This Museum is included in the price of entry to Bruchsal Palace. It is also located in the Palace.
What we are talking about, is a 350 year old history of self-playing musical instruments. The ones on display at the Palace ranged from the 18th to 20th centuries.
This would be the best collection I have seen and I loved them all! Violin's, Organ's, Musical boxes, mechanical figures, pianos, they were great to listen to and watch.
We tagged along with one of the FREE TOURS and did manage to hear and see some of the musical instruments working. Some we could put a euro in the box to make them work. With a large group, it was a bit hard to see the machines working.
The palace garden was laid out in 1721, together with the palace. The baroque garden includes terraces, orangery buildings, round basins with fountains, double avenues and parterre areas in French formal style. The garden has been lengthened over the years and four soldiers carrying halberds were added.
If you head to where the Swans are, then you will see grottos from early in the 20th century. Since 1996 the restored Upper Bruchsal Palace Garden has been accessible to the public as an inner-city recreational area.
Now, after visiting the inside of the Palace, head to the back where the Orangeries and gardens are located. These are colourful buildings too, but not the same colour as the Palace we have just seen, but painted in green and orange/yellow to symbolize the building's purpose, which was keeping plants warm in winter. The murals on these building's are wonderful, as the painted people on the buildings look to be sitting on the ledge, a three dimensional look. They are extremely well done!.
This was the second part of the Town Museum. We walked out of the other section, and into this smaller area where we first came across and exhibit of the Bruchsal town Prison.
We actually saw the huge Prison as we drove into Bruchsal.
There was quite an interesting small display. On show was the electric chair, a straight jacket and a guillotine.
The Prison sounded pretty dreadful. In one part, was 'The Hole of Death', a pit once used as a dungeon. A known prisoner Gustav Reif was an inmate in 1880, he went to his execution from this pit in to the courtyard, where he was guillotined. Afterwards, a Scientist retrieved the eyeball's from Reifs head to uncover one of only two Human Optograms- the last image cast on the retina at the moment of death - yuk!
There are two museums in the Palace that are included in the admission price. We visited the Town Museum first, as suggested by the Palace staff. It is located on the third floor of the Palace and documents the history of the Bruchsal region from Stone Age until today. Exhibits are from the Neolithic age through to the Roman's presence, Alliance of German Tribes and lastly, Christianity.
There is information on the history of the city; mineral collection and coins and medals of Bruchsal
There are “hands-on” areas for participation from visitors as they explore the various exhibits.
Museum hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Open on Mondays only on public holidays,
Closed on December 24, 25 and 31. Opens at 1:00 PM on January 1
Adults 5,00 €
Reduced (pupils, students, severely handicapped persons) 2,50 €
(All prices include admission to the Baroque Palace and Deutsche Musikautomaten-Museum (German Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments)
Are you ready for Baroque and Rococo overload?
I couldn't live with it, but I do enjoy seeing the opulence of these Palaces. Bruchsal is said to be one of the best, it sure was.
I guess the Marble Hall is the most beautiful, but the others were not far behind. Gold overload, chandeliers, painted ceilings, marble pillars, paintings and statues in all the rooms make for a slow viewing in each room, I didn't want to miss anything.
A tour group were in the marble hall learning to dance the old fashioned way!
So, if you want to see this, then you will just have to visit Bruchsal Palace.
This beautiful Palace was nearly completely destroyed in World War II. Thank-goodness, it has all been reconstructed according to the original design. It was finally completed in 1975.
This brings me to the staircase, described as the "finest staircase in the world". Situated in the centre of the Palace, it's what we saw on entry. This sweeping staircase leads to the upper floor, and from here, we could look down to the ground floor. The walls and the ceilings were beautifully painted. A Bride was having her wedding photo's taken down the bottom, how good would that be!
Through the glass doors was where we went to pay our entrance fee.
ADMISSION IN 2013
This includes entrance to an excellent Mechanical music museum.
.....ADULTS 5 euro Concession 2.5 euros, Families 12.5 euros - Is excellent value!
tue - sun and public holidays 10 am - 5 pm
Closed 24, 25, 31 December 1 January 1 pm – 5 pm
Guided tours in German
1 march to 31 october hourly from 10 am - 4 pm
GOOD NEWS IS ...PHOTO'S ARE ALLOWED
YOU CAN WALK AROUND BY YOURSELF.
We parked our car and walked through the Damianstor to the Bruchsal Castle gate and entrance, another impressive entrance.
I am afraid it was another wow! ....infact this Palace was full of them, it was beauty at every corner!
In-front of me, was the large courtyard [cour d'honneur] of the only Prince-Bishop’s residence on the Upper Rhine. The Palace itself, was constructed in 1720 as a residence for the Prince-Bishops of Speyer. What got me, was the colours the Palace was painted, the amount of gold-plated stucco, and the golden gargoyles in the shape of dragons.
What a sight it was! I wondered what the inside would be like when the outside was this grand!
Heading along one of the roads in Bruchsal, we suddenly come across the amazing sight of a huge Castle like Gate. Wow! It was an impressive entrance!!
It was the Damianstor, a gatehouse featuring a low central archway where cars passed through these days, and on either side were two lower wings that were added later. This gate secured entry to the Palace on the north side of Bruschal . The upper rooms in the gatehouse were used as a prison at one time. Today, the local art society "Das Damianstor" stages various exhibitions of contemporary art in the sections of the building directly above the gate arch.
OPEN. Saturday 2-5PM
Sunday 11 - 5PM
The gate is the entrance to the castle grounds, where the Baroque and Rococo Palace awaits.
For two decades the mechanical music market was dominated by machines using perforated metal disks, but then at the beginning of the twentieth century newer technologies such as the phonograph started gaining ground.
During the transition period a company called the Regina Music Box Company of Rahway, New Jersey, USA (an offshoot of the Polyphon company of Leipzig) tried to preserve its market share by producing combination machines which could play both the old metal disks and the newer 78 RPM phonograph records.
This seemed like a good idea at the time because of lot of people still had collections of old metal disks that they wanted to go on playing, but in the long run Regina was not successful in their competition with phonograph makers such as Edison, Victor, Columbia, Pathe, Zonophone and many other makers of modern music machines.
The machine in my photo, on display at the German Mechanical Instrument Museum in Bruchsal, was manufactured by Regina but was marketed by Columbia as the "Columbia Grafonola de luxe".
Of course later transitions from older to newer technologies also led to combination machines, such as three-speed phonographs we all used to have that could play the old 78 RPM records as well as the newer 45 or 33 RPM variety.
Today many of us still have combination machines that can play our old audio cassettes as well as the newer CDs and MP3s.
Starting in 1964 the palace decorations were carefully and elaborately restored, using traditional materials and techniques whenever possible.
As in the Semper Opera House in Dresden, the apparently marble pillars are not made of marble at all but of plaster that has been carefully painted to look like marble. Only very skilled artisans can do this, often using techniques that have been passed down from father to son for many generations.
Second photo: The palace staircase with restored and re-painted pillars.
Third photo: In the elaborately restored palace.
Fourth photo: Statue of a man as a pillar holding up the roof. (Isn't there some special name for this sort of statue??)
Update: Thanks to VT member german_eagle (Ingo) for his comment about the fourth photo: "Btw, that figure holding up the roof is remarkable. Usually they are female figures, called Karyatide. But a man?"
That comment provided me with a word to start searching for. After looking up the word Karyatide in a few places I found that it is usually spelled caryatid in English, and that a male figure which is used in place of a column to hold up a building is called an Atlas or Atlant (stress on the second syllable), after the mythological figure Atlas, who was forced to hold up the sky on his shoulders for ever and ever. In ancient Roman architecture this sort of male figure was called a telamon.
The Baroque Church of St. Peter's is a very special church for the city of Bruchsal - partly because it is the work of famous Baroque architect Balthasar Neumann, partly because it is the only church in Bruchsal that survived the heavy bombing of March 1945 undamaged. Underneath its 22 meter high dome lies the royal tomb, the resting place of the mortal remains of the prince bishops of Bruchsal. The interior has been remodeled several times during the church's 250 years of history. The modern celebration altar dates from 1999. At regularly scheduled tours you can learn more about the historical baroque jewel.
1278 a "capella sancti Petri" is mentioned for the first time
1320 the church is destroyed during the throne dispute between Louis of Bavaria and Frederick of Austria
1360 reconstruction of the Church as a Gothic hall with 15-meter deep choir and a high tower, a parish church for the whole city until 1588
1689 destroyed during a fire, only parts of the chancel, the walls of the nave and the tower remain
1721 choir of the church repaired by order of the Prince Bishop Damian Hugo von Schönborn to the extent that services can be held
1736 Prince Bishop Schönborn commissions architect Balthasar Neumann with the planning of a new building, to be the sepulchre for the Prince Bishops of Speyer
1738 completion of design work and demolition of the ruins of not required parts
1740 start of construction
1742 March 26 - an Easter Sunday - Prince Bishop Damian Hugo von Schönborn sets the foundation stone for the new St. Peter's Church
1744 June 08 - completion of the church under the bishop of Speyer, Franz-Christoph von Hutten
1745 inauguration of St. Peter Church.
1755 completion of the Episcopal crypt. In the same year the coffin containing the remains of Cardinal Schönborn, who was previously buried in the Capuchin monastery, were transferred. Later, his three successors, Cardinal Christoph Franz von Hutten, Prince Bishop August von Limburg-Stirum and Prince Bishop wild Erich Count von Walderdorf, were also buried in the bishops' crypt.
1768 the installation of a loft and erection of the organ, the interior of the church is completed
1907 St. Peter was extensively renovated under the direction of the Grand Duke's building inspector Dr. Fritz Hirsch. On this occasion, it receives a painting by Munich artist Josef Mariano Kitschker
1960-1962 refurbishment and renovation of St. Peter Church
1988-1991 interior renovation
1994-1996 exterior Renovation
Bruchsal's baroque town hall was destroyed in the bombing of March 1, 1945. The new town hall was built in 1954 and shows the typical Fifties style.
The coat of arms above the entrance, a silver cross on dark blue ground, is the old coat of arms of the prince bishopric of Speyer, with the addition of a silver circle.
Another visit in 2011 (photo 2) shows that the town hall has received fresh paint in lemon yellow. Behind the town hall a new shopping mall with a handful of chain stores has been built, named Rathausgalerie.
The Bürgerzentrum (citizens' centre), erected in the 1980's around the medieval castle keep, is the centre of the town's cultural life. The building complex unites the theater, the public library, the Volkshochschule (adult education centre), rooms for congresses, exhibitions and other events, the town archive, the tourist information, and restaurants.
Emergency hint: public toilets can be found inside the Bürgerzentrum but only when it is open. If not, the only chance are the toilets down at the far end of the parking garage.
The small park behind the Bürgerzentrum offers the best views of the castle keep. It is a new park with some modern sculptures, a playground and some benches to rest - nothing special but a nice place to sit down if the feet are tired.
The small pond in the park is marked as "biotope", reeds and other water plants have been planted around it to create a home for insects and frogs and fish. As I noticed at my last visit, though, the biotope is not being taken care of and the creatures that feel happiest in it are algae. In other words, it is in urgent need of some measures to remove the algae, or it will soon turn into a dead muddy hole.