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Museum Palace Wilhelmshöhe
Palace Wilhelmshöhe originated as part of the superordinate artwork Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in 1786 over several construction phases. While the Baroque park grounds were redesigned as an English landscape garden, Landgrave Wilhelm IX, later Prince Elector Wilhelm I (reign 1785–1821), planned the palace project. The majestic and grand character of the park was also to have striking architectural counterparts. The Baroque Hercules Monument and the Cascades fulfilled this criterion while the old hunting palace that Landgrave Moritz the Scholar (reign 1592–1627) had built instead of the Weissenstein Augustinian Monastery was to yield to the construction of the new palace.
The Weissenstein Wing was built based on English Palladian country houses according to plans by Simon Louis Du Ry (1726–1799). Originally planned as a stand-alone structure, Wilhelm IX decided during construction to add a northern counterpart, known as the Kirchflügel today, and a central tract. His associate Heinrich Christoph Jussow (1754–1825) presented designs for this corps de logis. The architecturally ambitious Landgrave struggled for some time on whether to commission architecture in the style of a ruin, as later realised by Jussow with the Aqueduct (1788–1792) and the Lion's Castle (1793–1800), or adopting the classical style of the side wings. In the end, Jussow prevailed with his plan of monumentally elevating the main building with respect to the side wings with the portico and a dome derived from the Roman Pantheon. The Palace first acquired its closed form under Prince Elector Wilhelm II. (reign 1821–1831), who had the connecting structures built between the three separate wings.
In early 1945, a bomb destroyed the Palace’s central tract. Only later from 1968–1974 was the tract rebuilt and converted into an art museum to accommodate its new use. The reconstruction of the dome was refrained from, among other things, because it would have affected the entry of daylight on the upper level. Defects in the construction led to the closure of the palace in 1994. In June 2000, Palace Wilhelmshöhe was reopened featuring a fundamental reorganisation of the exhibition rooms based on plans by the Munich architect Stephan Braunfels.
Visit our photo gallery for more impressions from the Palace Wilhelmshöhe.
Though it is recommended you access Palace Wilhelmshöhe by walking through the park, it is also possible to reach it via public transit. Take the tram line 1 from the ICE-train station Wilhelmshöhe to the final stop "Wilhelmshöhe" at the Old Station Building. Please click here for a KVG schedule (in German).
Large parking lots beneath the palace are available for private passenger vehicles. Signs for all parking lots can be seen from the road.