Bavarian National Museum

Bavarian National Museum

I visited the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum recently to try to escape the 30°C plus heat. It didn’t quite work – the stone walls didn’t keep out the overbearing warmth as well as I’d hoped, but it was a fascinating museum, and I thought I’d pass on the tip if you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day.

The Nationalmuseum was founded in 1855 by Maximilian II to showcase the state’s masterpieces. With furniture, stained glass windows, porcelain, sculptures, tapestries and armour throughout the ages, the museum’s a hotchpotch of history.

Munich's Nationalmusuem

The architecture of the museum is as impressive as its contents. Constructed by the historicist Gabriel von Seidl, who was also responsible for the Lenbachhaus, St. Rupert’s church in Westend and the Ruffinihaus at Rindermarkt, among others, it’s an imposing building on the Prinzregentenstraße.

Wandering around the museum, it’s as easy to be impressed by the interior decor as it is to be in awe of the items on show. This ornate ceiling had me staring for ages:

Interior of Bavarian National Museum

The three floors are packed full with important relics, largely from the Wittelsbach family. The exhibits have been beautifully restored, and many of the pieces are accompanied by extensive descriptions as to who owned them and when (around 50% in English).

Check out this beautiful Augsburg travel bed from ca. 1600, made from ebony and ivory:

Bavarian National Museum - travel bed ca. 1600And this beautiful console table, designed by ebonist Andre Charles Boulle’s workshop in the early eighteenth century:

Console table: NationalmuseumThe beautifully ornate is set alongside more gruesome pieces – such as death riding a lion, from the sixteenth century:

Bavarian NationalmuseumThe kids at the museum loved the armour pieces. Polished to perfection, they gave the tableware upstairs a run for its money:

Nationalmuseum Bayern: ArmourYou could easily spend a whole day at the museum, but my attention started to wane after a while. If you’re keen to learn a lot about Bavarian history in one go, you can pick up an audio guide from the entrance.

Entrance costs 7 € for adults (but just 1 € on Sundays), and the museum’s open daily, except Mondays. You can also enjoy dinner at the museum’s restaurant in the evenings. Find out more here.

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