Travel: Munich Residenz

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Leaving Vienna behind, I bypassed my original plan of Salzburg (due to limited hostel options) to southern Germany and the city of Munich. To be honest, at this point in my travels I was sufficiently exhausted of the exhausting routine of staying at one city for a few days, hopping a train, and continuing to make my away around and across Europe. However, Munich has a medley of fascinating sights, and a few of them provided my the additional motivation needed for my enthusiasm not to dwindle.

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The primary impetus involved a visit to the Residenz; On my walk through Old Town, I was able to pass through the Karlstor (one of four medieval city gates ), gape at the awe-inspiring Town Hall (a massive gothic-revival structure that dominates the square), and enjoy the machinations of the glockenspiel.

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Associated with the intricately detailed glockenspiel is a Myth. During the year of the plague, 1517, coopers are said to have danced through the streets to, “bring fresh vitality to fearful dispositions.” This dance became symbolic of the population’s perseverance  and their continued loyalty to the duke. As a result, this dance is traditionally performed every seven years, despite the current form not being defined until 1871.

Finally approaching the Residenz, one could not imagine the mysteries that lay within its walls. It is the former royal palace of the Bavarian Monarchs. The complex contains ten courtyards and encloses 130 rooms. Original builds were constructed in 1385, and financed as a sanction for the failed uprising against Stephen III and his younger brothers. Over the centuries it has been continuously developed, and after four hundred years, practically replaces the entire former city quarter. It now includes a large variety of styles such as Late-Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-Classicism.

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I didn’t nearly expect to get suctioned into a black hole of wonder and history, yet the Residenz is one of the few former palaces that have achieved this. Each room is both unique and a surprise, as the former rooms give few clues about the what architectural secrets it may contain. The work is intricately detailed, and provides a foundation upon which I could imagine the richness and allure of holding the Bavarian Crown. 5 hours later, I was exhausted, and had completely depleted any energy I had.

 

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