Schloss Benrath is a historic palace located in Düsseldorf, Germany. This architectural gem, with its stunning gardens, offers a fascinating glimpse into the grandeur of the past.
Let's explore the history and beauty of this remarkable structure together.
History and Architecture of Schloss Benrath
Commissioned by Elector Palatine Charles Theodor
Charles Theodor, the Elector Palatine, commissioned Schloss Benrath in the 18th century as a summer residence and hunting château. He wanted this architectural masterpiece for himself and his wife, Countess Palatine Elisabeth Auguste of Sulzbach.
Nicolas de Pigage, a renowned French architect, took the lead in designing Schloss Benrath. He heavily incorporated Baroque architectural elements, showcasing his masterful use of grandeur and opulence associated with the period.
The construction project commenced in 1755 and spanned 16 years before its completion in 1771. 
The palace design demonstrates an intriguing transition from late Baroque to classicism. Pigage's skillful blend of these two styles made Schloss Benrath a magnificent work of art well beyond its time.
The stunning pink facade, intricate interior designs, grandiose rooms along with beautifully landscaped gardens pay homage to the quintessential characteristics of Baroque architecture seen throughout the palace.
Today, Schloss Benrath is celebrated as Düsseldorf's most significant work of art due to Charles Theodor’s vision combining beauty and luxury in such an impressive way.
The Three Main Buildings
Schloss Benrath's architectural brilliance shines through its three main buildings: the Corps de Logis, Orangery, and Guest Wing.
Designed as the main residence for Elector Palatine Charles Theodor, the Corps de Logis stands tall and impressive with four storeys veiled by a facade that appears to be only one storey.
Now it houses a museum filled with historical artifacts and offers intriguing guided tours for visitors. Adjacent to it are two symmetrical wings known as maisons de cavalière or more commonly referred to as the Orangery and Guest Wing.
Soak in an unforgettable experience as you walk through rooms adorned with grandiose Baroque-style designs that radiate elegance from every corner in these buildings at Schloss Benrath.
Highlights of Schloss Benrath
Pink facade and grandiose rooms
The vibrant bubblegum pink facade of Schloss Benrath immediately grabs your attention as you approach the palace. This striking color adds a touch of uniqueness and sets it apart from other architectural marvels.
Inside, the grandiose rooms of the palace transport you to a bygone era of opulence and extravagance.
With attached parlors and exquisite detailing, these rooms give a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by royalty and high-ranking guests.
From the intricate ceiling frescoes to the ornate furnishings, every corner showcases the grandeur that defines Schloss Benrath.
Beautiful gardens with sculptures and fountains
The gardens at Schloss Benrath are truly a sight to behold. With their lush greenery, stunning sculptures, and elegant fountains, they offer visitors a peaceful and enchanting experience.
The French Garden within the park is particularly noteworthy, with its intricately designed fountains that add a touch of elegance to the surroundings.
As you wander through the paths of the garden, you'll also come across numerous statues that beautifully complement the natural beauty of the area.
Whether you're a nature lover or simply appreciate art and design, these beautiful gardens are not to be missed when visiting Schloss Benrath.
Well-preserved historical artifacts
Schloss Benrath is home to a remarkable collection of well-preserved historical artifacts. These treasures offer visitors a unique glimpse into the past and allow them to connect with the rich history of the palace.
The collection of the Corps de Logis Museum includes objects that are directly related to the castle building, its former furnishings and its former residents:
- furniture collection
- watch collection
- textile wallpaper collection
- painting collection
- frankenthal porcelain collection
- graphic collection
From exquisite furniture and delicate porcelain to intricate tapestries and stunning paintings, the artifacts on display showcase the fine craftsmanship and artistic talent of bygone eras.
With each artifact carefully preserved, Schloss Benrath provides an immersive experience that truly brings history to life.
The Museums at Schloss Benrath
Museum Corps De Logis
The Corps De Logis at Schloss Benrath houses a fascinating museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the historic castle's past.
One highlight is the guided tour through the "Hidden Rooms," which reveals the invisible infrastructure and canal systems that allowed unseen movement through the sprawling castle grounds.
Descending into this normally unseen part of the castle complex, visitors can imagine what it was like to navigate the backrooms and corridors during the building's centuries of use.
The Corps de Logis also hosts concerts in the castle's breathtaking baroque halls. Early music from the 17th and 18th centuries resonates through the space, transporting audiences back in time.
Special children's concerts aim to introduce young visitors to historic instruments and music from the Elector's era through interactive stories and demonstrations.
The museum collection itself features objects directly related to the castle's history and former residents, documenting life at Schloss Benrath from the 1700s through the 1900s.
The diverse collection includes furniture, watches, textiles, paintings, porcelain, and graphic art from the 18th to 20th centuries. Wandering through the exhibits, one can vividly imagine the lives of those who once inhabited this grand castle.
Museum of European Garden Art
The uniquely themed Museum of Garden Art explores the facets of European garden design across 2,500 years of history.
Alongside the evolution of gardens, it examines various aspects of garden art like sculpture, plans, tree shaping, and the use of gardens as pharmacies or for plant collecting.
Schloss Benrath's own grounds are presented as an example, alongside Düsseldorf's development as a garden city.
The museum's 2,000 square meters of exhibition space houses paintings, sculpture, porcelain, graphics, books, models, films, and listening stations. Together these media comprehensively showcase garden art and culture from ancient times to today.
Housed in the castle's former guest and service wings, the museum provides an ideal historical setting. The charming courtyard with its arcades and historic citrus trees offers an inviting atmosphere.
The museum collection was established in 2002 and contains art and objects related to garden history. There is a focus on graphic works like garden views, plans, and botanical images.
These are complemented by books, paintings, sculpture, porcelain, and models to illustrate the artistic shaping of gardens through the centuries.
Museum of Natural History
The Natural History Museum was founded in 1929 by Dr. Heinrich Opladen in the western wing of the castle.
It focuses on the native habitats and nature of the Düsseldorf region, including the Rhine floodplains, Neandertal valley, and Ohligser Heide. Though last renovated in the 1970s, much of the museum remains unchanged.
Numerous meticulously detailed habitat dioramas offer fascinating glimpses into local ecology. These educational exhibits showcase nature scenes visitors would not otherwise experience.
The museum also contains part of Dr. Peter Frey's bird collection, with over 1,000 stuffed birds in mini-dioramas depicting lasting scenes. A unique bird clock mimics the castle grounds' birdsong throughout the day.
Upstairs, weekends bring special exhibitions like "How People See Animals" and works by renowned animal sculptor Josef Pallenberg. His sculptures uniquely explore the boundaries between nature, art and human-animal relationships. 
Between the dioramas and special shows, the Natural History Museum offers enduring educational insights into the natural world.
Visiting Schloss Benrath
Schloss Benrath Opening hours
The opening hours of Schloss Benrath are as follows:
Castle Grounds: The castle grounds are open daily and entrance is free
Palace and Museums:
- Friday: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
- Saturday - Sunday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Monday - Tuesday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Friday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Saturday - Sunday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Monday - Tuesday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Monday: 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
- Friday: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
- Saturday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Schloss Benrath Admission fees
The admission fees to Schloss Benrath in Düsseldorf are as follows:
Castle Grounds and Gardens: Free
Palace and Museums:
- 0-5 years: Free
- 6-17 years: €6.00
- Adults: €14.00
- Reduced rate: €10.00
- Family: €28.00
- Students: €6.00
DüsseldorfCard holders enjoy reduced ticket price to Schloss Benrath - and free entry to many other museums. Get your DüsseldorfCard here.
Guided Tours in Schloss Benrath
The Benrath Palace and Park Foundation offers guided tours for visitors of all ages, providing an educational and immersive experience at Schloss Benrath.
The tours and activities offered include:
A classic tour of the palace, which takes visitors through the gold-decorated state rooms, impressive stucco decorations, hidden staircases, high-quality silk wallpapers, and antique statues. The tour lasts 75 minutes and is suitable for those who want to experience the palace in its entirety.
Castle and Park
This tour combines a walk through the private gardens of the Elector Couple, past the kitchen garden and the sculptures on the south side of the palace, with an extensive tour of the palace's state rooms. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and is suitable for those who are interested in the connection between nature and architecture.
Hidden Rooms Tour
A tour that allows visitors to explore the hidden rooms and infrastructure of the palace, including its extensive canal system. The tour lasts 75 minutes and is suitable for those who are already familiar with the palace and can navigate steep stairs without handrails.
Nature and Architecture Tour of the Castle Garden
A guided walk through the palace's private gardens, the fan-shaped avenue, and the kitchen garden, providing insight into the idea of Schloss Benrath as a summer residence in the countryside. The tour lasts approximately 60 minutes and is suitable for garden and nature lovers.
Specialized tours that focus on specific aspects of the palace and its history, such as the Orangery, a part of the Old Benrath Palace, and its magnificent ceiling paintings and fireplaces, or the numerous putti and angels that can be found throughout the palace's artwork and decorations. These tours last approximately 75 minutes and are suitable for those with a specific interest in the topic.
The Museum Shop at Schloss Benrath is a treasure trove of accessories and souvenirs for visitors. Shelves filled with books and mementos offer a wide range of options to browse and explore.
From postcards and keychains to historical replicas, there is something for everyone to take home as a memory of their visit.
The Museum Shop not only provides visitors with the opportunity to purchase unique items but also contributes to the preservation and promotion of the cultural history showcased within the palace's walls.
The Palace Café at Schloss Benrath is a delightful stop for any visitor exploring the palace. This café offers a range of delicious cakes and beverages to satisfy your cravings.
Their skilled baristas are known for their first-class cappuccinos and espressos which pair perfectly with the tasty treats on offer.
Whether you're taking a break from touring the palace or simply looking for a cozy spot to relax, the Palace Café provides an inviting atmosphere to enjoy a hot beverage and indulge in some delectable treats.
Events and Activities at Benrath Palace
Concerts and performances
Schloss Benrath is not only a historical gem but also a vibrant hub for concerts and performances. Throughout the year, the palace sponsors a diverse range of musical events, featuring genres from classical to pop, jazz, and acoustic sounds.
Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in live music against the stunning backdrop of this majestic palace.
The Music Year at Benrath Palace is an experience that should not be missed for music enthusiasts seeking both history and entertainment.
Special exhibitions and events
Complementing the permanent museum displays, the Benrath Palace and Park Foundation regularly organizes special exhibitions that connect thematically to the palace and its environs.
Some special exhbitions at Schloss Benrath are:
The Hambach Forest and the Price of our Energy Supply
This special exhibition at the Museum of Garden Art, running from April 21, 2023, to December 3, 2023, recaps the events surrounding the confrontations in the Hambach Forest in 2018. The exhibition presents four photographic positions that aim to inspire reflection on the conflict situation in the context of the current energy supply and climate change crisis.
Neozoa. Animal Newcomers & Native Exotics
This exhibition at the Natural History Museum highlights the phenomenon of new citizens, called neozoa, which have left their original ranges due to human activity. It also presents animals that immigrate independently, often favored by climate change, or were once extinct but have returned. The exhibition explores the establishment of new, sometimes exotic, animal species in Germany
Schloss Benrath is not just a historical landmark, but also a popular venue for civil weddings. Couples looking for a grand and romantic setting will find the palace and its grounds perfect for their special day.
The magnificent Domed Hall at Schloss Benrath offers an enchanting backdrop for wedding ceremonies. With its stunning architecture and elegant atmosphere, it creates a truly unforgettable experience for the couple and their guests.
Conclusion: Schloss Benrath
Schloss Benrath is a must-visit destination in Dusseldorf that offers a unique blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty. Whether you're on a city break or a family outing, this stunning palace and its magnificent gardens provide a remarkable indoor and outdoor experience. With its rich history, Schloss Benrath stands as one of the most captivating castles in the region.
What makes it even more appealing is that while the castle itself may have an entrance fee, the splendid castle garden is open to the public for free, allowing everyone to explore its grandeur. With its gorgeous pink facade, grandiose rooms, and beautifully manicured gardens, this little gem offers visitors a glimpse into European architectural brilliance from the 18th century.
- Schloss Benrath is a magnificent Baroque - style palace located in the quiet borough of Benrath in Düsseldorf.
- The palace was commissioned by Elector Palatine Charles Theodor and designed by Nicolas de Pigage in the 18th century.
- Schloss Benrath features three main buildings: Corps de Logis, Orangery, and Guest Wing.
- Inside the palace, visitors can admire its grandiose rooms, stunning pink facade, and well - preserved historical artifacts.
1: MUSEUM CORPS DE LOGIS, retrieved from https://www.schloss-benrath.de/museum-corps-de-logis
2: Joseph Franz Pallenberg, retrieved from https://sladmore.com/artists/joseph-franz-pallenberg/