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Nymphenburg: Royal porcelain factory in Munich

Nymphenburg castle (c) Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung

The Nymphenburg castle in Munich is a former summer residence of the Wittelsbach family, shelters the production facility of the royal porcelain factory that bears its name and is closely linked to the Bavarian State history.

In 1745, in order to stabilize the State’s finances, Duke Maximilian III. Joseph ordered the foundation of a royal china factory. To this day the production’s old-timer machines and mechanics are supplied with water from the Nymphenburg canal. The hand-crafting techniques that have been transmitted over generations are what makes Nymphenburg porcelain one of a kind. Each piece is branded with the Bavarian lozenges crest.

A peculiarity of the Nymphenburg porcelain is the traditional collaboration with renowned artists instead of the factory having its own design development department. It is the sketches of internationally acclaimed artists such as Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood, Ted Mueling or Konstantin Grcic that grace the china pieces. The motto “avant-garde since 1747” reflects this tradition.

For over 270 years, Nymphenburg porcelain clients have been higher international nobility, embassies, churches and palaces in and outside of Bavaria. Nymphenburg porcelain is also displayed in several of the world’s most famous design collections – the the MoMA in NY, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Fondation nationale in Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

The factory can be visited upon appointment (guided tour), and the Nymphenburg castle park, accessible via public transit from downtown Munich, is a lovely nature getaway from the city.