From the first human tribes to the titans of Wall Street, it’s a fact that the higher up the financial food chain one goes, the bigger and fancier the house.
And in the 16th Century, German royalty was the undisputed top of the chain. Nowhere is this more evident than the Residenz in Munich.
The Munich Residenz served as the seat of government and residence of the Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings from 1508 to 1918.
What began as a castle at the north-eastern corner of the town was transformed over the centuries into a sprawling, magnificent palace. Today it’s a museum showcasing architecture, lavish room decorations, and displays of former royal collections.
The Wittelsbach family ruled Bavaria for 700 years, and money was no object – it was nothing but the best; the crème de la crème. As a result, any room on the tour could be a short course in decorative arts.
Room after room of jaw-dropping, eye popping, over-the-top luxury and opulence. In fact, the palace and collection are so massive that it’s easy to get blasé as you wander into yet another room of priceless antiques.
For many people, palaces like the Residenz are symbols of oppression. They’re the embodiment of the greed and vanity of kings, paid for by overtaxed commoners who frequently lived in squalor and struggled for survival. To others, they’re a tangible reminder of a nation’s history and importance. There are valid points to be made on both sides of this argument, but there’s no denying that the Residenz is a fabulous collection which provides a glimpse of a lavish lifestyle that won’t likely come again.
James & Terri