1680 – Residenz, Kempten, Bavaria



The former abbot’s residence next to St Lorenz Basilika contains two courtyards, has a small tower at each corner and turns itself inwards on the city. This is probably due to the fact that from 1525 to 1802 Kempten was divided into two parts: a Protestant Reichsstadt (free imperial city) and a Catholic F├╝rststift (Benedictine abbey). The former quarter, whose center was occupied by the Church of St. Mang, was independent of the larger F├╝rststift, which, in 1348, had been raised to the status of a principality. Accountable only to the emperor and thus hampered by tense relations with the abbey, the Reichsstadt nevertheless made a tidy living out of trade with Italy. The Residenz was the palace of the principality and features some grand interiors including a very ornate Throne Room

The exterior is unusual although not that unusual for Kempten. Many facades in Kempten have painted architectural detail – instead of moulded stucco or sculpted stonework, the window surrounds and doorways are painted on to the buildings.