Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles

These beautiful castles not far from Cologne are the first examples of Rococo architecture in Europe and are definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and has travelled the world full time since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.

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Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust, Brühl, Germany

All across Germany there are excellent examples of Rococo architecture.

If you haven’t heard of the style before, imagine a flowing and graceful elegance with light colours, gold and ornate stucco design. It was more light-hearted than other styles of its period and placed an emphasis less on public religious statements and more on nature, fun and privacy.

So, although you can find many grand pubic buildings designed with the ethos in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe, it all started here at the Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust.

And even within just these two buildings, the style developed rapidly as artists played with the ideas behind this new fresh way of decorating grand residences.

Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles, Bruhl, Germany

Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles are located in the German town of Brühl, not far from Cologne, and were built in the 18th century.

They are set amongst expansive gardens and parklands that were in the middle of the wilderness when the idea for their construction was first raised.

Augustusburg Castle

Augustusburg Castle was created as the main residence and it took several decades to be completed.

Because it took so long – partly because of the scale of the project and partly because of changes in the vision – a number of outstanding European artists contributed to the final appearance.

It’s because of this that the evolution of the Rococo style if clearly evident over the years from its very beginning.

Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles, Bruhl, Germany

Along the wings of the castle, a series of interconnecting rooms show the hierarchical nature of society at the time. The further along the wing that visitors were permitted, the more important they were considered.

The decorations of the rooms reflect this with changing levels of ostentation. The difference in the interior design between the more public upper floor and more private lower floor also demonstrates the separate roles of the areas.

Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles, Bruhl, Germany

The most striking part of Augustusburg Castle is the central staircase, which incorporates marble and stucco with jasper columns and an impressive fresco on the ceiling. It was designed to impress visitors and create a physical height difference between them and their host.

Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles, Bruhl, Germany

Falkenlust Castle

Falkenlust Castle is just two kilometres away, through the estate’s gardens, but was designed to feel like a country retreat from the main residence.

It is much smaller, much more intimate and with a higher concentration of different artistic influences. It was used primarily as a hunting lodge and the ground floor rooms are decorated with motifs of this sport along with other natural elements.

Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles, Bruhl, Germany

The upstairs has an almost-heavenly feel of serenity, with references to religion, folklore and family history. It’s a sanctuary for the residents from the slightly more public area downstairs.

Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles, Bruhl, Germany

Visiting Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles at Brühl

Although they’re not nearly the most famous castles in Germany, the style of the buildings and, more importantly, the interior designs were to influence the creation of other princely courts for more than a century.

They are extremely significant in terms of architecture and design of the 18th century and are worth visiting for anyone interested in those topics.

Both castles are close to each other and just short walks from the train station at Brühl. It is an easy trip from nearby Cologne and could be done quickly in an afternoon or morning – or as a more leisurely day trip.

Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles, Bruhl, Germany

It is definitely worth seeing both castles and spending a bit of time in the surrounding gardens as well.

Augustusburg Castle can only be seen as part of guided tour but Falkenlust Castle is open for you to explore at your own pace. It doesn’t matter which you see first but it might be a good idea to base that decision around when the next tour is starting.

Where are the Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust?

The Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust are located at: Parkplatz, Max-Ernst-Allee, 50321 Brühl, Germany.

You can see it on Google Maps here.

How do you get to the Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust?

To get to the castles, catch the train to Brühl and they’re both just a short walk from there.

When are the Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust open?

The castles are open at the following times:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday – Friday: 0900 – 1200 and 1330 – 1600

Saturday, Sunday, Public Holidays: 1000 – 1700

CLOSED: December and January

How much does it cost to visit the Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust?

Admission to the castles costs:

Augustusburg Castle: €6/€5

Falkenlust Castle: €4.50/€3.50

Combined ticket for both castles: €9/€7

More information

You can find out more information here about the Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust.

THE BEST ACCOMMODATION IN COLOGNE

If you’re visiting the castles, the easiest base for accommodation is Cologne, where there’s a good range of options.

BACKPACKER

With a central location and great atmosphere, Cologne Downtown Hostel is a great backpacker choice.

BUDGET

For something a bit budget, Hotel Weber is a good choice in the centre of Cologne.

BOUTIQUE

With cool modern design, I would highly recommend 25hours Hotel The Circle.

LUXURY

And when it comes to luxury, The Savoy Hotel has been upgraded and is a great hotel.

Time Travel Turtle was supported by DB Bahn, the German National Tourist Board and Youth Hostels in Germany but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

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