Palaces, manors and town halls in Germany

Schönhausen Palace

Schönhausen Palace is a Baroque palace surrounded by gardens through which the Panke river runs. In 1662 Countess Sophie Theodore, a scion of the Holland-Brederode family and wife of the Brandenburg general Christian Albert of Dohna, acquired the lands Niederschönhausen and Pankow, then far north of the Berlin city gates. In 1664 she built a manor at Niederschönhausen in 'Dutch' style. Minister Jo ...
Founded: 1664 | Location: Berlin, Germany

Urach Residential Palace

The palace complex in Urach was built in the early 15th century as the home of Count Ludwig I von Württemberg, at a time when the county was divided. After reunification of Württemberg in 1482, the palace became a well-frequented residence and hunting lodge for the Dukes of Württemberg. Duke Carl Eugen (1728 – 1793) enjoyed staying in Urach, where he would host grand hunting expeditions. The interior ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Bad Urach, Germany

Seeschloss Monrepos

Monrepos is a lakeside palace in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Although quite far from and almost separate from Favorite Palace and Ludwigsburg Palace, by way of pedestrian paths it is connected to the rest of the grounds. It is one of the two minor palaces on the estate, along with the main one. The smaller ones were used as Hunting lodges. Of all three, this is the only one that is still owned by the royal family of Württe ...
Founded: 1714 | Location: Ludwigsburg, Germany

Rosenstein Palace

Rosenstein Palace was built between 1822 and 1830 by the court builder Giovanni Salucci (1769–1845) in the classical style for King Wilhelm I. The palace stands in Rosenstein Park on a height overlooking the Neckar river valley. Formerly called the Kahlenstein (literally "bald rock", because it was bare of trees), the hill was renamed Rosenstein ("rose rock"), and a rose garden was planted to the ...
Founded: 1822 | Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Gohliser Schlösschen

In 1756, the Leipzig merchant and City Architect Johann Caspar Richter commissioned the building of a summer palace - the Gohlis Palace. Richter"s architecture, the building"s interior design and the orangery wings enclosing the building at either end make the palace a sterling example of Saxon Baroque architecture. In 1998, the palace was reopened after undergoing complete restoration. Today, the palace is a v ...
Founded: 1756 | Location: Leipzig, Germany

Schloss Belvedere

Belvedere Castle stands on a hill at the south of Weimar and is surrounded by 43 hectares of parkland. Duke Ernst August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach had a Baroque summer residence including an orangery, pleasure garden and labyrinth built here between 1724 and 1748. Since 1923, Belvedere Castle has been used as a museum of 18th century crafts. The castle, which originally served as a hunting lodge, is surrounded by stables w ...
Founded: 1724-1748 | Location: Weimar, Germany

Wickrath Palace

Schloss Wickrath was built between 1746 and 1772 by count Wilhelm Otto Friedrich von Quadt. The Baroque palace was built to the foundations of late medieval water castle. The original castle was demolished in 1859 by the Prussian administration. The current ensemble of buildings in the park, the Baroque west and east wing and the so-called Landstallmeisterhaus, the residence of the former stud master were built in 1 ...
Founded: 1746/1875 | Location: Wickrath, Germany

Schaumburg Palace

Palais Schaumburg served as the primary official seat of the German Federal Chancellery and the primary official residence of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 until 1999.  The late neoclassical palais was built between 1858 and 1860 for the cloth manufacturer Wilhelm Loeschigk. Bought by Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, it was enlarged during the following years. In 1939 the German arm ...
Founded: 1858-1860 | Location: Bonn, Germany

Auel Palace

Schloss Auel is a charming Baroque site, which lies in the middle of large grounds with beautiful water lily ponds. Aristocratic families have owned Schloss Auel for centuries. The former moated castle (with Baroque chapel) was first mentioned in documents in 1391, but was still under the ownership of a family from Auel at that time. In 1763 the main building was constructed on the older foundations. Today only the three- ...
Founded: 1763 | Location: Lohmar-Wahlscheid, Germany

Schloss Bürgeln

First mentioned as a fortified complex in 1125 and used as a chapel, Bürgeln was built by local land-owner Lord Werner von Kaltenbach, who subsequently donated all his possessions to the St. Blasien Benedictine monastery. Under monastic control, Bürgeln became the seat of the St. Blasien Provost, the religious representative and church tax collector for the local area, including the convent at Sitzenkirch and th ...
Founded: 1762 | Location: Kandern, Germany

Jenisch House

Jenisch House (Jenisch-Haus) is a country house in Hamburg built in the 19th century and an example of Hanseatic lifestyle and neoclassical architecture. As of 2008, Jenisch House is the home of the Museum für Kunst und Kultur an der Elbe. Jenisch House is located in Jenisch Park, Hamburg"s oldest landscaped park. The park was landscaped by Caspar Voght as a model farm and arboretum about 1800. It is located in ...
Founded: 1831 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Schloss Favorite

Schloss Favorite is a Baroque hunting lodge built from 1717 to 1723 for the sovereign Duke of Württemberg, Eberhard Ludwig. The architect was Donato Giuseppe Frisoni. From 1806, King Frederick I of Württemberg converted the park into a ménagerie, including deer and chamois. The architect Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret renovated the building's interior in neoclassical style. In the 20th century, the house was neglecte ...
Founded: 1717-1723 | Location: Ludwigsburg, Germany

Electoral Palace

The Electoral Palace in Amberg was built from 1417 by Louis III, Elector Palatine, and replaced the Alte Veste, a Gothic building in the town center, as the electoral court. The original building on the north was added with a south wing, a moat and a gatehouse, by Elector Frederick I turning it into a fortress. Its present appearance with a high voluted gable was set in 1603 by Johannes Schoch, who redesigned the Zeughaus ...
Founded: 1417 | Location: Amberg, Germany

Bothmer Palace

Schloss Bothmer is the largest Baroque palace in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The assembly of several interconnected buildings with its warm red brick facades attracts many thousands of visitors each year. Bothmer Palace combines in its architecture many different European influences and makes thereby a unique monument to the Baroque style in North Germany. The palace was designed by the architect Johann Friedrich Künnec ...
Founded: 1726-1732 | Location: Klutz, Germany

Weissenstein Palace

Schloss Weißenstein is palatial residence in Pommersfelden, considered a masterwork of Baroque art. In 1710, Lothar Franz von Schönborn, Prince-Bishop of Bamberg and Archbishop of Mainz, inherited the estate after the local family, the Truchsesse of Pommersfelden had died out. He ordered the construction of a palace as a private summer residence, paid for from his personal wealth. A team or architects including Johann D ...
Founded: 1711-1719 | Location: Pommersfelden, Germany

Fantaisie Palace

Fantaisie Palace was begun in 1761 and completed after 1763 by Duchess Elisabeth Friederike Sophie von Württemberg, daughter of the Bayreuth Margrave Friedrich and his wife Wilhelmine. The attractive palace park combines elements from three main style epochs: Rococo, Sensibility and Historicism. The palace is the location of the first garden museum in Germany, with exhibits, displays and videos vividly recreating th ...
Founded: 1761 | Location: Eckersdorf, Germany

Tettnang Palace

Tettnang Palace - usually referred to as Neues Schloss - is one of three castles in Tettnang. Originally a fort stood on the site of the current castle. From 1260 under 1780 it was the residence of the Counts of Montfort. The old fort was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War in 1633. Count Anton III of Montfort subsequently started rebuilding the castle in 1712, hiring the architect Christoph Gessinger, a Benedictine friar ...
Founded: 1712-1770 | Location: Tettnang, Germany

Jagdschloss Glienicke

Jagdschloss Glienicke is a small German hunting lodge in Berlin-Wannsee. It was built in 1682 by Charles Philippe Dieussart for Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg and completed in 1693 during the reign of Frederick William I of Prussia. Frederick I of Prussia used it as a military hospital. In 1763, Frederick II of Prussia gave it as a present to Isaac Levin Joel, a wallpaper and carpet maker who used it for wallpa ...
Founded: 1682 | Location: Wannsee, Germany

Hasselburg Manor

Hasselburg estate is located on a site of fortified manor house from the late Middle Ages. The mansion was originally a typical for Holstein, surrounded by moats and in the 18th century reconstructed into a Baroque residence. The mansion is a two-storey building and with illusionistic ceiling paintings. The large gatehouse of 1763 was based on a design of Georg Hofer Gregg. It is one of the largest gatehouses in Schleswig ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Hasselburg, Germany

Ellingen Residence

Ellingen belonged to the Teutonic Order from 1216 onwards and was the Residence of the Territorial Commander of the Bailiwick of Franconia. This was the most powerful bailiwick in the Teutonic Order, and the small town of Ellingen thus represented the centre of a far-reaching territorial and economic power. At the time when today’s palace was built, however, the Teutonic Order had already become a charitable institutio ...
Founded: 1708-1720 | Location: Ellingen, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.