We had Sunday morning before Katlyn and Chelsea needed to board their train for Vienna. Since it's a Sunday, in Germany, most things except for places like museums and gardens are closed. There are two palaces in Munich that are popular for tourists to visit: The Residenz and Schloss Nymphenburg. Both look interesting and neither Aaron nor I had been to either on before, so we were game for whichever they choose. They looked at both and decided they wanted to visit Schloss Nymphenburg.
We packed up that morning, got on the S-Bahn, and then a tram, to get to the castle. Admission is pretty cheap, only 5€ or so, and you get to see many of the rooms in the castle. Building of the Baroque style palace began in the late 1600s. In later years, it was expanded and the gardens behind it upgraded. It was once the main summer residence for the rulers of Bavaria, and was birthplace to King Ludwig II (the one who built Neuschwanstein). Today, the tour takes you through most of the rooms in the palace while admission to the gardens is free.
The first of the rooms that you see is the Great Hall. It's not the biggest hall I've ever seen, but it did have some of the most ornate decor that I've ever seen. There are gilded gold accents on the walls and beautiful paintings on the walls and ceiling. It puts our living room to shame!
The tour then continues on through the North Apartment which contains the Coat of Arms room, a bedroom, antechamber and cabinet (for reading and writing), as well as a small gallery. This side of the palace wasn't as ''lived in'' as other parts, but every room had beautiful paintings on the ceilings.
The next part of the tour is of the South Apartment which houses a couple more antechambers, a bedroom, another small gallery, and the writing rooms of Elector Karl Theodor, the former ruler of Bavaria. The Queen's Apartment is the last part of the tour. Here, there is a former dining room that houses The Great Gallery of Beauties, a series of portraits of women that max Emanuel (son of the people who started construction or the palace) found beautiful. Subjects range from those of the noble classes, to a shoe makers daughter. The Queen's Apartments also have a bedroom, an audience chamber, a chambermaids room, and a study.
All of the rooms are incredibly ornate with many original furnishings. It's surprising how close you can get to everything (but they do ask you not to touch anything); it feels more like touring someone's private home instead of a museum.
After seeing the palace, we headed out to the Gardens. They were designed by the same master gardener that designed the ones in Schwetzingen, about 20 minutes from Mannheim. It was definitely easy to see the similarities between the two. Nonetheless, the gardens are still massive! It would take literally hours to stroll though the entire thing. As it was, we were limited on time, and getting hungry, so there we only saw a small portion of them. One of the most interesting features of the garden is the pump house - it is the oldest, continually operating pump house in Europe. Even today, it pumps water from the nearby canal to the fountain in the center. It's not the most elaborate fountain, but considering its over a few hundred years old, I guess it gets a pass.
We then headed back to Marienplatz for lunch and then the Hauptbahnhof to get Kate and Chelsea on to their train. Munich almost never seems to disappoint and we still find new things to see and do every time we go back there. Not to mention the food and beer are pretty tasty too!