A couple of weeks ago I had this amazing week where everything just fell into place for me. And one of those things was a spontaneous trip to Munich to meet up with a new friend. After organising the trip, I spent a quick hour doing some research to see if there was anything I really wanted to do during my visit. Of course, I came across all the typical touristy things. One of which was a visit to the stunning Nymphenburg Palace, something I am happy to say that I missed out on seeing. Yes you read correctly… I was happy to miss it.
Well I lie, I didn’t miss it completely. Along with the bus loads of other tourists, we did get to see the outside. However, it didn’t take us long to realise that the palace was closed for an event that weekend and we couldn’t go inside. So, as a consolation we decided to take a walk around the palace gardens. And that is when we discovered them. Four fairy tale summer palaces tucked in amongst the woodlands surrounding the main palace. Even more surprising than finding these mini palaces was that not many other people seemed to know about them. We almost felt like we had the whole place to ourselves, it was like stepping into a secret garden.
The first of the palaces is known as the Amalienburg. Elector Karl Albrecht ordered the building of this small palace and hunting lodge for his wife Maria Amalia in 1734. If the pastel pink exterior wasn’t enough to get me excited, the stunningly detailed rococo style and hall of mirrors inside was almost too much pretty to handle.
Next up is the palace known as Badenburg – or the house of baths. Built between 1718 and 1722 this two storey pastel yellow palace boasts a banqueting hall, Elector’s apartments and a bath as big as a swimming pool.
The Pagondenburg sits prettily on the edge of the Pagondenburg Lake. Built between 1716 and 1719 as a resting place for lords and ladies the interior of this palace has an ornate blue and white entrance downstairs. While upstairs houses several small resting rooms, intricately decorated with Chinese motifs.
The final garden palace was a little bit of a surprise to us. After visiting the previous three, we were expecting another palace fit for a fairy tale princess. However, what we found had was more Hansel and Gretel than Cinderella. This palace, which was built between 1725 and 1728, looks like nothing more than a run-down cottage. Even more surprisingly we then learnt that it was purposely built to look like a ruin, to serve as a reminder of the frailty of all things earthly.
If you’d like to visit the Nymphenburg garden palaces you’ll find them in the gardens behind the main palace. It costs EUR4.50 to see all four and you can buy tickets at the entry to each one. For more information head here.
Have you also stumbled across these hidden palaces in Munich? I’d love to hear what you thought about them below.