Located on the outskirts of Düsseldorf, Schloss Benrath is an opulent Baroque-style pleasure palace. It was built in the mid-18th century by court architect Nicolas de Pigage for the Elector Palatine Charles Theodor and his wife, Countess Palatine Elisabeth Auguste of Sulzbach. Its central corps de logis was occupied by the couple, with two symmetrical arched wings on either side where the servants resided. To the north lies the palace pond while on the south is the Spiegel-weiher or “mirror pond”.
Today the corps de logis of Schloss Benrath has been transformed into a museum where you can get a glimpse of the elector’s lavish lifestyle. Join a guided tour to explore its period-furnished rooms and wander through the magnificent gardens. They were designed in relation to the palace building, with each of the gardens matched with a room inside, establishing a total work of art.
The English garden is planted with rare trees and corresponds with the Elector’s room while the French garden with its cascading fountains and seasonal flower beds was designed to mirror his wife’s rooms. The palace kitchens were supplied with vegetables and herbs from the kitchen garden, which can still be admired today.
Schloss Benrath looks much like it would have in 1775 and is surrounded by a baroque square hunting park that features a circular alley and two crossing diag-onal alleys. The east wing of Schloss Benrath now houses the Museum for Euro-pean Garden Art while the west wing features a Museum of Natural History. It’s located about 10 kilometers from the center of Düsseldorf and can be accessed in around 30 minutes by tram 701 and U74.