Hermitage: Palace Turned Museum

Located in the Bayreuth region of Germany, also the name of the district, the Hermitage is a museum complex that exhibits buildings and artifacts from various eras of German history. The museum consists of an old palace, a new palace, a landscape park, a forest, and a baroque garden. Moreover, it is one of the finest examples of the Rococo style which dominated the late 18th century, for 50 years.

Hermitage Bayreuth

Hermitage means a religious building in which hermits live and contemplate. The name of the museum complex comes from a similar structure that is dedicated to Frederick III.

Hermitage Bayreuth entrance

The first steps of the complex that the Hermitage is today go back to the late 17th and early 18th century. During that period, the area of the museum belonged to the Margraves of Bayreuth. Margrave was a title in the region at that time, similar to a lord. The margraves took good care of the environment and started to enrich it. Arguably, their most important contribution was a summer house that people now call the Old Palace.

Hermitage Bayreuth columns

The Old Palace was actually a gift from the margrave to his wife. His wife liked the house so much that she began to add new things and develop the structure. In a short period of time, she added a music room, a Japanese Cabinet, and a Chinese cabinet where she also wrote her famous memoirs. Aside from the Old Palace, the family added water fountains, a new hermitage, a theatre, and a garden.

Hermitage Bayreuth head sculptures

The garden of the complex would go on to be one of the most unique gardens in all of Germany.

Hermitage Bayreuth walls

Although a garden existed, the margrave’s wife changed it in such a way that it is still the highlight of the museum today. Unlike the traditional high-class gardening in Germany at that time, she brought hedge gardens, pergolas, and waterworks. Moreover, each part of the garden was impressive in its own way as the main axis did not upstage the other parts.

Hermitage Bayreuth doors

As decades passed, the court garden turned into a landscape garden with dense forest and big trees surrounding it. Although some parts of the garden faded away, there have been reconstructions and renovations in recent years.

the museum road
the museum arch
the museum grass