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Augustusburg Palace and Falkenlust Castle in Brühl

A rococo masterpiece, Augustusburg Palace in Brühl is closely linked with the history of grand European architecture in the first half of the 18th century. A favourite residence of Clemens August von Wittelsbach, Elector and Archbishop of Cologne (1700-1761), it is one of the first rococo buildings in Germany. The pièce de résistance is the magnificent staircase by Balthasar Neumann, a grandiose creation full of dynamism and elegance. From 1949 to 1996 the German President and the Federal Government hosted receptions at Augustusburg Palace. Created in the French style by Dominique Girard from 1728, the baroque gardens are some of the best preserved from the 18th century. Just a short stroll from Augustusburg Palace lies magnificent Falkenlust hunting lodge. Built between 1729 and 1737, it was a favourite summer residence of the Elector. He used it as a base for falconry, entertaining guests and occasionally receiving lady visitors. The palaces were inscribed in the World Heritage list as examples of beautifully preserved rococo architecture.