Schloss Benrath is a Baroque-style maison de plaisance (pleasure palace) in Benrath, which is now a borough of Düsseldorf. It was erected for the Elector Palatine Charles Theodor and his wife, Countess Palatine Elisabeth Auguste of Sulzbach, by his garden and building director Nicolas de Pigage. Construction began in 1755 and was completed in 1770. The ensemble at Benrath has been proposed for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The main building, the central corps de logis, for the Elector Palatine and his wife is flanked by two arched symmetrical wings, the maisons de cavalière, which originally housed the servants. They partially surround a circular pond, the Schlossweiher (palace pond), in the north. On the southside lies a long rectangular pond, the Spiegelweiher (mirror pond). From the predescant castle, which stood formerly in the mid of the long rectangular pond on the southside of the palace, is conserved only one of the servant wings, the so-called Alte Orangerie (Old Orangery).
The main building is a museum with guided tours. Sometimes music concerts are also performed. The two wings house two museums since 2002: the Museum for European Garden Art in the east wing and the Museum of Natural History in the west wing.
The palace is surrounded by a baroque square hunting park with two crossing diagonal alleys and a circular alley.References:
Claude Monet lived for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926, in Giverny. With a passion for gardening as well as for colours, he conceived both his flower garden and water garden as true works of art. Walking through his house and gardens, visitors can still feel the atmosphere which reigned at the home of the Master of Impressionnism and marvel at the floral compositions and nymphéas, his greatest sources of inspiration.
In 1890 Monet had enough money to buy the house and land outright and set out to create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint. Some of his most famous paintings were of his garden in Giverny, famous for its rectangular Clos normand, with archways of climbing plants entwined around colored shrubs, and the water garden, formed by a tributary to the Epte, with the Japanese bridge, the pond with the water lilies, the wisterias and the azaleas.
Today the Monet's Garden is open to the public.