Alter Hof

Orientation & Geography

Europe, Germany, Munich

The Alte Hof (Old Court) in the center of Munich is the former imperial residence of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor and consists of five wings Burgstock, Zwingerstock, Lorenzistock, Pfisterstock and Brunnenstock. Archeological excavations have shown that a castle already existed there in the 12th century. After the first partition of Bavaria in 1255 the Alte Hof became the residence of Louis II, Duke of Bavaria in the then very northeastern part of the city. The castle was the first permanent imperial residence in the Holy Roman Empire under his son Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor. The St. Lorenz Chapel at the north side, which demolished in the 19th century, once housed the Imperial Regalia. After some uprisings the castle became too unsafe and the Wittelsbach moved to the Residenz. From the 15th century onwards the castle was only seat of several governmental departments. The late Gothic westwings (the Burgstock with its tower and its decorated bay window and the Zwingerstock), which were altered under Duke Sigismund have been preserved. After destructions in World War II the castle was reconstructed. Portions of it (Lorenzistock, Pfisterstock and Brunnenstock) were redeveloped to serve as offices and luxury apartments in 2005/2006. The castle also houses a "tourist information centre for Bavarian castles".