Monday, August 19, 2013

Schloss Herrenhausen

c. 1900

First built in the 17th century, Herrenhausen was conceived as a Baroque summer residence for the Princes of Lüneburg. The palace was developed on the grounds of a previous guest house. The building was enlarged in 1676 under Prince Johann Friedrich of Calenberg, and later under Ernest August I and George I Louis, who was in personal union Elector of Hanover and King of Great Britain.

Herrenhausen in 1670 and 1764
 George II of Great Britain, born in Herrenhausen Palace in 1683

The palace was rebuilt as a neoclassical residence by architect Georg Ludwig Laves in 1820 under the regency of the Crown Prince, later George IV. In addition to the palace, a large baroque garden had been developed on the course of decades, and was considered to one of the most beautiful in continental Europe.

 Herrenhausen Palace and gardens c. 1880

On October 1943 Hannover was bombed by RAF. Incendiary bombs fell over the city, already damaged by another bombing nine days earlier. While several sections of Herrenhausen garden survived, including the pavillions and fountains, the palace itself was destroyed.

In 2007 the state government of Lower Saxony made public plans for its reconstruction. The former palace was rebuilt between 2011 and 2013, and was inaugurated by Lord Mayor Stephan Weil, Minister-President David McAllister, HRH Princess Beatrice of York, and HRH Princess Eugenie of York on 18 January 2013.