In Brühl, a small town in the Rhineland, architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design have been brought together to create a first-class work of art. A fine example of a German rococo ensemble, Augustusburg Palace and Falkenlust hunting lodge, along with their baroque gardens, have been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1984.
A favourite residence of Clemens August, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Augustusburg – often referred to simply as Brühl Palace – was one of the first significant rococo buildings in Germany. The construction of the palace began in 1725 on the ruins of a medieval moated castle, but it would take more than 40 years to complete. Time enough to commission the talents of renowned European artists such as Balthasar Neumann, who designed the magnificent staircase. A marvellous creation full of dynamism and elegance, it is one of the crowning achievements of the German baroque. The 18th century baroque gardens were created by Dominique Girard, modelled on French designs. They are among the most beautiful of their kind and can be surveyed in all their glory from the palace terrace (reopens spring 2014). Just a short walk from Augustusburg Palace on the edge of a small secluded forest is the delightful Falkenlust hunting lodge. Built in a relatively short time, between 1729 and 1737, it is one of the most intimate and exquisite creations of the German rococo era. The archbishop came here to indulge his passion for falconry and, after a thrilling day of hunting, members of the court would gather here for supper and games. If you are more passionate about music than falconry, you should ideally visit Augustusburg Palace between May and August when the Brühl palace concerts take place.
Augustusburg Palace: can only be visited on a guided tour, from February to November, every day except Mondays
Falkenlust hunting lodge: can be visited without a guided tour, from February to November, every day except Mondays; audio guides are available in Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Further information: www.schlossbruehl.de