Augustusburg Palace

Brühl, Germany

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.

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Address

Promenade, Brühl, Germany
See all sites in Brühl

Details

Founded: 1725-1768
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Germany
Historical period: Thirty Years War & Rise of Prussia (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Natalie Borovcova (3 months ago)
This was definitely the highlight of my trip to Cologne. I definitely recommend going in the morning to avoid crowds. We went on the longer tour so it was a bit more expensive but definitely worth the price. Obviously not understanding German was a big disadvantage since we were the only foreigners in the group. The German guide seemed to be really engaged with the group and cracked a couple of jokes. However, we received an English audio guide that was really good! It gave more then just the basic information and the language itself was excellent as well. It was also nice to be able to control if you want to listen to some extra content.
Alex Fez (3 months ago)
Nice castle ? with a beautiful garden, ponds and many free roaming wild geese ? and lovely wild ducks ?. There is a small wood around the castle with gravel alleys to walk and relax. Did not get inside, I think it was closed for renovation (Oct. 2022). Just walked around the garden and no ticket was needed for that.
J. (4 months ago)
Nice to visit even if you're not going inside. The park is basically vivid during warm temperatures. You can take a long walk there or just relax at one of the little parks around the castle. During the weekend you might see many " just married " couples taking pro images with a photographer ? I still believe that the castle(s) need more of an outside make over...some new painting etc...
Pavel D. (4 months ago)
Rococo jewel of Germany and stunning beauty, but the tour option needs to be improved! Getting to the castle by train was fairly easy, I was quite surprised how close the train station was to the entrance of the castle, not even 100 meter away from the platform. The most stunning views of the castle were exactly from here, from the entrance - the long checker design path leads all the way to the beautiful colored castle - that's what I wanted to see. For visiting the castle I bought a combined ticket for 15 € that entitled me to visit both Augustusburg and Falkenlust castles, but I must say I was highly disappointed with the tour! I was only able to participate in a German speaking guided tour that lasted around one hour, for non-German speakers an audio guide was available (in many languages and free of charge) unfortunately without headphones being provided. So there I was, listening to the audio guide with one ear and the German guide with the other ear not being able to focus on the explanations of either of them. On top of that the audio stories were short (some of them less than a minute) as opposed to the guide's explanation, so I felt like I was missing out. I could not focus therefore I did not enjoy it and the large group of visitors (at least 30% were non-german speakers) murmuring around didn't help either. We were allowed to take pictures only in 3 rooms, luckily the main staircase was one of them. This room was splendid, an absolute marvel and a highlight of the castle,a very photogenic place. The summer dining room was also quite beautiful. As for the rest of the rooms the most interesting part of them were the ceilings, as they were stunning and exceptional. Each room had different coloring and different motifs, however there was not much to see in the rooms apart from the ceiling stucco and beautifully decorated walls, just a few pieces of furniture, certainly not as much as I expected. The library didn't even have books, and if it weren't for the tiles I would not even recognize we visited a bathroom. The gardens with the fountains were nice, however I was not amazed as they were vast and spread out. Unfortunately some parts were not in the best condition as the buxus disease stroked here too. I did enjoy the walk to the Falkenlust castle, which is around 30 minutes walking distance, the alleys leading there were pretty amazing (great wedding picture opportunity). I did enjoy visiting Falkenlust castle as it was less crowded, more compact, equally beautiful and I could explore the rooms on your own with an audio guide. I am giving 5 starts for the beauty and historical meaning of the castle, but my tour experience would be rated much lower. Visited in August 2022.
Aggie Wang (6 months ago)
As the first Rococo style in Germany, this castle is absolutely beautiful. The staircase is the most impressive with colorful marble columns and all kinds of decorative details. This castle is not massively huge but still has lots of rooms. Each of them has different theme and color. The admission to the palace is via a guided tour only and it’s in German. It takes about one hour to finish touring all rooms. An audio guide is included in the entrance fee. So while following the guide, you could listen to the audio in English or other languages you choose. These is a well manicured garden and nice long boulevard leading to the hunting lounge Falkenlust. Be aware there is a long walk from the main palace to the hunting lounge. But the nature is beautiful. The hunting lounge is much smaller but still has the same Rococo style in each single room. The combined ticket is €15. A very reasonable price. And the staff are super friendly. Highly recommend.
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