To celebrate the birth of their son in 1664, the Elector Ferdinand Maria and his wife Henrietta Adelaide of Savoy commissioned Agostino Barelli to build a summer palace to the west of Munich. The wings and annexe buildings were added from 1701 onwards. The historic gardens to the rear of the palace beckon for a pleasant stroll. Over the course of 300 years, the original ornamental garden was expanded into a vast ensemble comprising a Baroque garden, a system of canals, and small pavilions scattered throughout the park.
The Porcelain Factory museum, located in an annexe, documents the history of the Nymphenburger Porzellan factory since 1747. The Museum Mensch und Natur in the right wing of the palace features exhibits on natural science. Visit www.musmn.de
Top 10 Sights
1. The Palace
Maximilian II Emanuel and Karl Albrecht expanded the original 1664 villa by adding buildings designed by Enrico Zucalli and Joseph Effner. Arcaded galleries connect them to the main building, contributing to the harmony of the ensemble.
2. Gallery of Beauties
Ludwig I commissioned Joseph Stieler to create a gallery of beauties – a collection of portraits of noblewomen, townswomen, and dancers – such as Helene Sedlmayr, a beautiful tailor’s daughter.
3. Steinerner Saal
The Rococo embellishment in the spacious ballroom was created by Johann B Zimmermann and Cuviliés the Elder during the reign of Maximilian III Joseph.
Exquisite Chinese motifs in black laquer on wood panelling are reprised in the Rococo ceiling fresco.
5. Palace Gardens
Symmetrically laid-out French gardens to the rear of the palace give way to an English-style landscaped park, which was established using the existing forest. The gardens feature pavilions, lodges, fountains, ornamental ponds, and other park installations.
This building houses carriages and sleighs that once belonged to the Bavarian rulers. Ludwig II’s gilded state coach is one such example.
Built by Cuviliés the Elder between 1734 and 1739 for Electress Amelia, this small hunting lodge is a masterpiece of European Rococo.
In this 18th-century pavilion with an unusual octagonal floorplan, Western and Eastern ornamentation is beautifully combined. The ground floor is decorated with Delft tiles.
Featuring a ballroom and a two-storey bathing hall containing a heated pool – making it one of Europe’s first – this pavilion is definitely worth a visit. Three of the pavilion’s rooms are lined in costly Chinese wallpaper.
Grottoes and follies were an expression of 18th-century romantic yearnings. This folly contains rooms of monastic severity, which served as a peaceful retreat for Maximilian Emanuel, along with a chapel located in a grotto.