Augustusburg Palace, Brühl (NRW - Germany)

The trip was Aachen & Cologne (Köln) was a whirlwind, hectic one. It was a very short trip and we had much to do. One of the important sites in Köln was infact not in the city, but in the outskirts, in Brühl - the Augustusburg Palace! 



In the first instance, especially if you've explored the palaces & mansions of England, it doesn't look much different from Ham House or Chiswick House or even Versailles Palace in France. However those belong to Baroque art style and Augustusberg Palace belongs to Rococo art style. Someone trained in art history or architecture would see the difference easily. Rococo is an art form that evolved from, or rather, just after, Baroque and is often termed as Late Baroque. This style began in France and spread all over Europe. The primary difference are the motifs and colors. While Baroque has religious symbolism, Rococo is more on daily life (of the elite, ofcourse, who funded the art)!!! While Baroque has bright & dark colors, Rococo is more towards pastels. An example of Rococo include Frederik's Church in Copenhagen, Denmark

Schloss Augustusberg was built by Clemens August of Bavaria. It was built in 1725 CE and was designed by architect Johann Conrad Schlaun. There was a castle in this location prior to this which was the residence of archbishops of Cologne since 13th C CE. In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and completed it in 1768. Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models, in 1728. 
Today the site is accessible only via guided tours! Guide personnel are only in German, however audio guides are available in several other languages. Photography is not allowed inside the building, so all the interior photographs in this post are the official shots of the site. The whole building is in 3 wings and 2 floors. The tour starts in the left wing, ground floor. The whole tour is about 1 hr.

The first room to have an impact on me was the 2nd room - the whole paper was, gilded leather!!! The next room, also the one that totally took me by awe, was the grand staircase. Its just magnificent. The flooring and staircase are all made of marble. The pillars are such a thing of beauty. The marbled pattern on the pillars are just wow! This is made of a mix of plaster, natural colourings and pigments extracted from semi-precious stones! Instead of pillars, at some places are human sculptures - carrying the roofing!!! Look up - the ceiling painting is a marvel!!! This is 200 sqm in size, was painted by Carlo Carlone and his assistants. Actually the ceiling is flat, but it looks like a dome, thanks for the effect of the painting!!!

Remember, I said Rococo is more towards symbolism from everyday life. Well, another room's ceiling, particularly has symbols of bathing things - bath tub, bathing vase and sponge etc! One of the dining rooms has some of the original porcelain cultery. The designs include very realistically rendered insects!!! 
Romance is a stronghold of Rococo symbolism. This room is filled with it! A similar concept in traditional baroque might have been filled with angels and cherubs. Here, in Rococo, guess what it is.... take a wild guess... did you guess 'monkeys'???? Oh yea, its all romance and fun and frolic and courting in garden - all by monkeys!!!!!!
One of the rooms' ceiling is dedicated to Flaconry! Make sure to look into the depiction of falcons. Once again rococo styling with real-life, daily-life depiction! One of the important tool of Rococo is stucco - its used to give an extreme 3 dimensionality. The ceiling patterns begin as shallow relief sculptures and proceed to a completely projected, very-high relief, that's almost as good as a stand-alone sculpture that's just attached at one point!!! See the falcons! Half the bird would be shallow relief and the other half is completely projecting out!!!


The garden is humongous and is free to access. There are several waterbodies and several ducks! Yes, Atyudarini has a fabulous time, 'talking' to the ducks! Unfortunately the fountains need some more clean-up.
For being an example of how Rococo art & architecture was, in its early times, Augustusburg Palace and Falkenlust Hunting Lodge (located about half an hour walk (2km) from here, but unfortunately we missed it due to lack of time), together are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

Pic Courtesy: All non-watermarked photographs - ©UNESCO Welterbestätte Schlösser Brühl. Foto Horst Gummersbach. Photography is not allowed inside the palace, so all photographs of interiors are the official photographs of Augustusburg Palace. 

To Get There:
Nearest Railway Station: Brühl (4 mins walk from Palace)
Trains are available from/to Cologne (Köln HBF) every 40 mins and the journey is 20 mins.

Entry tickets & timings:
Garden: Free; varies from 7:00AM/8:00AM to 5:00/9:00PM in Winters & Summers. More details here.
Both Palaces:Tue-Fri: 9:00AM to 12:00Noon & 1:30PM to 4:00PM; Weekends: 10:00AM to 5:00PM. 
Augustusburg Palace: €9, Accessible via guided tours only, which starts every hour.
Falkenlust Hunting Lodge: €7; Self-guided with audio guides
Both palaces are closed completely during December & January.

My complete Aachen & Cologne travelogue: Aachen Cathedral, Route Charlemagne, Cologne Cathedral, Brühl Augustusburg Palace


P.S: I was invited by NRW Tourism to experience the region for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.
Pic Credits: As mentioned earlier, photography is not allowed inside and the official photos are being used in this blog and related social media with prior permission.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

16 comments:

  1. Schloss Augustusberg looks fabulous. I love exploring buildings like this although I prefer to be able to wander around on my own rather than on a guided tour. However, sometimes it's not possible as you say. I always enjoy exploring the gardens of these big houses. These look wonderful.

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  2. For some reason I don't remember being able to walk around there so much or being offered a tour when I went back in 2014! Your photos look absolutely gorgeous though, and I'd love to go back and actually take a tour of the interior next time. We rented bikes from the train station and biked out there, which I thought was the perfect bike ride!

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  3. What an incredible palace! Those are some of the most beautiful and intricate palace rooms I've ever seen. Those ceilings - wow! It's a bummer that you are only able to visit by guided tour and you can't take any photos inside. I think that would really dampen the experience for me to have to follow a guide. The gardens are very beautiful as well. I would love to visit here!

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  4. The Schloss looks stunning! It's such a shame that you can't take photos on the inside, I would love to get creative with my camera in there. :(

    I hadn't heard about Augustusburg before reading this but should I ever be in the area I'll be sure to check it out and take, even though I dread them, a guided tour because I know it is going to be worth it.

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  5. The place is so big and I think it could take easily up to one day to look around. The interiors are so rich and eye-catching. On a sunny day it is also nice to walk in the park. A nice place for an excursion.

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  6. Wow, the interios is quite impressive! I am glad we can still admire it and it's accessible with not much of a cost for visitor.

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  7. That is a beautiful palace! It's like that prince's palace in the recent Cinderella movie. I like it that it looks pleasant; when it comes to palaces and castles, you have this mental image of gloomy, ominous halls. This one is gorgeous!

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  8. Wow! The inside of this palace is so ornately beautiful! I can imagine it must be even more gorgeous in real life.

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  9. All the rooms look impressive! It shows how the architect and the owner collaborated really well. I personally like the idea of using human sculptures as the pillars. They add beauty to the rooms. Truly it's different from the Baroque style, although from outside it doesn't look impressive as the the inside.

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  10. Rococo architecture is so unique and yes, romantic. Loved the work in Augustusberg Palace. I would love to spend a day exploring these palaces and get myself soaked in the architecture.

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  11. I can only imagine all of the work and detail that went into this design and architecture! I love that Rococo used stucco for a 3D effect. All of these designs are amazing!

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  12. I enjoyed reading your post on Augustusburg Palace because of the extra nugget of information you provide. For example, I wouldn't have know that there was a castle in the same location of the palace. Do you happen to know why they made the change?

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  13. As a big fan of Austrian medieval architecture, I really enjoyed this article. All the rooms look impressive and the interior is absolutely marvellous. It's also so cool that there was a castle there before the palace was built!

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  14. Am very impressed with the interiors of the palace. Expected it to be grand but despite what I pictured, I am blown away. Loved the details on the ceilings and the walls. You sure are having a blast in that part of the world.

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  15. I've seen a number of palaces in Germany, but not this one. I'm totally in awe of how many incredible palaces were built across the country, and thanks for bringing this one to my attention!

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  16. The Augustusburg Palace looks amazing with beautiful garden around it. I loved the Rococo art style as it incorporates pastel shades. The ceilings in the palace are stunning. Good to know that they have depicted daily life in these paintings and even the cutlery too. Thanks for sharing this magnificent palace.

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