The Brühl Palaces
Baroque buildings of exemplary character
The Baroque splendour in Brühl is enough to take visitors’ breath away. Anyone standing on the staircase understands why other princely courts once looked enviously upon Brühl.
The Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces in Brühl are two of Germany’s most important examples of Baroque and Rococo architecture, and served as models for numerous other German courts. The adjacent Schlosspark (Palace Park) is an internationally recognised monument to the art of gardening, designed in the French style but with perceptible elements of English landscaped gardens.
The structures in the Rhine-Erft district near Cologne date back to Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne. In 1725 he issued a statement ordering that a summer house be built for him – the eponymous Augustusburg Palace. Four years later, he gave the order for his hunting lodge, Jagdschloss Falkenlust, to be built, which would serve as his falconry base and as a private retreat.
The two residences are linked by an avenue running through the extensive Palace Park. A range of renowned artists and architects were involved in planning and building the palaces, gardens and grounds.
Many famous visitors came to Brühl
For many years starting in 1949, Augustusburg Palace was used as a venue for official receptions held by Germany’s president and federal government. This is where German presidents have received famous state visitors such as Queen Elizabeth II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela and even Pope John Paul II. Today, Augustusburg Palace and the Falkenlust hunting lodge are open to the public as a museum.
A particularly impressive feature is the magnificent staircase designed by Balthasar Neumann. Every summer a series of classical and Baroque concerts are held here. Germany’s only Haydn festival is also part of the summer programme.
In 1984, the two Brühl palaces, together with their gardens and parks, were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Palace opening hours:
February - November, Tuesday to Friday: 09:00 - 12:00, 13:30 - 16:00 (last admission)
Weekends and public holidays: 10:00 - 17:00 (last admission)
Schlosspark (Palace Park): open year-round, daily