The upside of staying in a skeezy neighborhood next to the Munich train station? I was just that much closer to getting out to see Nymphenburg, the Bavarian royal family’s summer palace. The original baroque palace was built in the 17th Century, and then was expanded in the 18th Century and again in the 19th Century.
In terms of scale, it felt rather modest compared to palaces such as Versailles or even Hampton Court Palace. But I loved seeing the range of styles it still embodied: Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical. The Rococo great hall, in particular, was stunning.
And all the Egyptian touches in the Neoclassical “Empire” style (popular in Europe after Napoleon invaded Egypt) made me all the more excited for next week’s trip to Egypt.
I found the “Gallery of Beauties” interesting. Basically, the Bavarian King created a room full of the portraits of 36 beautiful women from all strata of society. Many would clearly be considered beautiful by any standard (even if their hair styles wouldn’t); others seemed to draw their beauty more from their youth and social status more than any objective quality.