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Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany

Nymphenburg Palace, Munich
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Nymphenburg Palace, Munich

Bavarian Elector Ferdinand Maria built this Italian villa style country estate on 600 acres west of Munich for his wife, the Italian princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, to celebrate the birth of their son and heir to the throne, Maximillian II Emanuel. She called her summer palace “Borgo delle ninfe”,  “abode of the nymphs.” (No palace was built for the birth of the first-born, a daughter, Maria Anna Victoria.) Ludvig II, the “Fairytale King,” was born here in 1845.

It has been greatly expanded over the years.

Since the German Revolution of 1918 Nymphenburg Palace has belonged to the state, but the family of Franz, Duke of Bavaria and head of the Wittelsbach family, is allowed to live on the top floor. They often stop to chat with visitors.

Nymphenburg Palace garden, Munich
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Nymphenburg Palace garden, Munich

The frescos and stucco of Nymphenburg’s glorious Great Hall make it one of the best examples of Bavarian rococo style.

Great Hall, Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
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Great Hall, Nymphenburg Palace, Munich

King Ludwig I’s Gallery of Beauties, portraits of noble and middle-class women,  includes the king’s daughter, his Irish mistresses, relatives, popular actress Helene Sedlmayr, the shoemaker’s daughter “Schöne Münchnerin” (the Beauty of Munich), and the notorius Spanish dancer Lola Montez, who was responsible for a revolution and Ludwig I’s abdication.

Hall of Beauties, Nymphenburg Palace, Munich
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Hall of Beauties, Nymphenburg Palace, Munich

Admission to the park is free. A palace combination ticket (11.50 Euros, discounts available)  also includes admission to the Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain, the Carriage Museum, and the park palaces.

Nymphenburg Palace house and TV Tower
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one of the houses  of the northern roundabout at Nymphenburg Palace with  TV Tower in background

One could easily spend an entire day at Nymphenburg Palace.

Nymphenburg Palace is easily accessible to visitors via Tram 17 or the Hop-On Hop-Off Grand Circle Tour route that begins at the main train station, Hauptbahnhof.

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