Towering over the city of Gotha as one of Germany's first baroque palaces, Friedenstein Palace is a monumental building that looks strictly imposing from the outside and is lavishly opulent on the inside.
Built on the foundations of the ruins of Grimmenstein Castle, Friedenstein Palace was ready to serve as a residence befitting the status of Duke Ernest I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1656. The north wing alone spans 100 metres in length, whilst the side wings cover an incredible 140 metres as a statement of the former power that is still clear to see from afar. The Protestant Duke kept the design of his palace plain and simple, which is actually what gives it its charm. From the outside, the first things you notice about Friedenstein are its harsh simplicity and sheer size.
By way of contrast, his son Duke Frederick I made sure that the rooms were lavishly kitted out on the inside. The royal chambers boast magnificent marquetry flooring and beautifully decorated stucco ceilings. The main banqueting hall features decorative ceiling sculptures that are framed by lavish garlands of fruits and flowers. The collections at the museum now combine precious works of art from all eras, including paintings, sculptures and crafts. The glorious splendour on show at Friedenstein Palace is mirrored in its vast English gardens.