The old Schleißheim Palace goes back to a simple mansion built under Duke Wilhelm V (r. 1579–1597) after his abdication around 1598, which formed the center of the extensive Schwaighof and was called Wilhelm's building. The modest complex, located near the Wittelsbach summer residence, Schloss Dachau, was intended to serve as a place of reflection and prayer for the Duke in the last years of his life.In 1598, Duke Wilhelm V, who had previously founded the Hofbräuhaus, set up a brewery in the Wilhelmshof, from which the Schleißheim beer emerged.Maximilian I (reigned 1597–1651), the son of Duke Wilhelm, had the building demolished down to the cellar walls as early as 1617 and the present-day Old Castle built instead. This unpaved complex is typologically similar to the Laufzorn Castle that Maximilian's brother Albrecht had begun the year before. There, too, a flight of stairs leads up to the manorial first floor. The building in the style of the late Renaissance, based on Andrea Palladio's villa buildings, was completed in 1623. Heinrich Schön the Elder was probably appointed as the master builder, while Peter Candid executed numerous wall and ceiling paintings.
In 1679 Maximilian's son and successor, Elector Ferdinand Maria (ruled 1651–1679) died in the Old Palace. His son Max Emanuel took over the Schwaighof and planned to include the old castle in the extensive new building of a Schleissheim residence, but the plans were never fully implemented. After the New Palace was built, the older building was used less often. The large central hall served as the Schleissheim parish church from the 19th century. The old castle suffered severe damage in World War II and was in a ruinous state for decades after the end of the war. A restoration took place from 1970 onwards, not all of the historic interiors were restored, but some of them were used in a modern, museum-like manner.
January 6, 2022
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