Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace is one of the top attractions in the German city of Munich. Formerly a summer house for the Wittelsbach family, this grand residence exudes wealth, and surrounding it are ample grounds. In fact, the parkland that stretches out from the Schloss Nymphenburg, as this palace is known in German, covers nearly 500 acres. A variety of attractions on these extensive grounds only serve to complement the main building, and thanks to everything that there is to see and do, you could easily spend a few hours trying to make the rounds.

Schloss Nymphenburg was built for Elector Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, and work began in 1664. Agostino Barelli, who hailed from Italy, was the architect in charge, and he finished the central villa in 1675. This villa, as you might suspect, was very Italian in style. Little changed at the Schloss Nymphenburg site until Max Emanuel began his renovation project in the early 1700s. The heir to Bavaria, Emanuel was attached to the Holy Roman Empire and perhaps tried to display his wealth through the four large pavilions that he added ad Nymphenburg. Subsequent renovations saw a French baroque style taking over in terms of the palace's design and decor, and while the exterior is fairly subdued, it's a different story inside.

When you enter Nymphenburg Palace, you immediately find yourself in the immaculate Great Hall. This hall boasts a dazzling rococo decor, and you won't want to miss its wonderful frescoes. These frescoes, which date back to the 1700s, are tied to mythology, with the goddess of spring being at the heart of things. Also depicted are the goddess of springs nymphs, and they are responsible for the inspiration of the palace's name. Much as it did in the mid-1700s, the Great Hall at Schloss Nymphenburg hosts concerts, with summer being the season for these delightful cultural events.

Another highlight at Nymphenburg Palace is King Ludwig I's Gallery of Beauties. Found in the south pavilion, this collection of 36 portraits depicts beautiful women from the day, and one of these women was a dancer who helped to cause a series of revolutions. Her name was Lola Montez, and there were rumors that she had established a very friendly friendship with the king. The Gallery of Beauties portraits were created between 1827 and 1850, and as far as the revolutions that Lola Montez helped stir up, they were the German revolutions of 1948, which essentially aimed to alter the status quo as it was.

After you explore the palace buildings at Schloss Nymphenburg, you might check out the ancient carriages that are housed in the Marstallmuseum. This museum on the grounds occupies the former court stables. Once you make your way through the Marstallmuseum, the Porcelain Museum might prove too tempting to pass up. Housed above the Marstallmuseum, this museum boasts some of the finest porcelain pieces that you will find anywhere on the planet.

Seeing what the park has to offer is also likely to prove tempting during your visit to Nymphenburg Palace. Various pavilions are found in the surrounding parkland, and they include a bathing pavilion and a teahouse that you might expect to find in China. Other interesting buildings also populate the park, and thanks to its expanse and its green spaces, this park can simply be a great place to picnic and stroll.

Schloss Nymphenburg is found outside of the Munich city center. A tram can be used to get from the city to the palace site, and the trip out takes approximately twenty minutes. The site is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. October through March, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April through September. Free parking is available for those who wish to drive over, and as far as finding hotels near Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich offers plenty of lodging options. That being said, some hotels are closer than others.

Among the best lodging bets for those who wish to stay close by are the Hotel Laimer Hof and the Hotel Kriemhild. Both of these hotels offer good clean rooms at a good price, and breakfast is included in the rates. Should these Munich hotels be booked, there are a few other hotels near Schloss Nymphenburg that should also suffice for a night or more.

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