Munich's Magnificent Residenz
For centuries the seat of the Dukes, Electors, and Kings of Bavaria, the Munich Residenz is undoubtedly one of Europe's most spectacular palaces. Laid out around seven large courts, the vast Residenz complex comprises three main sections: the Königsbau, fronting onto Max-Joseph-Platz; the Alte Residenz, facing Residenzstrasse; and the Festsaalbau (Banqueting Hall) overlooking the Hofgarten.
The first section of this huge complex to be built was the magnificent Antiquarium, built in 1579 and now part of the excellent Residenz Museum. The Alte Residenz, a masterpiece of the late Renaissance and testimony to the growing power of Bavaria, followed soon after, and the final components - the Neoclassical Königsbau, the Festsaalbau, and the Court Church - were completed in 1848. Today, the Residenz is home to a number of monuments and museums, including the Residenz Museum, the Treasury, the Court Church of All Saints (Allerheiligen-Hofkirche), and Cuvilliés-Theater.
Be sure to explore the palace grounds, too, with its many wonderful old courtyards - including the beautiful Court Garden - as well as numerous fountains, ponds, and gardens.