The Hermi­tage — Bayreuth’s most impres­sive park complex

Eremitage Orangerie

At the doors of Bayreuth is the Hermitage, with historical parks from the 18th century and the old palace with fountains and water attractions and the orangery.

Inter­ac­tive photo: Discover the Hermi­tage in Autumn and Winter


Autumn: © Chris­to­pher Hut; Winter: © Mikhail Butovskiy

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History of the Hermitage

The Hermi­tage comes to life

In 1715 margrave Georg Wilhelm built the old palace near the resi­den­tial town of Bayreuth as the central feature of a court hermi­tage. In 1735, when margrave Frie­de­rich took over the govern­ment of the margra­viate, he presented the Hermi­tage to his wife Wilhelmine.

Fasci­nated by this unique complex, the margra­vine imme­dia­tely began enlar­ging it. First adding new rooms to the old palace inclu­ding a music room, a Japa­nese cabinet and the Chinese mirror cabinet in which she wrote her cele­brated memoirs.

Unique gardens

Lower grotto © Frank Nicklas

Between 1743 and 1745 various buil­dings and foun­tains, such as the ruin theater and the lower grotto were produced from designs of Joseph St. Pierre in the hermi­tage of margrave Friederich. 

The new palace and the upper grotto were built from 1749 to 1753. In the sections added by Wilhel­mine to the exis­ting gardens, she intro­duced tradi­tional baroque elements such as hedge gardens, pergolas and water­works.
Created in an era when there were no gardens of this type in all of Germany, the Hermi­tage is thus unique amongst the gardens of the 18th century.

Not a typical baroque garden

Eremitage Parterre vor dem Alten Schloss (c)Bayreuth Marketing & Tourismus GmbH, Meike Kratzer
Gardens of the Hermitage

From 1735 margra­vine Wilhel­mine added further formal sections with boskets, avenues and water features to the gardens origi­nally laid out by margrave Georg Wilhelm. Although tradi­tional baroque elements were used, the result was not a typical baroque garden: the complex is not domi­nated by a main axis and the indi­vi­dual garden sections are more inde­pen­dent from one another than usual in the high baroque era.

The new palace with the upper grotto, the lower grotto, the margraves Hermi­tage, the ruin theater and other small buil­dings from Wilhel­mines day are still the domi­nant features of the Hermitage.

Trans­for­ma­tion into a land­scape garden

At the end of the 18th century, the Hermi­tage court garden was trans­formed into a land­scape garden, which included repla­cing the boskets with natural stands of trees and meadows. Over the last 30 years indi­vi­dual sections of the park, which had disap­peared in the 19th century, have been reconstructed.

Part of the Hermi­tage © Baye­ri­sche Schlösserverwaltung



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