Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GERMANY TRIP BLOG - DAY 12 – 6-3-10 - MUNICH – Residenz Treasury & Museum – Hofbrauhaus – Churches: Damenstift – St. Michael’s – Frauen – St Peter’s

We took the underground to The Residenz. Just before it, we saw….

THEATRE CHURCH – An immense gold colored building. To the left of it was the….

NATIONAL THEATRE – Immense light gray building with two triangles on top. The top-most one was golden, with statues inside. The other was of the same stone color as the theatre, also with statues. I suspect they were to imitate the Parthenon. In front of it there's an amazing, huge statue of….

MAX-JOSEPH – Maximilian I – Bavaria's first king.
In 1806, Napoleon let him be king if Max's daughter married Napoleon's stepson (making his son royalty). Max emancipated Jews and Protestants.
Munich became the capital of Bavaria when Max's son (Ludwig I) ruled. When Ludwig I got married, his wedding festival became an annual event, now called Oktoberfest.

From the 1300's, it was a political and cultural center for dukes, then starting from 1623 the electors, and finally (1806-1918) Bavarian kings, mostly made up of the Wittelshach family (King Ludwig's line). The various rulers added on to, decorated and furnished the palace as they pleased.
The palace was mostly rebuilt after WWII destroyed parts of it. Part of the front (covered with a huge tarp with the picture of what it's supposed to look like) was modeled after Medici's Pitti Palace in Florence.
There was something made of brass outside – shiny from where people obviously touched it for good luck.
We walked through doors into an immense entry that went into a garden area with statues, and from then into the entry hall of the palace, where we saw a model of the outside of the palace. The first floor has 93 rooms, and the top floor about 120. Many were lavishly decorated with fancy furniture or items.
We checked our coats and decided to go through the Residenz Treasury first.

Founded in1565, there are 1250 items, not all of which were talked about on the audio guide. If listened to from start to finish, the audio guide would have taken us 5 hours. We selected numbers for what we wanted to learn about. Most objects, I just photographed. Mom and I tried to take pictures of different things.

One of the two main items. This is about a foot long, covered with jewels. A rope across the front made me wonder if I should walk through the open ends – it didn't completely block the way, and I didn't want to set off alarms, so took pictures from behind. A while later, Matt told me he read in Rick Steves that it was fine to get up close, so I went back and took photos of the exquisite detailed work.


Emeralds are fake. Real ones auctioned off for money.

ALTER BOX – 1573
Inside middle, the back was facing out on the other side. The original, super fancy inside was lost or destroyed, so they flipped the back around.

IVORY CHRIST ON CROSS – Matt pointed out how the nails force the flesh to sag and hang around them.


HUGE BOX WITH PICTURES ETCHED ON CRYSTAL – carved scenes from the Old Testament

Made for a woman. There's a painting of a woman with it sewn on her sleeve. Military themed. Has a knight's uniform in the middle of it.

2 IVORY GLOBES – 1570 – One of the constellations, one of the world.

SMALL ST. GEORGE & DRAGON – 1570 – ceramic

Most of them look more like a compass (with a lid) and were primarily for decoration, rather than function.
Pocket watch with 4 small circular faces in it.
Ring watch – 1585
Watch pen – includes calendar and multiplication tables

TURK WITH CLEAR BLUE HEAD – 1520 – Bust of a female with a light blue sapphire head.

PARROT HANGS BELOW TINY SCENE – Parrot added later. Circle with tiny scene above it was created in the 1500's.

Made for Napoleon's second wife as a wedding gift. Includes dental tools, sewing kit, dinner service for 2, writing utensils, seals, opera glasses, a ruler, a drill…….

CROWNS – 1800's
Never worn by Bavaria. Made by the same shop in Paris that made Napoleon's crowns. Bavaria joined the anti-French alliance, and the crowns were now "too French" to be used.

Didn't quite finish looking at everything. I was hauled out of the last two rooms quickly because everyone else was waiting for me. I tend to get really focused when bedazzled like this. (Great for performing, not always so good for “real life”.)
We took a break and then got our bags back so I could eat and drink before we continued. Stuffed a bunch of dried fruit in my mouth, drank water, and called it good. Good thing I ate, because we spent the next three hours in the "museum" which was actually the rest of the palace.

I mostly ignored the audio guide and focused on taking pictures of the opulent rooms.


SHELL GROTTO – Ground Floor, Room 6 – Original 1550 – Rebuilt after WWII.
Didn't know I could take pictures. DAMN IT. Red wine used to spurt from the mermaid's breasts and drip from Medusa's head. Decorated with Bavarian shells. After it was bombed, the Bavarians from small towns collected and donated shells for the reconstruction (Nazi photos showed what it looked like).

ANTIQUARIUM – Ground Floor, Room 7
Real Greek and Roman statues mixed with replicas. 1/3 of the statues in the room are real. Most are fakes created by Romans during the Renaissance to sell to wealthy European families.
I think I found one of the real statues. Can see where it was colored, and didn't have any red (fake purple marble) on it. Plus many of the tassels on the shawl were broken off. I pointed it out to Mom.
1550's paintings of small surrounding villages on ceiling are the originals (survived bombs). 120 Bavarian villages.

GALLERY OF THE WITTELSBACH FAMILY – Ground Floor, Room 4 – 1740's
All official guests had to pass through to meet the Duke. Family tree in the center.
Basically a scrapbook that takes up a room. Ceilings are white – bombs destroyed paintings on them.
The portraits are originals (quickly cut out of their frames before the bombs hit)

NEMPHENBURG PORCELAIN – Ground Floor, Room 5 (at end of family gallery) – 1700's
Whittelsbach's had their own Nemphenburg porcelain made for the palace (something only the richest and most powerful could do)

RED ROOM – Second Floor, Room 62
Coral red – the most royal color in Germany. Contains miniature copies of famous paintings, done with a single brush hair.

PRECIOUS ROOMS – Upper Floor, Rooms 55-62
Long string of rooms just for show.

BEDROOM – Upper Floor, Room 60
The Duke publically went to bed and got up, (first and last audience of the day held here, like Louis XIV did).

CHAPEL – Upper Floor, Room 89
Site of Mad King Ludwig II's funeral.

RELIQUARY – Upper Floor, Room 95
Skulls of John the Baptist & his mother Elizabeth on jeweled pillows.

Miniature pipe organ from 1600 still works. Stucco marble – stucco applied and polished. Was cheaper than the real thing.
Post-Renaissance perspective tricks on walls.
Case on right as you enter supposedly contains 3 babies form Herod's slaughter after Jesus birth in Bethlehem.


We had lunch at the nearby Hofbrauhaus restaurant. Hofbauhaus is one of the six major Munich breweries. There's a room where regular customers have their personal steins locked up. Some are centuries old, and people were stealing them (thus the lock and key system). Huge rack on the wall and the mugs are mostly surrounded by a band of steal, plus there's a little door in front, each with an individual lock. A few guys run the room and clean the steins after they are used. There's a bouncer at the door who nabs 20-50 people a day trying to steal beer mugs (the thieves are mostly Italians).
(When we first arrived in Munich I thought everyone was talking about going to the "opera house". Yesterday, Matt told me there wasn't an opera house here, and thought it was hilarious when he realized my misunderstanding. It’s an easy mistake to make!)
Crowded! Very loud – plus a polka band that played every 15-30 minutes. They serve huge steins of beer, and Matt said the serving women can carry 6 in each hand. Dad wanted me to take pictures of them, and then took a few of Matt and I.
Mom ordered choc. mousse. Still hungry after lunch, even after eating some dried fruit from my pack and some of Mom's choc. mousse. Matt promised me a French pastry, but we never got to it.

Dad's ankle was really sore (a condition he's had for decades – particularly when hunting), so he wanted to go back to the hotel. Matt gave him a lesson on the subways, which was followed by additional mini-lessons and clarification from Mom and Matt.
Matt told him several times he'd pay the extra 5 Euros to put Dad in a taxi, but Dad really wanted to do the subway himself. Bought his own ticket and everything. Mom said he'd surface eventually. (He only got confused twice on the way back – not bad!)
Mom, Matt, and I wanted to see 4 fancy churches Matt knew about from the Rick Steves book. Matt's an excellent tour guide, and patiently waited while we clickety-clicked away with our cameras.

MUNICH #1 – SHIRT RAINBOW - Matt pointed out an "S" shaped curve of shirts in a shop. Each a slightly different color, to form a rainbow. Must have been 20 of them.

DAMENSTIFTSKIRCHE – Woman learning? Church
Aside from looking amazing inside, contained life-sized statues that are painted from The Last Supper scene. There's a gate between the entryway and the main part of the church. We didn't go past it, and just took pictures as best we could from were we were.
Later, asked Marlies what Damenstift translates into. She said it’s a school for older women. They are kept apart, so it’s sort of like a nunnery, but different.

Walking to and from the church, we passed by a fountain that spilled over unevenly. Tall pillar with 3-D carving all around it. The top was a bowl, but the water spilled out unevenly, as if there was a ball rolling around inside it.

Destroyed in WWII. I took photos of the photos of the destroyed church, as well as loads of photos inside it.
Front façade - shows St. Michael fighting Protestant demon
Has a crypt of 40 Whittelsbachs (including King Ludwig II) but we didn't see the crypt.

MUNICH #3 - MUSHROOM FOUNTAIN – Large alcove made out of small cement blocks, with a pool that had big mushroom water fountains.

FRAUENKIRCHE – METROPOLITAN CHURCH OF OUR LADY – late 1400's – dome late 1800's
Bombed in WWII – only the 2 tall towers survived. Pretty much demolished, but they decided to rebuild it. Amazing things used to be hanging on the columns. Black, big, ornate tomb in the back is for Ludwig IV, who died in 1347. His grave used to be in front of the alter.
Used to be as fancy as the others, but they rebuilt columns comprising of the body by the pews so they are plain. Someone repainted the ceiling using Nazi photos taken before the war.
There were a gob of alcoves on the sides. Not sure what was old and what wasn't. I took pictures of some stuff I guessed was old, or that looked cool. Mom took a lot more photos than I did. People were praying, in the front pew. Some people just took pictures, completely ignoring the people praying in the pews.
There was a man in the front pew who was really praying hard. I refused to walk in front of him, just to get better pictures. People first. I hope things turned out ok for him. He was deeply troubled.

Larger than life-sized man standing on a steel beam coming out of a shop.

Because it wasn’t pouring, or even raining, we decided to once again go see….

Took better pictures of the statue of Mary and the 4 smaller statues beneath it.
NEW TOWN HALL GLOCKENSPIEL – Got better video of the knight falling back during the joust and dancers. Much clearer without the rain.

ST. PETERS – original – 1158, rebuilt after bombed in WWII
Built, added to, and revised since before 1200, it was then completely destroyed by bombs in WWII. It's been reconstructed, though the naves are in a different order. The frescoes were repainted.
Wooden pillars on hight pediment of marble – 1730-1734.
St. Peter on his throne – 1493-95
4 statues of people around St. Peter – 1732-33
Tabernacle below Peter created by 2 artists between 1749-86.
2 angels on either side – 1804.

CEILING – Peter crucified upside down

ANDREW – 1710
To the left of the altar is a statue of Andrew, with one hand on a large wooden X and the other holding a book.

PAUL – 1710
To the right of the altar

One on each pillar, because they are "the pillars of the church"

MARY - 1710

CHRIST – 1710

PULPIT – 1753-55 – Wrapped around a pillar on the right and sticking out over the pews.

GOTHIC CHAPEL ALTER (located front-left) – survived the bombing, by being buried in sand bags.

Behind marble railing is a small altar with a huge gold something in the middle. Behind that there’s a large painting of the last supper (1644) in a frame that has 2 pillars on each side. The top of the frame goes up for a while, with golden angels on it. Above the frame is a fresco painted on the ceiling.

TOMB OF MUNDITIA (2nd chapel on left side after you enter the building)
Martyr from 200's. Roman casket with red lettering. Given to Munich by Rome.

GRAY IRON FENCES – made by local railroad blacksmiths after WWII

ORGAN – 2003 – reconstructed from one made in the 1700's.

Walking back to our hotel, the streets and subway were remarkably empty. We figured it had to be some sort of holiday, because the restaurant we ate at last night is closed tonight, as are most restaurants and a lot of the shops. When we got to the front desk, we asked and learned it's a Catholic and Batavian holiday. (Learned later from Marlies the people usually parade through the city, stopping at flowered spots to pray before continuing. The parade in Zeeben passes right in front of her daughter Nani's house, so she can't drive out. Pisses her off. This year, due to rain, the processions were inside the church.) There are finally more than a handful of people in the hotel.
We ate the food we already had.
I started sorting photos from June 1, hoping to finish before Mom was ready for me, but it was only about 10 minutes later when she came up.
She brought her old Mac. So old, it has real problems copying files form outside devices (like her camera), because another program keeps interrupting the file moving after 30 seconds or so. If she saves them directly to her desktop, then the files are scattered all over the place – on the desktop. Takes her a long time to download her photos this trip.
We tried various things, but I have too many images. Some were transferred, but it was too hard to figure out which ones, so I gave up after 20 minutes.
Matt's new laptop will probably keep working just fine, but I've worked too long with computers and won't feel secure without a backup. I should have listened to Matt and brought my Wolverine external hard drive. I didn't realize how much space I'd need.

While deleting bad or extra photos from my memory chip, Matt had the window open and saw that, outside our hotel room window, St. Paul's was lit up really pretty. He got my folks. I took a few photos.
I finished deleting bad and extra photos taken today form my memory chip, then downloaded them while I finished getting ready for bed.
Finally sorted the rest of my June 1 photos. For a while, I wrote today's Diary, while also sorting today's photos. Doing it all chronologically, but Matt was getting snippy and wanted me to turn off the light. I quickly outlined the rest of today's events.
It was around 11:30. Read for nearly 2 hours. Just not sleepy. But typing makes noise, which makes it harder for Matt to sleep, so I'll just hope tomorrow I'll have enough time to catch up.

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