Just a short, enchanting stroll away from Augustusburg Palace in Brühl, Falkenlust is located on the edge of a secluded grove as the favourite hunting lodge of the Cologne elector and Archbishop Clemens August (1700-1761).
One of the most intimate and precious creations of German Rococo was built in a few short years (1729-1737) according to the plans of François de Cuvilliés, court architect of the Bavarian elector. The construction site was selected in accordance with the flight path of the herons, the favourite prey in falconry. En route from their breeding grounds in the Palace Garden at Brühl to their fishing grounds on the Rhine near Wesseling, the herons were captured by the avid falconer Clemens August and his hunting parties.
Once the hunt was finished, the court would meet for dinner and entertainment in the lavishly appointed rooms of the hunting lodge Falkenlust. Characteristic of the perfectly preserved rooms are the sumptuously fashioned cabinets, already admired by the young Mozart in 1763.
In 1730 the construction of a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary of Egypt began in the immediate neighbourhood of the hunting lodge, which Pierre Laporterie fashioned as a much-admired grotto-style hermitage.
Since 1974, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia maintains the Hunting Lodge Falkenlust for the public as a museum. An exhibition in the auxiliary buildings portrays the art of falconry and displays the falconers’ life and workplace.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Hunting Lodge Falkenlust by inscribing it together with Augustusburg Palace and their gardens and parks on the World Heritage List in 1984.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.