The Reiche Kapelle was dedicated in 1607. It was the private place of worship of Duke Maximilian I and his wife and it was here that the Duke's precious collection of relics was kept.
The Catholic Church viewed relics as infinitely more valuable than gold and precious stones, because the saints associated with them were believed to intercede between human beings and God. This and other miraculous powers attributed to relics made the Reiche Kapelle the spiritual centre of the entire Residenz.
In accordance with its exceptional importance the chapel was furnished and decorated with special magnificence. The floor is paved with coloured marble and other valuable stones.
Reiche Kapelle, organ
Gilt reliefs on a blue ground resembling lapis lazuli decorate the ceiling. The initials M and E that appear here stand for Maximilian and Elisabeth – that is to say, for Duke Maximilian I and his second wife, Elisabeth of Lorraine. The centre of the ceiling opens onto a lantern with stained glass windows. The walls are clad with coloured stucco panels polished to look like marble, a material called "scagliola".
Only some of the original furnishings and decoration of the Reiche Kapelle have survived. One of these is the altar with its extremely fine silver reliefs, with the Crucifixion of Christ in the centre, created by the Augsburg goldsmiths Hans Schebel and Jacob Anthoni.
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