The founding date of the city is unknown, but the oldest surviving document dates back to 1194. It is known that the city developed slowly, more than once collapsed during the wars, was subjected to epidemics, fires and famine.
But at the beginning of the 17th century, everything changed dramatically. Bayreuth became the residence of the Margraves. This had a huge impact on the improvement of the city. A variety of palaces and gardens were built, which later became the most interesting sights of the city.
Bayreuth Margrave Opera House
The Bayreuth Margrave Opera House was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012, and it also entered the list of the 100 best attractions in Germany.
The opera house was built in 1748 at the initiative of Margraine Wilhelmina. It is made in the style of Italian Baroque. By its size, splendor, amazing architecture at that time it could only be compared with graceful buildings in Vienna, Dresden, Paris or Venice. In 2017, the theater is closed to visitors, restoration work is underway there, but its grand opening will take place very soon - April 12, 2018.
Outside, the theater has a facade in the style of classicism with columns as in ancient temples. Going inside and passing the foyer you can see the stairs leading to the second and third floor. The auditorium is striking in its splendor and beauty. On the walls there are figures of angels and cherubs, and on the ceiling there is a wonderful picture depicting mythological heroes.
The new Bayreuth castle is the most striking example of 18th century architecture. Margraine Wilhelmina took the main part in the development of the palace construction plan, and Joseph Saint-Pierre became its architect. There is a room in the southern wing of the castle, which serves as the most significant work of art - it is an irresistibly beautiful room with walnut lining and gilded palm trees.
The entire interior of the castle is made in the rococo style. In Bavaria, this style was most developed. In all the halls, rooms, corridors of the castle, sophistication is observed, compositions carry a large decorative load, complex ornaments on all surfaces of the walls. The new palace is admirable. His yard is diverse, and there are shady boulevards, and bright mirror waters, tender green plains with solitary bushes, and straight and winding paths.
The Hermitage, a historic park on the outskirts of the city, was once a refuge from court life. The city is grateful to Margraine Wilhelmina for such a treasure in the Baroque style. A summer palace with a luxurious interior, a music room, a Japanese study, a mirror cabinet - all this can be seen within the walls of the palace.
The Hermitage also includes a picturesque park, fountains, ponds, a fabulous greenhouse with a central temple of the sun, which is crowned by Apollo. Every summer the Hermitage attracts many tourists.
Richard Wagner Museum
Prominent cultural figures have a huge impact on the development of the art of their country, region of residence. The German composer and conductor Wilhelm Richard Wagner achieved the same thing; he became a reformer of German opera, achieving the unity of music and drama. Poetry, music, theatrical production merged into a single whole. In Bayreuth, a third son was born from his second wife.
In memory of Richard Wagner, a museum was created in this city. There are three permanent exhibits. The first of them is “Wagner’s Life and Work,” where visitors can watch a documentary about his life and work, the everyday life of the whole family, and examine manuscripts. The second exhibition is devoted to the ideology of the composer, among the exhibits you can see objects in a room with a fireplace, in the dining room, look at the terrace with a fountain. An exhibition is dedicated to the demonstration of the Wagner family's friendly relations with Hitler and other Nazis.
The third exposition is dedicated to the Bayreuth Festival, here you can see the original stage costumes, stage equipment. In 2017, a jubilee exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Richard Wagner is held within the museum, it will end on November 19.
In 1871, Richard Wagner chose the city of Bayreuth as the venue for his festival. The architect was Otto Bracwold. And on April 29, 1872, the construction of the theater began. After 4 years, its discovery took place.
Bayreuth Brewery and Catacombs
For more than 150 years, traditional beer has been produced at the Bayreuth Brewery, and the masters are enthusiastic about the brewing process. It all started in 1857 when the 24-year-old brewer Hugo Beyerley returned to his hometown, Bayreuth.
Excellent quality of the drink was achieved immediately thanks to modern technology, good cooling and huge storage facilities in the cellars under the brewery. These cellars and attract today many tourists traveling around the city. The incredibly exciting world of catacombs will introduce the history of the brewery, talk about the development of the city during the Second World War.
Tourists will have a fascinating 60-minute journey, during which they will see a lot, and then guides will offer you to enjoy a glass of fresh beer in the basement of the brewery. It is important to remember that the temperature in the catacombs is quite low, you need to take warm clothes with you.
Evangelical Lutheran City Church
When touring the city, you should definitely visit the City Evangelical Lutheran Church. In its place in 1270 there was another church, but in 1375 the construction of the Gothic cathedral began. From here, in the Middle Ages, the pilgrims began the Way of St. James in Santiago de Compostela to the grave of the Apostle Jacob.
The building is very complicated, it has two stone towers connected by a bridge. The north tower was also intended for protection, it was visible from it if enemies were approaching the city. And now the architecture of the church dominates the urban landscape of the city, being the most important religious building.
Ecological and Botanical Garden
Near the University of Bayreuth is a unique ecological and botanical garden. It collected about 12 thousand species of plants. The garden is used for training, research, conservation of endangered plant species, as well as for relaxation and enjoyment of communication with nature. The ecological and botanical garden organizes excursions, exhibitions, and tourists are offered leaflets and brochures.
The garden is divided into several zones. In the open area you can see plants from all over the world, from species from North America to China, almost natural forests, swamps, steppes and dunes are made here. In addition, there are greenhouses in the garden, where you can see plants of the tropics and subtropics. In the southern part of the garden rare wild herbs, medicinal plants, crops, vegetables and fruits are represented. In addition to plants, animals live in the garden, there are many of them. The most prominent representatives are bats, beetles and bees.
Bayreuth Zoo has many interesting animals from different continents. For each of them, conditions are created that are close to their natural habitat. On enclosures with animals texts are given in which their biological characteristics are described in detail.
Bayreuth Historical Museum
In the Bayreuth History Museum, permanent displays and temporary exhibitions are open for display. The 34 rooms of the permanent exhibition display various topics from the history and culture of the city and the region. At the entrance to it are two large and detailed models of the cities of Bayreuth and St. Georgen.
These city models are very popular among visitors. The main focus is on the 17-18th century, when Bayreuth was the residence of the Margraves. An interesting collection of ceramics is Otto Burkhardt, presented by utensils of the finest shapes, with gold and silver ornaments.
First mentioned in 1194 in the document of Bishop Otto II of Bamberg as Bavarian felling. If earlier (in 1199) Bayreuth was referred to as villa (village), then already in 1232 the concept for the first time appeared in one document civitas (town). Between 1200 and 1230, Bayreuth allegedly received city rights. Until 1248, the rulers of the city were the counts of Andex-Merania. The city center to this day has retained the typical structure of the Bavarian central square: in the center of the city hall, nearby the church and the castle on an elevated hill. In 1248, the city became the property of the Burggraf Frederick III, becoming part of the state, which was owned by the Franconian branch of the Hohenzollern dynasty. In 1361, Emperor Charles IV granted the right to mint coins to Burggrader V for the cities of Bayreuth and Kulmbach.
In 1421, Bayreuth first appeared on a geographical map. After the division of the state, Bayreuth becomes part of the Principality of Kulmbach. The city suffered several times from plague epidemics and wars, and in 1430 it was destroyed during the Hussite wars. Already in 1528 (less than 10 years after the start of the reformation), the rulers of the Franconian Margrave provinces joined the Lutheran faith.
In 1605, a fire caused by negligence destroyed 137 of 251 houses. In 1620, a plague raged, and in 1621 another heavy fire followed. The turning point in the history of the city was 1603, when the Margrave of Kulmbach (Brandenburg-Kulmbach) Christian decided to move his residence to Bayreuth. The construction of the new capital is suspended due to the Thirty Years War. However, then life in the city returns to normal and many Baroque buildings are erected.
Bayreuth’s golden age came during the reign of Margrafini Wilhelmina, the eldest daughter of the Prussian King Frederick William I and sister of Frederick the Great. She built several parks and castles that have survived to this day and largely determine the look of the modern city. Also at it was built the Margrave Opera House, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
In 1769, the last Margrave of the Principality of Bayreuth dies without an heir and the state is annexed by the nearby principality of Ansbach. Bayreuth ceases to be the capital. Soon after, the city and its environs became the province of Prussia (1792), then France (1806) and finally Bavaria (1810).
In 1872, the composer Richard Wagner moved to the city, who managed to fulfill his dream here: he built a grand opera house specifically to present the main work in his life - “The Nibelungen Rings”. During the Second World War, the city was considered one of the centers of the ideology of Nazism due to Hitler's special attention to the Wagner festivals held here.
The opening of the University here in 1975 gave a serious impetus to the development of the city.