your royal tour of germany
Duke Johann Ernst had the three wing Ehrenburg Palace erected by 1543, in the place of the Franciscan monastery which was closed during the Reformation. The palace was named “Ehrenburg”, or “palace of honour”, because it had been built without the use of forced labour. From Palace Square (Schloßplatz) you can see the 19th century Neo-Gothic façade. Take a peek into the noble living quarters and bedrooms of the Coburg dukes, for example Queen Victoria’s splendid apartments and the rooms in which Leopold I, the first King of Belgium, lived. Queen Victoria met the Austrian Emperor for the first time in the renowned Riesensaal (Giant Hall). Johann Strauss (son) married his third wife in the chapel of the palace.
Duke Johann Casimir had the palace extended. The structural extension, designed by architect Giovanni Bonalino, is still visible today in the inner courtyard of the palace and is considered to be one of the most avant-garde examples of Renaissance architecture north of the Alps. Following a fire in 1690, Ehrenburg Palace was rebuilt by Duke Albrecht in a Baroque style. The ornate stucco-work, the Hofkirche (the court church), and the Giant Hall (Riesensaal) are all imposing testimonies to this architectural period. In the 19th century under Duke Ernst I, Ehrenburg Palace was renovated with a Neo-Gothic facade, based on the designs of the Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
The rooms, including the apartment used by Duke Ernst I and his wife, convey even to this day an authentic impression of the style of living at that time. There are a large number of portraits, which show the extraordinary family ties of the dukes of Coburg. Queen Victoria’s bedroom reminds visitors of the dukes’ most famous ties: the marriage of Prince Albert to his cousin, the Queen of England. One of Europe’s first water closets is also to be found here, and its panelling is made from mahogany no less. Visitors can also admire two of the dukes’ art galleries, both of which are home to some valuable pieces of art, such as a collection of paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder. As well as well-known members of the European aristocracy, who have assembled in the Giant Hall, and who still meet here today, there was another famous person who came to Ehrenburg Palace for a special purpose, namely Johann Strauß, who married his bride, Adele, here on 15th August 1887.
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