imagine … in the KITCHEN!!!

Well, I can say for certain I am happy I wasn’t born during this time – just the thought of food being prepared right near someone who follows the call of nature does certainly kill MY appetite! I do not want to even think further down the road …!


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