Between 1779 and 1783, the Dean of Trier Cathedral, Philipp Franz Count of Walderdorff had a summer residence built on the west bank of the Moselle in the style of early French neo-classicism. The architect engaged was the French master builder François Ignace Mangin. Situated directly on the bank of the Moselle, the residence faces northeast and thus lies in the direct line of sight to Trier. The name Monaise means 'my leisure', pointing to the original function of the palace as a summer residence.
The structure belongs to the few examples of early French neo-classicism in Germany. The style developed in France during the reign of King Louis XVI and is therefore called Louis Seize Style. The height of the structure is remarkable in comparison to the small surface area at ground level, only 10x20 m. The main façade is characterised by a tri-part central projection with four Ionic columns in the upper storeys, with balcony behind. Crowning the central projection is a coat of arms held by two lions rampant. The motto underneath, 'OTIUM CUM DIGNITATE', means more or less 'Enjoy leisure with dignity'. The palace is surrounded by a sandstone balustrade and four small corner pavilions.
When the owner, Count of Walderdorff, became Prince Bishop of Speyer in 1791, he sold the palace to Eleonore of Blochhausen, the widow of a court legal advisor in Luxembourg. Later, it fell into the hands of various owners. Beginning in 1920, it belonged to the United Hospitals and, in 1969, it was bought by the city. As the palace had not been used for a long time, its condition continued to deteriorate, although shoring-up measures were conducted again and again. Numerous attempts to save the building always failed in the end because of lack of finances. The restoration of Monaise get underway in 1992 and was finished in 1997.
Monaise houses nowadays , among other things, a top-quality restaurant.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.