March 31


Schleissheim Castle – 3-person ensemble in baroque

By Frank

March 31, 2023

It has three castles and a baroque castle park to offer.

Many palaces and residences of the 17th and 18th centuries were modeled on the palace, park and city of Versailles . Often - but not always - the architecture , but especially the way of life of the French kings and the concentration of the court in one place tried to imitate. In many places, the model was interpreted in a new design language and new great works of art were created

Schleissheim's castles extend over almost two kilometers . Schleißheim Palace was once the summer residence of the Bavarian electors and is one of the most important baroque complexes in Germany .

AHA! cool...

Abundance of power of the Wittelsbacher - three castles!

The old castle in the west (1616), the new castle immediately afterwards (1719) and Lustheim Castle (1685), far to the east of the complex, bear witness to the increasing power of the Wittelsbach dynasty as electoral country and pleasure castles .

Three Schleissheim palaces plus park and parterres

Drei Schlösser Schleissheim

The founding of the Schleißheim palace complex goes back to Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria, who was able to sell the Schwaige Schleißheim, located in a lonely moorland area, with its Margareten chapel to the Freising cathedral chapter for a large sum. The ensemble of the New Palace, Old Palace, Lustheim Palace and the extensive baroque gardens is an impressive example of courtly architecture and garden art from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The old castle

The site on which the palace complex is now located once belonged to the Freising cathedral chapter. Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria acquired the estate, on which the Margarten Chapel was also located, in 1597 from the Freisinger Board of the Catholic Bishop's Church . Shortly thereafter, the duke withdrew from government and transferred his duties to his son Maximilian I. Since then, Wilhelm has devoted himself to the expansion of Schleissheim.

From 1598 he had a mansion built . Small chapels were built around the site. A stud farm and other farms followed later, in which beer and cheese were produced . Duke Maximilian I acquired the site from his father Wilhelm in 1616. A year later, Maximilian had the manor house replaced by a castle , today's Old Castle. In 1623 the old castle was completed.

Duke Maximilian I was succeeded by Ferdinand Maria, the eldest son of Maximilian I. After the death of Ferdinand Maria, his son Maximilian II Emanuel steered the fortunes of Bavaria . The palace complex experienced its heyday under the new Elector Max Emanuel.

The New Castle

On the threshold of the 18th century, Maximilian's grandson , Elector Max Emanuel, had ambitious imperial plans . In order to be able to reside appropriately in this position, he had the New Palace built in 1701, the splendid baroque center of the palace complex. However, the War of the Spanish Succession shattered his expectations. After his defeat he was banished into exile and the work in Schleissheim ended for the time being.

Back in Bavaria, Max Emanuel had to make big cuts from the original – extremely pompous – four-leaf concept when continuing construction. Important contemporary artists such as Johann Baptist Zimmermann , Cosmas Damian Asam and Jacopo Amigoni created the magnificent interior design of the showrooms. In 1819, under Leo von Klenze , the facade was redesigned in a classical style.

The New Castle was never really "inhabited" by the Wittelsbach family, it is now used by the Free State of Bavaria for the museums and occasionally for representative events.

Schloss Lustheim

As early as 1685, Max Emanuel, who was a fan of splendour, had Lustheim Palace built in the late Baroque style in the palace gardens for his marriage to the Emperor’s daughter Maria Antonia . When designing the castle , Zuccalli was inspired by Italian casino buildings that had been built in various places outside the residences since the early 16th century.

Placed at a distance of about 1300 meters from the (old) castle in its central axis, Lustheim was to form the center of its own gardens . Incidentally, it turned out that it also served as a "point de vue" . (Garden art: "point de vue" - eye-catcher at the end of the path). The construction of a small hall (Belvedere) at the top above the roof of the central wing was obviously important to the elector. It offered a wide view of the landscape and the nearby forests, which were criss-crossed by hunting lanes and mail railways.

Today, the rooms of the castle house an excellent collection of Meissen porcelain from the manufactory's heyday in the 18th century.

schleissheim_point of view with Schloss Lustheim

"Point de vue" with Jagdschloss Lustheim


Smallest breed of sheep in the world

The sheep Max-Emanuel, Therese Kunigunde, Renatus, Wilhelm and Maria-Antonia not only have unusual names , but also a very special task: they are the noble sheep of Schleißheim Castle . They are so-called " Quesson sheep " and represent a very rare breed of sheep , which is incidentally the smallest in the world . The so-called Schloss-Schaferl work in the orchards (approx. 700 fruit trees) as living lawn mowers . The herd of animals feels quite comfortable between ancient apple, pear and plum trees.

quesson sheep

Quesson sheep

"Of course, it is clear that the five small sheep currently available cannot graze the entire orchard, but the first notable successes are already being seen on the currently grazed area: the vole problem that usually prevails in the orchards has improved blatantly as a result of the sheep grazing and the sheep see the shoots (the wild shoots that often sprout below the grafting point of a fruit tree and would otherwise have to be removed manually) as an absolute delicacy .

The orchards of Schloss Schleisseim near Munich hold a unique treasure , like a "fruit tree", of ancient and often almost extinct apple, pear and plum varieties. The fruit from these plants will be sold on site from September and will be distilled in the castle distillery. Since this spring, the living robotic lawnmowers have been helping to manage the facilities sustainably.

In addition, the rare little sheep with their horns, which seem somewhat oversized in relation to their body size, are of course also a real " eye-catcher" for visitors who "get lost" in the orchard, which is partially accessible at least during the week. “Our new employees with their woolen jumpers, which are a bit warm for this time of year, are otherwise absolutely frugal and actually only need a small stable, fresh water and a salt lick. Since the breed originally comes from a French Atlantic island , they can also be used in winter.

What's exciting to see...

The Castle Park

The Schleissheim Garden, with its bordering canals and the extensive bosquet zone between Lustheim and the New Palace, was designed by Henrico Zucalli in connection with the construction of Lustheim Palace from 1684, based on the model of Versailles .

The baroque garden is known for its impressive parterres . Parterres are elaborately designed beds , laid out in geometric shapes and often subdivided with neatly clipped box hedges and flower beds.

The garden features an ingenious system of paths that allows visitors to enjoy the garden in all its glory. The paths are mostly lined with avenues made up of trees and hedges. The baroque garden is rich in sculptures and other works of art . Many of these sculptures are made of stone or bronze and serve as decorative elements in the garden.


Waterfall in Schleissheim Palace

Water plays an important role in this wonderful garden. The water feature on the central canal is an imposing water feature consisting of numerous gargoyles and fountains . The fountains are powered by pumps that draw water from a reservoir into the canal.

Meissen Porcelain Collection

The most important collection of early Meissen porcelain after Dresden is in the rooms of Lustheim Palace . Ernst Schneider exhibited (branch museum of the Bavarian National Museum). The collection offers a comprehensive overview of the production of the Meissen porcelain manufactory from its founding in 1710 up to the time of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763).

The spectrum ranges from crockery and figures from the Böttger period , to the famous chinoiseries of the porcelain painter Johann Gregorius Höroldt, the "Indian" decorations particularly valued by Augustus the Strong, to the sculptural masterpieces of the modeler Johann Joachim Kaendler, such as the vividly modeled animal figures testify.

Schleissheim_dame_crocodile, Meissen

Lady with crocodile, Meissen - continent group "America", model by Johann
Friedrich Eberlein, Peter Reinicke and
Johann Joachim Kaendler, Meissen, 1745

A special highlight are the numerous porcelains from Count Sulkowski's coat of arms service and the legendary swan service of Count Heinrich von Brühl, which give an idea of the splendor of baroque banquets .

About the author

It is more valuable to experience a place in detail than many small impressions of an incomprehensible whole.

Genius Loci - discovering, capturing and experiencing the spirit of a place. Perceive - understand - enjoy!

As a graduate industrial engineer with an additional MBA degree from a renowned university in England (EMBA, EQUIS and AACSB accredited), I have been showing other, often surprising, paths to success for more than 30 years at C-Level (Head of Marketing and Sales worldwide).

You might also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Never miss a good story!

 Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest trends!