29 January 2013

Residenz München- Antiquarium

Anitquarium of the Munich Residenz
It was the last day of our December travels, and we had about five hours in Munich before our flight homeward, barely enough time for a quick run through the Residenz, the Palace of the Bavarian rulers.   The gem of the palace, is the  magnificent Antiquarium.   Billed as "the Largest Renaissance Hall North of the Alps" at 66 meters long, the Antiquarium, was created circa 1570 by Jacopo Strada for Duke Albrecht V, to display a vast collection of classical busts. It was redesigned to its current appearance as a banquet hall in 1586-1600 by Friedrich Sustris; the floor was lowered and the ceiling decorated with paintings by Peter Candid, Antonio Ponzano, and, of course, Hans Thonauer the Elder.

Groteske ornament surrounds cartouches with scenes of Bavaria
But really-- the groteske ornament steals the whole show, much of it designed by Sustris himself.   It is graceful and Fantastic.  In the Winter Light, it appears rather moody.

Münchner Wappen featured in a cartouche over a window
As you may imagine much of the Residenz was severely damaged during the bombings in WWII.  Fortunately the Antiquarium survived, although not without some losses.  Parts of the ceiling have been recreated, and some areas are  bit fuzzy from smoke damage, but overall it's breathtaking: a blend of classical serenity, and colorful whimsy.

Grotesque ceiling ornamentation dates from the end of the 16th century

Sebastian Schmuttermaier in action!
While visiting this palace we met photographer Sebastian Schmuttermaier, who had obtained permission to bring in a tripod and a special camera mount to shoot 360 degree panoramic images of several rooms in the Residenz. Have a look at the spectacular results of his work on his website.  Follow the arrows to take a tour!

All photos in this post by Lynne Rutter, taken in Munich, Germany, December 2012
click on images to view at larger size.


  1. I know I could spend all day in that room; I have a great love of grotesque ornaments. The 360 tour is a real treat — thanks!

  2. Wow, great architecture. It's a beautiful space.

  3. this must be grottesca heaven! I bet you could smell the lime in the air there also.

  4. I could easily have spent all day in there! But we had a plane to catch. In this same palace are many other fantastic rooms, a wonderful grotto space, throne rooms, and a gorgeous theater, which you can see on Sebastian's website.

  5. Thank you for posting these breathtaking images!

  6. Sadly you missed Cuvilliestheater:
    Tick on the black Arrows to move around.
    Actually I'm traying to get a Tripod Permission for Asamkirche ;-)
    Best Regards from Munich

    1. Sebastian, I cannot wait to see your pictures from Asamkirche! I am sure it will be beautiful

  7. Those really are beutiful pictures. When I was in Munich, I had the opportunity to visit the Bavarian castles Linderhoff and Neuschwanstein. They were both simnply amazing and I think everyone should see them at least once.


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