This time in the Locations series I want to introduce three interesting places in Germany. My intention is also to highlight destinations in Germany that are probably less-well known to international tourists. Because I think that there is much more to see in Germany than Berlin, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Oktoberfest and Neuschwanstein Castle.
In this post I am starting with the Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces in Brühl. If you are interested in historical buildings and garden architecture of Europe, or if you only want to have a relaxed afternoon and a walk in a beautiful park, then this place is the right one to visit.
The palace, which is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in Brühl, about 12 km south of Cologne. Both palaces form a historical building complex connected by a spacious garden and forest park. The palaces were built during the beginning of the 18th century and belong to the most important buildings of the Baroque and Rococo in Germany. Originally the palaces were built for the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Clemens August of Bavaria of the Wittelsbach family. Augustusburg was only used in summer for four to six weeks. Also the smaller palace of Falkenlust was only used as a hunting lodge for at that time very popular falconry. The main palace of Clemens August was in Bonn. From 1949 untill 1996 Augustusburg was used by the German President to host state visits. The garden represents a typical garden from the Baroque. Due to its good restoration it is regarded as one of the most authentic examples for baroque-french garden design during the 18th century.
The inside of Augustusburg is outstanding. It was made to represent the wealth of the Wittelsbach family. Especially the Rococo staircase is impressive. Unfortunately it is not allowed to take photos inside the palaces. So I cannot show you the beautiful inside. On the webpage is a gallery, where you can see a few photos of Augustusburg palace from inside, and of Falkenlust palace too.
When I visited the palace for the first time, I was quite surprised. I would have expected to see a palace like this in a big city somewhere in Germany or in France. The garden is pretty nice, especially during summer. What I like is the combination of both palaces with the big forest park. The huge beeches give a very special feeling inside the forest. It is great to walk through the forest to reach Falkenlust palace. Also the inside of both palaces is just impressive.
Augustusburg Palace seen from the main entrance.
Spiegelweiher and forest park in the background.
View of the palace from the garden. I was there in early spring and the flowers were not planted yet.
Inside the forest park .
Entrance to Falkenlust Palace. The palace is at the end of the alley. It was a rainy day, so I didn’t walk further to Falkenlust.
Ducks at the bank of Kleiner Inselweiher.
Oberförsterweiher with the gate of the main entrance in the background.
The palace and garden can be visited all year round. During summer the garden is in full bloom with many flowers. This is the best time to fully enjoy the beauty of this place. During autumn the trees of the forest park turn into golden reddish colors. It is a great time to walk in the forest and see the leaves falling. A rainy day is good to visit the inside of Augustusburg and Falkenlust palace. In my opinion Augustusburg and Falkenlust palace is a great alternative to all the main tourist spots around Cologne.
If you are interested in Dadaism and Surrealism, then it is worth to visit the Max Ernst Museum just next to the palaces.
Location and how to reach
Brühl is with 12 km very close to the city center of Cologne. Visiting the palace is an ideal day trip. Brühl can be easily reached by local trains. The train station ‘Brühl’ is just in front of the park. Local trains depart very frequent (about every 30 minutes) from Cologne Central station (Hauptbahnhof), and it takes only 12 to 16 minutes to reach the palace. By car the palace is also easy to reach, just follow the road signs to Brühl and then to Schloss Augustusburg or to the train station. A big parking lot is located next to the train station.
The park is opened daily from 8 am to 5 pm during winter season, and 7 am to 9 pm during summer. The palaces are closed on Mondays, but opened all other days of the week. Opening times during weekdays are from 9 am till noon and from 1 pm to 4 pm, and on weekends from 10 am to 5 pm. For Augustusburg a guided tour can be booked. For detailed information of opening times and updates please visit the webpage.
The entrance to the park is free. The entrance fee for Augustusburg is 8 Euro for adults (including guided tour), and for Falkenlust 6 Euros. Discount for children, students, families and groups is available.
More information can be found on the webpage of Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palace here