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Music & Art in Munich

Music & Art in Munich

Music & Art in Munich Overview

Discover the Wittelsbach family & their elegant capital, Munich. Remarkable museums & galleries full of wonderful treasures & paintings. Two marvellous country palaces at Nymphenburg & Schleissheim. Superior hotel in the historic central district. Excellent opera & chamber music, including Jonas Kaufmann & Anja Harteros in Andrea Chénier.

The Wittelsbachs: Munich & The Arts

Tour Lecturer; Gudrun Mountain

Munich, founded in 1158 by Henry the Lion, was seized by the Wittelsbach family in 1180, eventually becoming the capital of their Duchy of Bavaria. It was the political and artistic policies of the Wittelsbach Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria, which shaped the city. It is particularly rich in churches, palaces and museums from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and this vibrant milieu will be the focus of our visit.

Please note, this tour has now departed for 2014, we next expect to offer this tour in 2016.

Little of Munich’s medieval origins remain, due to a fire in 1327, apart from the imprint of its original layout. The late medieval city is better known and some splendid churches, particularly the Frauenkirche, survive. Indeed, the appearance of the medieval city is captured in a wonderful model created in 1570, which we shall see. Under Duke William V (1579 – 1598), Munich became a centre of the Counter-Reformation and some new churches were built. Gradually, a distinct Italian feel began to transform the architectural style of the city, sacred and secular. This is particularly apparent as the Wittelsbachs transformed their Ducal Residenz and commissioned further churches.

In the early eighteenth century, with long periods of peace about to dominate European politics, Bavaria, in common with all the other German Electorates and Principalities, embraced the late Baroque style of Italy, above all the fusion of Bernini and Borromini, imported via centres such as Turin. However by about 1725 French influence began to lighten this style as a particularly delicious variety of the Rococo was imported, represented by the extraordinary beauty of the Asam brothers’ church of St John Nepomuk.

Under the Elector-Duke, Maximillian III Joseph (1745 – 1777), Munich consolidated this “golden” rococo age, perhaps best typified by the exquisite Residenztheatre by Francois de Cuvillier. Just outside the city, two Schloss palaces, Nymphenburg and Schleissheim, were transformed. Together with the Duke’s munificent patronage of music and the decorative arts, this ensemble of princely buildings will, if unknown to participants, astonish with their delicate beauty.

When the Duke died in 1777, Bavaria passed in quick succession to two other branches of the Wittelsbach family, and it was the Zweibrucken-Birkenfeld line who eventually became Kings of Bavaria from 1806. With a much expanded territory, the enriched state treasury helped fund an extraordinary period for Munich as it was transformed according to new ideas of classical dignity under Ludwig I and romantic eclecticism under melancholy Ludwig II, Wagner’s doomed patron.

Ludwig I founded three great museums: the Alte Pinakothek for Old Masters, the Neue Pinakothek for Modern Art and the Glyptothek for Classical Scupture. The first and third of these were designed by the great neoclassical architect Leo van Klenze, the second is a post World War II replacement. All three collections are stunning.

In addition to visiting the churches, palaces and museums mentioned above, participants will also be able to book tickets for several operas including Giordano’s Andrea Chénier with the wonderful Jonas Kaufmann in the title role and Anja Harteros as Maddalena; Donizetti’s La Favorite with Elīna Garanča as Leonor; Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Diana Damrau as Olympia/Antonia etc; and Weber’s Oberon with Julian Prégardien in the title role. There will also be a chamber concert in the fabled Residenz Theatre with String Quartets Nos 1 & 8 by Shostakovich and Schubert’s finest chamber work, the String Quintet in C, D 956.

We shall be based in an excellent 4* superior city centre hotel, the Platzl. In addition, participants will also be able to book tickets for the opera and ballet at the Bavarian State Opera: Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Minkus’s La Bayadere and Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier.

Please note, this tour has now departed, we next expect to offer this tour in 2022. For the latest information about our current and future tours please visit www.ciceroni.co.uk or call 01869 811167

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Reviews of this holiday

Music & Art in Munich by David, 11 Apr 2019
Traveller rating:

Beautifully organised combination of art, history and opera read more

Music & Art in Munich by cloglet, 6 Apr 2019
Traveller rating:

Visits to important sites and connections with this important European dynasty plus opera at Bavarian State Opera house... read more

Music & Art in Munich by Barb, 22 Aug 2016
Traveller rating:

We attended 3 superb operas in Munich, and during the day went to some very interesting Mini Stately Homes outside of Munich, ... read more

Music & Art in Munich by Appreciative Eliza, 22 Jul 2016
Traveller rating:

Since 2008,the more Ciceroni Tours I've taken, the more friends I've made and it's a pleasure to encounter them again. ... read more

Music & Art in Munich by Eka, 13 Jul 2016
Traveller rating:

Although having been to Munich before, I have never actually visited all the wonderful Museums, Galleries, Churches and ... read more

Music & Art in Munich by jimmy, 13 Jul 2016
Traveller rating:

MUNICH. A most interesting tour of art galleries and palaces, guided by a very erudite , charming and informative leader ... read more

Music & Art in Munich by Digger, 13 Jul 2016
Traveller rating:

Participants with similar interests and an excellent programme. read more

Music & Art in Munich by Humphrey, 13 Jul 2016
Traveller rating:

very enjoyable, no complaints whatsoever read more

Music & Art in Munich by Anna Hanslip, 12 Jul 2016
Traveller rating:

It was great fun. Accommpdation and food were excellent. Tour leaders were inspiring. Never a dull moment. read more

Music & Art in Munich by Michael, 19 Mar 2014
Traveller rating:

Our tour was intended to introduce us, a small party of 12 parsons, to the most interesting artistic features of Munich, ... read more

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Reviews Submitted: 11
Reviews Accepted: 11
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Music & Art in Munich by David, 11 Apr 2019
Traveller rating:

Beautifully organised combination of art, history and opera read more

Music & Art in Munich by cloglet, 6 Apr 2019
Traveller rating:

Visits to important sites and connections with this important European dynasty plus opera at Bavarian State Opera house... read more