MUNICH INSIDER – THE RESIDENCE MUSEUM AND ITS LION GUARDIANS
The Munich Residence is one of the most popular and famous sights in Munich. Many visitors feel magically attracted to the four lions on Residenzstraße. People cannot pass by without touching the muzzle at the lower end of the mighty shield – because petting the lion’s head is said to bring luck. Since the early 17th century, when Duke Maximilian I extended the imperial and chapel court of his city palace, the bronze figures have guarded the western entrance to the residence.
Picture source: flickr (wgutt)
Since March 2013 one of the two pairs of lions has been undergoing cleaning and restoration. At that time, casts were made of the bronze statues. In the autumn of 2013, the restorer will return the first two copied lions and to then take away the other two lions. And there will also be casts of these – and only these may be touched. The lions had already been restored on the surface one at a time at the beginning of the 1980s. The four original lions, along with other great bronze statues, will be placed in the new exhibition rooms of the Residence, so that they do not pose a burden for the environment in the future.
The Wittelsbach Residence has been open since 1920 as a museum and is now one of the most significant castle museums in Europe. In 1945, the Residence was rebuilt after severe damage during the Second World War. The surviving inventory of art is now exhibited again in its authentic place.
In addition to the Wittelsbach dynasty collections of porcelain, silver, paintings and miniatures, there are also individual art works of various genres to be admired. The Residence’s rich treasures include antique sculptures as well as bronze sculptures from the 16th to 19th century, tapestries, valuable furniture and clocks, as well as several centuries of candelabras.
Picture source: flickr (David Holt London)
You can get to the Residence Museum by foot in just a few minutes via Pfisterstraße and along Residenzstraße. The Museum is open daily from April until October 20th from 9 am to 6 pm and from October 21st until March from 10 am to 5 pm.