See sites of royal splendour in Germany
At the Old and New Hermitage Palace in Bayreuth there is a variety of buildings to discover from down the centuries as well as an enchanting park created by Margravine Wilhelmine herself. On a stroll around the grounds, you can admire the fountains, water features, sun temple and the mock ruined theatre, and explore the mysterious grottos. The Old Palace, built for Margrave Georg Wilhelm in 1715, has a music room, an exquisite Japanese room and an equally lavish Chinese mirrored room where Wilhelmine wrote her memoirs. The crowning glory of the ensemble is the New Hermitage Palace built between 1749 and 1753. Its crescent-shaped design with beautiful arcaded walkways exemplifies the rococo style. At the centre of the two wings is the temple of the sun with Apollo gracing the roof. In the mid-1740s Wilhelmine also had a theatre built in the style of a classical ruin, and she is considered the founder of this remarkable architectural style. Regular summer performances were reintroduced in 1982. On a visit to Bayreuth, the venue of the Wagner Festival, be sure not to miss the magnificent Margravial Opera House. It was inaugurated in 1748 for the wedding of Princess Friederike and Duke Carl II Eugen von Württemberg. Another place of interest is Fantaisie Palace – the summer residence of Wilhelmine's daughter, Duchess Elisabeth Friederike Sophie von Württemberg, who inherited this landscape garden idyll in 1763.
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