Falkenlust Hunting Lodge

Bruhl, Germany | C.1729

Photo Credit: Patrick Damiaens

Clemens August of Bavaria, Archbishop-elector and member of the House of Wittelsbach, was an avid fan of both falconry and the arts. His hunting lodge, Falkenlust, is a Rococo gem, perfectly symmetrical and lavishly decorated. The lodge is connected to his palace, Augustusburg, by a spacious park, and together they make up a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Falkenlust lodge was designed by Francois de Cuvillies and built between 1729 to 1740 on the edge of a secluded grove. This location was purposeful. The site was selected because it is in the flight path of the herons, a favorite prey in falconry, as they flew from from their breeding grounds in the Palace Garden at Bruhl to their fishing grounds on the Rhine near Wesseling. 

Clemens August hunted often and invited many prestigious guests to join the parties. Once the hunt was over, guests would meet for dinner and entertainment in the lodge. A young Mozart supposedly admired the cabinets in Falkenlust in 1763.

Since 1974, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has maintained Falkenlust as a museum. An exhibition in the auxiliary buildings portrays the art of falconry and displays the falconers’ life and workplace. The lodge, palace, and grounds became a World Heritage Site in 1984.

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