The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Assumption in Valladolid was originally designed as the largest cathedral in Europe. Initially planned as the Cathedral for the capital city of Spain, ultimately, only 40-45% of the intended project was completed, due to lack of resources after the court moved towards Madrid, and the expenses caused by the difficult foundations of the church.
The structure has its origins in a late Gothic collegiate church, which begun in the late 15th century. The cathedral that was planned would have been immense. When construction started, Valladolid was the de facto capital of Spain, housing king Philip II and his court. However, due to strategic and geopolitical reasons, by the 1560s the capital was moved to Madrid and construction funds were largely cut. Thus the cathedral was not finished according to Herrera's design, and further modified during the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the addition to the top of the main façade, a work by Churriguera.
Its main façade is made up of two stretches of columns: the lower part, the work of Juan de Herrera, and the upper, that of Churriguera, which is characterised by its abundant decorative elements. The inside of the building is split up into three naves with side chapels between the butresses. The 15th century altarpiece is the work of Juan de Juni and depicts figures of saints. The Cathedral Museum is also to be found inside the church.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.