Situated in Benrath, a borough of Düsseldorf, Benrath Palace is a baroque-style palace that dates back to 1755, and, with such historic significance, has recently been proposed to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The palace was originally built as a summer residence and hunting lodge, and still retains a large portion of its original design and architecture. Consisting of five main buildings, three of these each housing a museum, and extensive gardens stretching out for more than 60 hectares, along with a large lake, Benrath Palace is most definitely worth a visit when in Düsseldorf.
Museum of European Garden History
Situated in the East Wing of Benrath Palace, the Museum of European Garden History occupies an area of over 2000 square meters. Considered to be quite a unique museum, the exhibits here are focused on garden history, with many of them dating back to medieval Europe. From the life-like sculptures to the incredible paintings, this is a great opportunity to view garden art throughout the years, and for those that want even more in-depth information, there are regular lectures and guided tours also held at the museum.
Natural History Museum
While many of the major national history museums around the world may feature exhibits from all over the world, the Natural History Museum at Benrath Palace has a local focus, with a special emphasis placed on the Lower Rhine Basin and the Lower Bergisch area. Situated in the West Wing of the palace, the exhibits at the museum showcase the local flora and fauna, beginning with a brief history of the Rhine, while also paying attention to the Rhein Fisheries. Another highlight for many geological buffs is the exhibit on the Rhine floodplain, which has been at the center of many debates over the years.
Museum Corps de Logis
Located in the main building of Benrath Palace, the Museum Corps de Logis is definitely one of the highlights of the site, as it depicts what court life would have been like in the second part of the 18th century. The unique ornaments, furniture and artwork placed around the building points towards the lifestyle of those that once lived here, while the architecture and interior design are spectacularly impressive.
In addition to its three museums, Benrath Palace is also home to the Palace Park, which is divided into three different gardens; the official garden, the private garden, and the bosquet, each authentically displaying what gardens in the 18th century would have been like. The parkland is also home to an animal park, which was transformed into a hunting ground when the palace was in use, and offers quite a romantic feel to the palace’s ambiance, especially with the way in which it is framed by trees that date back 250 years. Considered to be one of the most beautiful garden palaces that was created in this time period, Benrath Palace is a must-see for those visiting Düsseldorf for the first time, as it gives you the opportunity to soak up some of the city’s unique history, culture and heritage.