Bayreuth was founded by the Andechs-Meranians and was first mentioned in 1194. When Margrave Christian from the House of Hohenzollern, moved his residency from Kulmbach-Plassenburg to Bayreuth in 1603, this started an epoch of the town's history which found its glittering fulfilment in the second half of the 18th century under the regency of Margrave couple Friedrich and Wilhelmine, the art-loving favourite sister of Frederick the Great (Friedrich der Große). In the period between 1735 and 1763.... [More about Bayreuth]
Bayreuth Old Palace
The Old Castle in the middle of the city has its origins in the 13th century. Today, the building houses the tax office.
The foundation stone for the Old Castle was laid in the 15th century. Already 100 years later the castle was extended and the octagonal castle tower was built, around the core of which a spiral railroad was built, on which even cannons could be transported up for salute shooting. From 1603 to 1753, the Old Palace served as the residence of the Bayreuth Margraves. During a great fire of 1753, large parts of the four-wing complex were destroyed by the fire. In place of the east and north wings, the Palace Church, the Gontard House and the Palais d'Adhémar were built. In the castle church there is the princely crypt with sarcophagi of the Margrave couple Friedrich and Wilhelmine.
After the destruction during the Second World War, the tracts around the Court of Honor regained the appearance of the period around 1700 in the 1950s. The relief panels with busts surrounded by laurel wreaths depict ancient gods and emperors as well as contemporary ruling couples.
Altes Schloss Bayreuth
Bayreuth New Palace - Former residence of the Margraves of Bayreuth.
The New Palace was the residence of the Margraves of Bayreuth. Today, the ground floor of the castle houses the museum "Das Bayreuth der Markgräfin Wilhelmine" and the museum "Bayreuther Fayencen - Sammlung Rummel", which shows the most magnificent examples from the production of the Bayreuth manufactory. In addition, a branch gallery of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen presents about 80 European late Baroque masterpieces in three magnificent rooms.
Margrave Friedrich and the Prussian Princess Wilhelmine, sister of Frederick the Great, are the most outstanding figures in 18th century Bayreuth. After the fire of the Old Palace on 26 January 1753, which largely destroyed the Baroque building, the long three-storey building of the New Palace Bayreuth was erected by the French architect Joseph Saint-Pierre. It shows the characteristics of the Bayreuth rococo in an exemplary way. The Palmenzimmer, the Japanisches Zimmer, the Spiegelscherbenkabinett and the Alte Musikzimmer, both designed by Margravine Wilhelmine, are particularly worth seeing.
The "Bayreuth Rococo" also characterizes the rooms of the Italian small castle, which the Margrave had built for his second wife Sophie Karoline von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel from 1759 - just one year after Wilhelmine's death. The initially detached building was later connected to the south wing of the New Palace.
There are no regular tours of the state rooms of the Bayreuth New Palace. Guided tours for small groups (max. 25 people) are available upon request by calling 0921 75969-0.
For adult visitors, guide materials for the tour of the state rooms are available in English, French, Italian, Russian and Czech.
The Italian Palace in the Bayreuth New Palace can only be visited with a guided tour (every 30 minutes; duration: approx. 30 minutes, only in German, maximum 20 people). Registration recommended: Telephone 0921 75969-21 April-September: from 9:15 a.m. (last tour 5:15 p.m.) October-March: from 10:15 a.m. (last tour 3:15 p.m.)
Hermitage Old Palace
The Old Hermitage Palace presents itself in its original state at the time of Margravine Wilhelmine of Bayreuth. All the staterooms, from the grotto to the margravial apartments, can be visited on guided tours.
Not far from the residential town of Bayreuth, it was built in 1715 by Margrave Georg Wilhelm as the centre of a courtly hermitage. From 1735 Margravine Wilhelmine, who received the garden as a birthday present from her husband Margrave Friedrich on 3 July 1735, extended the building by two side wings and furnished it with extremely precious room decorations. Her audience room, the music room, the Japanese Cabinet and the Chinese Mirror Cabinet, in which Wilhelmine wrote her memoirs, bear witness to the magnificent architecture of the Rococo period.
The Old Hermitage Palace can only be visited with a guided tour (every 45 minutes, duration approx. 30 minutes). Registration by phone 0921 75969-37 April-September: from 9 a.m. (last tour 5:15 p.m.) 1st-16th October: from 10 a.m. (last tour at 3:15 p.m.)
Altes Schloss Eremitage
Schloss- und Gartenverwaltung Bayreuth-Eremitage (Ludwigstraße 21)
Telefon +49 (0) 921 75969-37
Telefax +49 (0) 921 75969-15
Hermitage New Palace
Between 1749 and 1753 Margravine Wilhelmine had the New Palace built west of the "Old Palace" with the Sun Temple as its centre and the Upper and Lower Grotto. Today, the east wing houses a café and the museum box office with a museum shop. The west wing is used for art exhibitions during the summer months, but it can also be rented for celebrations, just like the Sun Temple. The former royal stables house a hotel and restaurant.
The Sun Temple symbolizes Apollo's heavenly palace, which he leaves every morning to cross the world with his sun chariot and illuminate it with his light. The other buildings symbolise the elements: the water basin stands for the sea, the aviaries for the air and the plants for the earth. The two lateral arcade wings in the form of a semicircle, also called orangery, served as a winter house for exotic plants.
The building was modelled on stage sets by the theatre architects Guiseppe and Carlo Galli da Bibiena, who worked at the Margravial Opera House. It should glorify Margrave Friedrich as Apollo, who rules as sun god over the seasons and makes the margravate Bayreuth with the rays of his wisdom and majesty to bloom.
During the Second World War, the Hermitage New Palace was destroyed. The side wings were only externally rebuilt. Nothing has been preserved of the unusual furnishings of the rooms.
Neues Schloss Eremitage
Schloss- und Gartenverwaltung Bayreuth-Eremitage (Ludwigstraße 21)
Telefon Telefon +49 (0) 921 75969-21
Telefax Telefax +49 (0) 921 75969-15
Hermitage Court Garden
The Hermitage, a historical park just outside Bayreuth, was built from 1715 under Margrave Georg Wilhelm. The Hermitage Court Garden is always accessible. The water games can be admired hourly from May to mid-October: Large pool 12-17 h / Lower cave 12.15-17.15 h
The secluded location of the site was ideal for his plan to build a hermitage here. The first building in the complex was the Old Palace, a four-wing complex with a small inner courtyard and the Inner Grotto. In each of the two side wings, there were 12 small rooms for the "hermits". Here, the margrave couple and their court imitated life according to the rules of the hermit order, among other things by dressing in monk's robes and staying like hermits in the hermit houses lying in the forest. This is where the name "Hermitage" comes from.
The Hermitage also includes the picturesque waterworks, the fairytale orangery with the Sun Temple crowned by Apollo, the god of the Muses, and the ruin theatre. Every summer, the Hermitage is the setting for the Bayreuth Summer Night Festival, one of the most beautiful and romantic festivals in Franconia.