The sequence of rooms in the Residenz was arranged according to an established order. The closer the visitor came to the private quarters, the more strictly he was scrutinised. Anyone wishing an audience with the archbishop was required to wait here, in the antechamber to the audience chamber, and often had to hold out for hours. Admission was granted only to emissaries and members of the aristocracy.
Quite deliberately, there was no seating, for the visitor had to stand until the two footmen opened the door to admit him to the audience chamber. Meanwhile, he had time to contemplate the ceiling painting by Martino Altomonte and to decipher its message: Alexander cuts the Gordian knot with his sword, fulfilling the prophecy of the Gordian oracle, that whoever could unravel the knot would become ruler of the Persian empire – the symbolism being that insoluble problems can be solved only by the ruler himself.
The splendid baroque chandelier of Bohemian crystal, the stove with gilded urns and the Venetian mirror are part of the original furnishings. The nocturnal clock dated 1728, which once stood in the bedroom, is a curiosity: the dial, made of translucent silk, was lit from behind by a candle. The Brussels tapestries on the walls, dating from the latter half of the 17th century, are part of a series representing the months of the year.
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