From 1581 to 1589 Duke Wilhelm V had a summer palace built around a gardened court next to the Antiquarium, which had been erected under Duke Albrecht V. The court takes its name from the grotto on the west façade of the Antiquarium, complete with fountain and shell decoration.
Duke Maximilian I had the Chapel Court erected from 1603 to 1630 to the west of Wilhelm V's Grottenhof buildings. The chapel has given its name to the narrow court entered from Residenzstraße through a large gateway flanked by lions.
Duke Albrecht V's Antiquarium building forms the south side of a court laid out during the reign of Duke Maximilian I. The octagonal court, with its striking pediments at either end, was used for tournaments and as a carriage entrance to the Residenz. It takes its name from the fountain (Brunnen) in the centre, which is crowned by a bronze statue of Duke Otto I, the first duke of Bavaria from the Wittelsbach family.
The buildings around the Kaiserhof were erected from 1612 to 1618, in the reign of Duke Maximilian I. The entrance was on the northern side, which contained rooms for receiving guests, who ascended the Kaisertreppe (Emperor's Staircase) to the Kaisersaal (Emperor's Hall) and the adjoining Vierschimmelsaal (Four Greys Room) on the first floor. The buildings on the eastern and western sides of the court housed guest apartments (now called the Trierzimmer and the Steinzimmer), with those in the west reserved for the Emperor. The Kaiserhof was accessible only on major ceremonial occasions.
Duke Maximilian I demolished parts of the Neuveste, a previous ducal residence, and constructed passages linking it to the buildings of the Kaiserhof. In this way a court originated to the east of the Kaiserhof that was known as the Küchenhof. From 1832 King Ludwig I had the architect Leo von Klenze design two new buildings in the east, one adjacent to the northern tract of the Kaiserhof, the other overlooking Marstallplatz. The first of these, the Festsaalbau (Banqueting Hall Building), contained rooms for royal ceremonies, while the second housed the Apothecary Court at its southern end. The distinguished German chemist Max von Pettenkofer (1818-1901) was employed here, and this area of the Residenz has since become known as the Apothekenhof.
The small triangular area between the Antiquarium, the Grottenhof building with the Reiche Zimmer (Ornate Rooms) on the first floor and the Grüne Galerie (Green Gallery) is known as the "Puderhöfchen" because a small room overlooked it in which wigs were sprinkled with white powder (Puder) in the eighteenth century. This "Powder Cabinet" was accessible from the rear chambers of the Electoral Apartments on the upper storey of the Antiquarium building. It was destroyed in 1944, and the Puderhöfchen, since given a glass roof, is not open to the public.
The Königsbau was built on Max-Joseph-Platz from 1826 to 1835 to designs by the architect Leo von Klenze as a residence for King Ludwig I. Its court replaced a garden and is bounded in the east by the Grüne Galerie (Green Gallery) of 1731-33, designed by François Cuvilliés the Elder.
Located behind the Grüne Galerie (Green Gallery) and the Alte Schatzkammer (the Old Treasury, erected by Prince Regent Luitpold in 1897 and now the museum ticket desk and shop), the Küchenhof took its name from the cooking facilities that once occupied the ground floor of the Königsbau. These rooms have housed the Treasury since the reconstruction of the Residenz after the Second World War.
The space between the neoclassical buildings erected after 1832 on the eastern side of the Apothekenhof and the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche (Court Church of All Saints) was separated from Marstallplatz by a wall and could be reached only via a narrow opening. Virtually cut off in this way and turned into a garden, it was named the Cabinet Garden. It has been open to the public since remodelling of this area was completed in 2003.
The court theatre of 1751-55 designed by François Cuvilliés the Elder (now called the Cuvilliés-Theater) was destroyed in the Second World War. The carved decoration of the tiers had been removed to safety beforehand, and after the war the auditorium was reconstructed on a site near the south-east corner of the Apothekenhof. An entrance area and cloakrooms were constructed around a new, octagonal court, named the Ornamental Courtyard, in the area between the rebuilt theatre and the Brunnenhof.
During the renovation of the Cuvilliés Theatre that was completed in 2008, the courtyard was also redesigned and covered with a glass roof. It was also renamed the "Comité Courtyard" after the Cuvilliés Comité, an initiative of private individuals who made the renovation of the theatre possible by collecting donations.
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