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Crushing on Beautiful Bayreuth | Bayreuth's Hermitage New Palace | Bayreuth's Eremitage Neues Schloss | Richard Wagner's Bayreuth | What to do in Bayreuth | Day Trip from Munich | Top Destinations to Visit in Germany | Germany's Baroque City | Sights to see in Bayreuth | Underrated Cities in Germany | #Bayreuth #Bavaria #Bayern #Germany #Deutschland - California Globetrotter

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Perhaps you may have heard of Richard Wagner along your travels through Germany, especially if you have visited any of “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s castles as he was often the inspiration behind many of the brilliant themes throughout the castles. But perhaps you’ve never heard of Bayreuth, a relatively quaint sized town in northern Bavaria that lovers of German music associate with. But Bayreuth is so much more than just that and owes much of its appeal to the Margravine Wilhelmine who brought sophistication and charm to the town. 

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Crushing on Beautiful Bayreuth | Bayreuth's Hermitage New Palace | Bayreuth's Eremitage Neues Schloss | Richard Wagner's Bayreuth | What to do in Bayreuth | Day Trip from Munich | Top Destinations to Visit in Germany | Germany's Baroque City | Sights to see in Bayreuth | Underrated Cities in Germany | #Bayreuth #Bavaria #Bayern #Germany #Deutschland - California Globetrotter

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Bayreuth & Richard Wagner 

Despite being a rather underrated city in Germany, for many lovers of classical German music, Bayreuth is synonymous with Richard Wagner, a famous 19th century composer and theater director, who took up residence here in 1872 until his death in 1883. His early career was quite bumpy but he did not become fully established until his success of his romantic opera performances Tannhäuser and Flying Dutchman in Dresden. “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria became a big fan and his Wagner’s sponsor and incorporated aspects of Wagner’s operas throughout his castles so I could say they had a bit of a bromance.

The town is also renowned for hosting the Bayreuth Festival, where each July and August, Wagner Festivals are held and have consistently sold out since its inauguration in 1876. Supposedly, waiting lists for tickets are known to be booked out 10 years in advance! The Festspielhaus, located a short distance out of the city center, was especially built to promote Wagner’s greatest masterpieces, most notably The Ring of the Nibelung. Originally, Wagner had inspected the magnificent Baroque Opera House but it was inadequate to host his Festspiel for the complex stagings and large orchestras that Wagner’s operas required. Unsatisfied, he set out on a fundraising campaign across Germany and much to his disappointment, was unsuccessful and reluctantly turned to his sponsor, King Ludwig II for the funds. 

With a short stroll through the Hofgarten is Richard Wagner’s Villa Wahnfried, designed by Wagner, sponsored by King Ludwig II. Here, Wagner lived for many years and today houses the Richard Wagner Museum. He is buried in the garden along side his wife and favorite dog in a rather simple grave with a few candles and flowers laid at his tomb. 

The Gracious Margravine Wilhelmine & her Baroque City

As the eldest daughter of Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia and the sister of Frederick the Great, you could only expect a marriage of significance… or not. Groomed for a future marriage into the British royal family and brought up to enjoy only the best life had to offer, Wilhelmine was instead married off to a minor royal family and distant relative, Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth after plans were thwarted and a political marriage to Frederick, the Prince of Wales never proceeded. Though the marriage was initially happy, the couple embarked on a major revamping of the city to turn it into a mini “Bayreuth Versailles” which eventually led to some financial difficulties. Nonetheless, she transformed Bayreuth into a graceful Baroque city in the 18th century and her lasting legacy is the Margravial Opera House (Markgräfliches Opernhaus).

How can you get your crush on in Bayreuth?

Admire the Opera House

Why not begin with the grand Opera House which has just recently undergone six years of extensive renovation? A true Baroque jewel box, Wilhelmine commissioned only the best of the best to build what is her lasting legacy, always with her brother’s court in Berlin at the back of her mind. If her brother, Frederick the Great, entertained the likes of Volitare, so must she and so was born the idea of creating her Baroque masterpiece modeled after both Vienna and Dresden’s, often regarded as one of the most beautiful theaters in Europe. The exterior might seem rather bland and gives passersby no hint whatsoever of the opulence that awaits beyond the doors therefore making it the one of the top sights to see in Bayreuth.

The Opera House houses an exhibition which is open daily, however, should there be a performance, it is not open to the public. Sadly, we hadn’t seen any message on the website that on the day of our visit, there would be a performance and therefore, I had to make do with a photo of an interior model on display at the Neues Schloss, but you can clearly imagine that the real thing is 100% more lavish! Don’t worry, we will try again to visit one day! Nearby is the Bayreuth Tourist Center where you can find out more. 

Guided Tours: (Only in German) every 45 minutes including a short introduction film. At the end of the tour, visitors can quietly visit the interior.

  • April-September: daily from 9 – 6pm
  • October-March: daily 10 – 4pm
    • Last Entry is 45 minutes before closing
  • Adults 8 € / 7 €

The Neues Schloss & Court Garden

After a fire broke out in 1753, the Old Palace no longer fulfilled the requirements of the gracious Baroque court, therefore, it was decided by Margrave Friedrich von Brandenberg-Bayreuth and his wife Wilhelmine to build the Neues Schloss (New Palace) which is today one of the best things to do in Bayreuth! Though the outside is not overtly extravagant, the interior is once again a fine example of Rococo, which reached a peak of creative innovation.

Wilhelmine had a major influence on the design of magnificent rooms like the Cabinet of Fragmented Mirrors (Spiegelscherbenkabinett), the salon with a golden ceiling to Wilhelmine’s rooms. The Italian Palace is especially an impressive example of the “Bayreuth Rococo” with flower tendrils incorporating nature with art without the use of gold but can only be seen with a guided tour.

Upon purchase of your ticket, you can explore the the rooms mentioned above at your own leisure before joining a guided tour of the Italian Palace. Unfortunately, no photography allowed inside. 

Guided Tours: (Germany only but there are simple English guidebooks) Italian Palace tours are every 30 minutes.

  • April-September: daily from 9 – 6 pm
  • October-March: daily from 10 – 4 pm
    • Last entry is 45 minutes before closing
  • Adults 5.50 € / 4.50 € reduced, Children under 18 are free

The Hofgarten (Court Garden) just behind the Neues Schloss was also redesigned after the completion of the palace which included a pall mall avenue and hedge gardens pergolas and parterres were incorporated, but by the 18th century, the garden was once again redesigned in the more popular “English-style” which retained the original canal. Although it’s not quite as lovely as Munich’s Hofgarten, a stroll through the park was really quite enjoyable and halfway through, you’ll arrive at Richard Wagner’s Villa Wahnfried. The garden itself is free to explore at your own leisure. 

Nearby attractions: Franz Liszt Museum and German Freemason Museum

The Bayreuth City Center

Bayreuth is a relatively compact town and a short walk down Richard-Wagner-Strasse from the Neues Schloss will lead you back into the Bayreuth Altstadt. It’s here you’ll find the salmon colored Altes Schloss (Old Palace), a fine 17th century palace at the heart of the town center with busts of men and women from the city lining its exterior. Just behind the Old Palace is the Schlosskirche (Court Chapel) which was currently undergoing restoration whose octagonal Schlossturm (Chapel Tower) offers views over the city center. Unfortunately for us, the tower and church was closed. 

Maximilianstrasse is Bayreuth’s main shopping center where you can find many cafes, restaurants and shops. At the center of it all, you can find the Maibaum (May Tree), not in typical Bavarian colors of blue and white but red and white, located not far from the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) which now houses the Kunstmuseum Bayreuth (Art Museum) as well as the British American Tobacco Historical Tobacco Collection as tobacco was an important local industry. 

Cobbled-stone alleys lead in every which direction, and just beyond the Bayreuth City Hall is the Stadtkirche (City Church of the Holy Trinity), a simple yet beautiful Gothic Lutheran parish church. 

Bayreuth’s Ermeitage 

Just a short drive away from the city center is a park and palace that Margrave Georg Wilhelm laid out known as the Eremitage (Hermitage), one of the top places to visit in Germany which was used from 1715 onwards for his court to play at ascetism, or more specifically, for the nobility to withdraw from the world and live a simple life, dressing in monks’ habits and sleeping in cells, following in the example of the French King Louis XIV. The Altes Schloss (Old Palace) was gifted to Wilhelmine in 1735. At the time of its creation, there were no other gardens like it in Germany and is thus one of the most unique gardens to explore from the 18th century. From its unique appeal, you can clearly see why it is considered to be one of the top attractions in Bayreuth!

She quickly set to extending the palace, creating more Rococo rooms and building the crescent-shaped Orangerie now known as the Neues Schloss (not to be confused with the Neues Schloss in the city center). It is now the centerpiece with the focal point being the circular Sonnentemple (Sun Temple), topped with a golden replication of Apollo’s chariot with trick fountains stretching out before it. The Sun Temple is beautifully crafted with an array of colorful little stones, golden busts and columns curving in unison. To one side of the Orangerie was a cafe with visitors soaking up the sun sitting at outside tables. 

The Obere Grotte (Upper Grotto) plays hourly for 15 minutes from May to October before descending to the Untere Grotte (Lower Grotto) which is just a short walk through the park. 

Crushing on Beautiful Bayreuth | Bayreuth's Hermitage New Palace | Bayreuth's Eremitage Neues Schloss | Richard Wagner's Bayreuth | What to do in Bayreuth | Day Trip from Munich | Top Destinations to Visit in Germany | Germany's Baroque City | Sights to see in Bayreuth | Underrated Cities in Germany | #Bayreuth #Bavaria #Bayern #Germany #Deutschland - California Globetrotter

One could easily spend a good portion of their day here exploring the New and Old Palaces, the Upper and Lower Grottoes and the stage of the ruined ‘Roman Theatre’. We perused through the park and enjoyed the mystical feeling areas offered, danced in a small pavilion and enjoyed the summer-like spring weather we were having as we walked around the Altes Schloss

Overall, our day started out as if it was going to be a trip fail. We had not seen anything on the Bayreuth website which indicated that the Opera House would be closed for a performance. When we had arrived, the weather was colder than expected and neither of us had been prepared for that and as the wind picked up, we considered heading home after only a few minutes in the town. Luckily, we toughed it out and the sun eventually came out and we were greeted by a rather enjoyable day. There are things I wish I had known earlier before our visit which I have shared with you now and hope that you may have a more successful visit! Nonetheless, I felt that Bayreuth was definitely one of the best cities to visit in Bavaria!

If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Day Trips from Bayreuth:

A Local’s Guide to the Historic Town of Regensburg

Bumbling Around Bamberg

An Expat’s Guide to Nuremberg

The Fairytale Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

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Replies to Crushing on Beautiful Bayreuth

  1. Your photos are always so incredible! Definitely makes me want to hop on a plane and go visit. I’ve never heard of Bayreuth, but now it is definitely on my radar! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. The architecture in this town is amazing, and your photos bring out the best in them! You put it up on my must see places in Europe. I would love to watch a performance at the Opera House, preferably a Wagner opera, to keep with the theme of the place, and the Eremitage is up on my list of places to see. Your photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a beautiful place. In terms of Wagner I am certain that having a mad king as a supporter leads to colourful encouragement. Hadn’t heard of Bayreuth, and now I want to visit!
    #citytripping

  4. My goodness – that Opera House! And I really love the sound of the Hofgarten. I’m off to check where in Germany this is and whether I can easily get a budget flight to nearby – you have inspired a journey here! #citytripping

  5. It’s easy to see why you would have a crush on Bayreuth! That opera house is really something. I’m glad you’re day worked out – and didn’t end as a trip fail. Beautiful photos!

  6. This looks such a beautiful city. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of Bayreuth before so thanks for the introduction. I love Baroque architecture so this would be right up my street. Seeing a Wagner opera at its Opera House would be amazing! Thanks for linking #citytripping

  7. I’d like to write a whole story about the Cabinet of Broken Mirrors – it sounds like something out of a fairy tale. I’ve heard all about the famous Wagner festival at Bayreuth but hadn’t appreciated how worthy the whole town was of a visit. The gardens look glorious too. Fabulous share for #FarawayFiles

  8. Wowee Bayreuth is a magnificent Baroque confection. Lucky Wagner to have a patron like mad king Ludwig and to have an opera house like that to have his tunes played in. I hope you make it back there soon so we can see some more details of the inside #FarawayFiles

  9. Bayreuth looks gorgeous. It was on my list for when we lived in Bavaria, but we never made it, there are just too many other nice places. Will just have to go back and visit now! 🙂

  10. It does look like a lovely town particularly around the Bayreuth Altstadt.

    It’s a shame that things don’t always work out, but I see it as a good excuse to return again. #farawayfiles

  11. What a beautiful town – I am surprised it is not more well known. The Opera House looks amazing, especially the inside and I could probably spend all day in the gardens. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  12. I am actually more attracted to those devine public garden spaces in this city. I also adore pedestrian walkways with the cobblestone streets leading you to various local merchants and bistros. I guess that means I identify more with the everyday people than the overly pampered royalty. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  13. That opera house is absolutely breathtaking. The artistry involved in all of the little details is incredible, throughout the city, and so many colors! Those gardens are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  14. Bayreuth looks gorgeous! While the Wagner connection in itself would already be enticing enough for me, the opera house just looks splendidly unreal. I’d love to attend a performance there one day. And the Eremitage – wow. All those spring flowers! Can see why it’s so highly rated! Thanks for sharing; pinned for future reference 🙂

  15. I had not heard about Bayreuth before reading your post. That’s what I like about Travel Blogs, you get to hear about these wonderful places around the world. Beautiful photos,my personal favourite was of the town centre. Thanks you so much for this post.i have added Bayreuth on my list of places to visit, Happy Travelling.#theweeklypostcard

  16. This place look awesome. I always love your pictures and attention to detail. The opera house looks like a mini replica. It’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing
    #TheWeeklyPostcard

  17. You are luring us to Bavaria with this charming town! The Eremitage looks fantastic, and we just love Rococo architecture and details. Shame about the opera house being closed, but now you have that reason to return. We’d love to visit the Wagner museum, too. Although, now I’ve got Ride of the Valkyries going through my head. 🙄 As always, great post!

  18. I´ve never heard of Bayreuth, I’ve only seen some of the most famous sites in Bavaria and I hope one day I get to do a whole road trip to explore more of the region! Court Garden looks lovely, haven’t been to Munich’s Hofgarten either! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  19. I can see myself enjoying Bayreuth, especially the combination of classical music and classic architecture. That Opera house and the garden fountains are particularly beautiful. Another German city I knew nothing about! #theWeeklyPostcard

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