We live in Köln in Germany. It lies in western Germany, in a region that is particularly famous for beautiful castles and palaces. Although Köln itself does not have a Schloss (a palace in German), it is surrounded by towns full of gorgeous castles. One of the most famous ones is the small town of Brühl. It is a charming little place with two of the most beautiful palaces in North Rhine-Westphalia. Collectively known as the Brühl palaces, these include the magnificent rococo Augustusburg and the smaller, yet equally beautiful Falkenlust palaces. The Augustusburg palace is about 45 minute walk from the Falkenlust palace and both structures and their gardens and parks are listed as Unesco World Heritage sites.
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The light airy rococo style of Augustusburg
Commissioned by Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August, the Augustusburg palace was completed in 1768. It was built on the site of the ruins of a medieval moated castle and its completion took about 40 years. Augustusburg Palace is a massive egg yolk yellow U-shaped three-story structure. It was designed by the Bavarian architect François de Cuvilliés and was famous as one of the most glorious rococo residences of its time. In fact, its architectural style makes Augustburg significant and its interiors are filled with light pastel colours, gold, and ornate stucco designs. These are in sharp contrast to the heavier and a bit gloomier baroque style and look as flirtatious as can be. Rococo interiors have a more light-hearted feel to them and place emphasis on nature, fun, and privacy rather than making ostentatious public statements. However, rococo interiors are magnificent and this can be clearly seen at Augustusburg palace.
Beautiful interiors of Augustusburg
Set amidst expansive landscaped gardens and parklands, the Augustusburg palace has a jaw-droppingly beautiful central staircase. Constructed from marble and stucco with jasper columns, it is bedecked with an impressive fresco on the ceiling. Despite the opulence, it is filled with light and the airy colours give it a sense of enormous space. This flirty, fun factor can be seen throughout the Augustusburg palace on its walls and every nook and cranny. There are tapestries that depict hunting scenes set in nature and the wallpapers are simply gorgeous. From an exquisite gilded Cuir de Cordoue; the red and white calico design to the cool blue tiles of the dining room, Augustusburg palace was made with a lot of love and an eye for details.
The private, intimate hunting lodge of Falkenlust
Falkenlust Castle on the other hand seems more homey and rough and ready. It is a hunting lodge that was also commissioned by Clemens August since he was an avid falconer and hunter. This castle was built on the flight path of the herons that nested in the Augustusburg Palace gardens. The location of this lodge meant that Clemens August and his hunting party could hunt the herons en route to their fishing grounds on the Rhine River, then head back to Falkenlust for a night of merriment. Despite its hunting lodge status, Falkenlust is beautiful nonetheless and is just two kilometers away from the Augustusburg palace. It was designed to feel like a country retreat rather than the main residence and is smaller, much more intimate, and has a higher concentration of different artistic influences. It was used as a hunting lodge and the ground floor rooms are decorated with motifs of this sport along with other natural elements. Falkenlust was a sanctuary for the residents to be away from the public life; let their hair down; be themselves and it was no wonder that Clemens August enjoyed holding his most private parties there.
Augustusburg Palace Travel Guide
Augustusburg can only be visited as a part of a guided tour. Falkenlust Castle, however, is open for you to explore at your own pace. It doesn’t matter which you see first although I suggest seeing Augustusburg first. Since the tours have a fixed timing and there are only a few English tours, it might be a good idea to base your trip around when the next tour is starting.
The Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces are located in Brühl. The official address is Parkplatz, Max-Ernst-Allee, Brühl 50321, Germany.
How to Reach
Just catch the train to Brühl or towards Bonn from Köln Hbf and they’re both a short walk from there. In fact, the Augustusburg Palace is right outside the Brühl train station.
The castles are open at the following times:
- Monday closed
- Tuesday to Friday 9 am – 4 pm (last admission)
- Saturday | Sunday | Public Holidays 10 am – 5 pm (last admission)
Entrance Fees (guided tour incl.) to the Augustusburg are as follows:
- Adult 9,50 €
- Reduced 8,00 €
- Family A 21,00 € (2 adults and their school-age children)
- Family B 11,50 € (1 adult and his/her school-age children)
- Falkenlust Castle: €4.50/€3.50
- Combined ticket for both castles: €9/€7
Follow the rest of the Germany series
- WHY VISIT FÜSSEN
- BONN CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
- BERLIN STREET ART
- NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE
- WIESKIRCHE, A LOVELY ROCOCO CHURCH
- BAVARIA WINTER HOLIDAY
- SANSSOUCI PALACE OF POTSDAM
- HEATHER FIELDS OF LÜNEBURGER HEIDE
- ROMANTIC COCHEM
- MOSAICS OF AACHEN CATHEDRAL
- WINE ROUTE ALONG MOSELLE VALLEY
RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE