Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces
Augustusburg is a German Electoral castle, situated 8
km west of the Rhine, halfway between Bonn and Cologne.
Along with the Falkenlust Palace, the complex is
listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.
The troops of Louis XIV destroyed the medieval castle in
Brühl in 1689. Elector Joseph Clemens of Cologne decided to rebuild the ruin,
and in 1715 his architectural adviser, the Parisian court architect Robert de Cotte, submitted
plans for the project.
No work had begun, however, when Joseph Clemens died in 1723. His
nephew and successor, Clemens August, immediately took over the project, employing an
experienced local architect, Johann Conrad Schlaun.
In his scheme Schlaun incorporated much of the existing fabric. He
duplicated the existing north-west tower with another in the south-west and retained the moat
around the whole site, creating a C-shaped building that was open to the east.
Construction of the two-storey elevation, set on a one-storey base and
capped by a mansard roof, was complete by 1728. Pilasters marked the centres and ends of the
wings, and large windows throughout eliminated much of the wall mass, resulting in an exterior
that was both monumental and open.
The interiors were done by the Bavarian court architectFrançois de
Cuvilliés I. He produced elegant Rococo creations of stucco, including panels with
ornamentation that rises above the ceiling coves, and smooth white surfaces.
While Cuvilliés worked inside, the gardener Dominique Girard, a pupil
of André Le Nôtre, located a terrace and stair along the south wing, filled in the moat and
laid out a formal garden with a central axis that stretches from the terrace into the distant
Far from the Schloss Augustusburg,
Cuvilliés built the Falkenlust Palace (1729–1734), an intimate pavilion
connected to the main complex by a long allée. Closer to the castle stood the Chinese House,
which did not survive, and a pavilion built to house the porcelain collection.
From 1735 Cuvilliés decorated the centrepieces of the east and west
façades, removing the towers that had marked the corners of the latter. He added long galleries
to the west, establishing a deep court as a counterpoint to the eastern court of the
By around 1740, when Cuvilliés had returned to Munich, the new
interiors, modified façades and landscaped setting had transformed Augustusburg castle into a
Decoration of the castle interiors continued into the 1760s. The
alterations and damage that occurred during the 19th and 20th centuries were later corrected by
extensive campaigns to restore the castle and its grounds to their 18th-century
In the second half of the 20th century, due to the proximity of the
castle to the then capital Bonn, Augustusburg was used as a reception hall for international
Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces -
The castles in Bruhl are open for visits. All year
round many cultural events happen inside the castle’s walls. Augustusburg
castle hosts one of Europe’s biggest motorcycle collection.
Every January a big biker meeting takes place at the castle too.
Besides the motorcycle museum, visitors can climb to an observation tower, and even sleep in an
affordable youth hostel next to the castle.
Schloss Augustusburg Address: Schloßstraße 6, 50321 Brühl, Germany. Get help
with directions using the map provided bellow:
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