The precise date of the Braaby Church's construction is not known but it was first documented around 1370 when it consisted of the current Romanesque nave and a smaller chancel, both built of limestone blocks. In about 1500, the tower, porch and north chapel were added with decorations consisting of belts of brick and limestone. The present chancel was constructed in c. 1570. After Steward of the Realm Peder Oxe had built nearby Gisselfeld Manor in 1556, he received Braaby Church as a gift from King Christian III. The church remained in the ownership of Gisselfeld until 1967.
In 1880, a vault was constructed in place of the wooden ceiling. The tomb headpiece in the nave adjacent to the north chapel is from 1695. It is decorated with a skull flanked by volutes. The cornice bears 14 ancestral arms with an inscription stating: 'The nobleman Adam Levith Knuth of Gisselfeld and Assendrup who was born 1 March 1648 in Meklenburg and died 13 January 1699 has completed this tomb and memorial for his soul's eternal rest and his corporal remains.' It is headed by a large carving bearing the family arms surrounded by symbols of war.
Below the memorial windows, there is a carved depiction of a young woman with wavy hair sitting in a wooded landscape. She is caressing a dog with her left hand while she hushes with the fingers of her right hand. The inscription from Proverbs 11, verse 12, reads 'But a man of understanding remains silent.' Below the memorial, there is a crypt with the coffins of Knuth, Sophia Ulfeldt of Orebygård (died 1698) and her daughter Countess Hilleborg Holck (died 1724) who was Knuth's longstanding fiancee. A batch of letters was found in her coffin which might explain why they never married but out of respect for the deceased they have not been read.
The rood screen (1695) bears Knuth's arms with a black kettle hook. The painting on the altarpiece is by Constantin Hansen (1833). The pulpit is from 1862. On the north wall of the chancel there is an epitaph to Peder Oxe who died in 1575. It was completed before his death and although he was buried in Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, the date of his death has been added. The epitaph states that Braaby Church has been moved to Gisselfeld. This never happened but he was so convinced that his plans would be carried out and the church would be moved stone by stone that he included it in his epitaph.
Gotland limestone has been used to make the font from the later part of the 12th century. It is akin to the font seen in Bornholm, though the decorations are different; these are inferred to be by an artist of Zealand. The bowl of the font has decorations made in relief. They depict the Three Kings and Saint Anne holding the baby Jesus. Also seen in the relief are other scenes of an angel restraining a hunter, a deer, a cross turned towards the hunter, satan in the form of an ape, and horses saddled but without the riders, the central horse carrying a falcon. The plinth also has relief decorations of a bishop, two snakes being nursed by a woman, a snake, and also of a book with a cross and griffin.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.