Photo Journal

[Photo Journal] Nymphenburg Park Palaces: Pagodenburg (Part Three of Four)


Myra here.

Every Tuesday, we share photographs from our recent or long-ago travels, or just everyday stuff that appealed to our mindful eye and sharp sensibilities as captured through fleeting images.

Pagodenburg in Nymphenburg

Over the past two weeks, I have been sharing photographs of the park palaces around the Nymphenburg Castle in Munich. So far, we have featured the Amalienburg and the Badenburg Park Palaces. This week, it’s all about the Pagodenburg.

According to the official Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung website:

The Pagodenburg was built between 1716 and 1719 by Joseph Effner to a commission from Elector Max Emanuel. Sited north of the main canal, it respects the original plan of the park. To the south of the little palace lies a garden parterre, and to the north a green where the “Mailspiel”, a game similar to golf, was played.

I believe the name is derived from the Chinese “pagoda” with the Chinese motif used throughout the small castle.

I like taking photos of the ceiling – I wonder if royalty enjoyed looking up to admire the intricate art. Was it similar to touching the skies? I also wonder how difficult it must have been to make something like this in the 1700s!

Again from the same website cited above:

A contemporary account reports: This Indian building is a place where the lords and ladies rest after the exertions of a round of “Mailspiel”… The lower floor houses a hall and two cabinets, and the panelling has been executed in Arab and Indian styles with all manner of Chinese figures and pagodas.

There must have been a deep-seated fascination with the Chinese culture at the time, for an entire park palace to be devoted in its style, with the interior surrounded by Chinese-inspired art.

Again, from the website:

On the ground floor the colours blue and white predominate which, together with the exotic elements of the partly ornamental, partly figural ceiling painting and the Dutch tiles, allude to China and porcelain production.

I don’t think the park palaces were going after “cozy and comfortable” when they were built. Despite its small, almost-peripheral stature (compared to the main castle, that is), there is still a grandeur that can be felt from these park palaces – and an air of abandoned sadness, too. I think they do come alive when tourists come and visit.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Singapore. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she serves as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads or meeting up with her book club friends, she is smashing that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life.

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