We woke slowly, dressed and headed down to breakfast. The breakfast room is on the second floor facing the street. In each window, stood a tall glass vase filled with red ornaments and a slender tree branch embellished with white lights….it was lovely…..and became even more so when snow started falling outside.
The Glockenspiel is a mechanical carillon with 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures that portrays two 16th century stories. The top half honors the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V to Renata of Lorraine with the re-enactment of a joust between two knights….the Bavarian knight wins every time, of course. The bottom half portrays the Schäfflerstanz (the coopers’ dance)….named in honor of the coopers who danced in the streets in the Middle Ages to bring joy back into people’s lives after the plague. This tradition continues…..every seven years, Munich’s coopers recreate their dance of joy.
By the end of the Glockenspiel’s performance, the clouds were clearing and a beautiful blue sky was overhead. We walked to the Residenz…..the royal palace of the Wittelsbach’s, Bavaria’s former monarchs and the longest ruling family in European history (1180-1918). We’ve heard of the Habsburg’s (1278-1918) and the Medici’s (1230-1743)….why haven’t we heard of this Bavarian family? Were we both sleeping through our history classes?
There are two museums in the Residenz: the Treasury (home to the Wittelsbach’s crown jewels) and the Apartments (their private and state rooms).
The royal apartments were breath-taking and rivaled Versailles. Although the palace has been reconstructed and looks much as it did before 1945, we were saddened that so much of it had been destroyed in WWII but we were absolutely amazed that the bombs that felled so much of the palace miraculously left some structures and paintings intact.
On a purely narcissistic basis, the very best part of the tour (for me) was that it encompassed only two floors! And they were connected by staircases with banisters! My feet can confirm that 90 of the palace’s 120 rooms were open for viewing today.
We left the museums shortly before closing time and, most fortuitously, walked across the street and directly into a restaurant….beer hall?….who knows? There were multiple rooms with wonderful aromas and the sounds of happy diners. We were seated at a table with another couple….this seems to be the norm. Craig ordered goulash with spätzle and cucumber salad; I happily dined on stuffed cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes and vegetables. It was absolutely delicious and so reminded me of the comfort foods made by my grandma for my mom and by my mom for me.
Gute nacht….good night