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Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust in Brühl

Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust in Brühl

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. 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.

Opening times, tours and tips

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:


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Bonn celebrates with the Rhine in Flames but Cologne hosts the Cologne Lights, one of Europe's most beautiful and most spectacular musical fireworks displays, right in the middle of the Rhine – an atmospheric extravaganza that will light up your eyes and bring joy to your heart.

It's carnivaltime! In Cologne, the biggest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, people like to party as if there's no tomorrow. Cologne Carnival is evidence of this, as are the Cologne Lights, a must-see highpoint in the city's calendar since 2001. With Cologne's eminently quaffable kölsch beer being served from 2012 onwards, the atmosphere is set to ratchet up yet another notch. A glass of kölsch is the perfect afternoon refresher as you soak up the musical entertainment at the Tanzbrunnen. Where better to while away the time before the start of the fireworks, which are ushered in by the breathtaking spectacle of 50 gloriously illuminated ships? These glide along the Rhine before being greeted by a curtain of fire and excited spectators waving hundreds of thousands of sparklers as the flotilla swings round at Deutz Bridge. The main fireworks display, which is then launched from a 240-metre pontoon formation and lasts a full thirty minutes, is a dazzling synthesis of fireworks and music, experienced not only by around a million spectators on both riverbanks but also by some lucky people who have 'box seats' on the ships themselves. To secure one of those coveted on-board tickets, you'll need to book a year in advance. Because Cologne people really do like to party, whether on the Rhine itself or on its riverbanks.

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