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Bayreuth New Palace

Margrave's rooms: Palm Room


Picture: Palm Room

The elongated Palm Room is probably the most beautiful room in the New Palace. It is one of the most original and important examples of the Bayreuth rococo style and German rococo design as a whole.

The rounded wall panels are of the finest walnut. The finely carved plants decorating the base of each panel form a border round the room; between the panels slim palm trunks rise towards the ceiling, where their golden fronds and fruit incline gracefully into the room. No one leaf is the same as another, a reflection of the inexhaustible varieties of nature. The sky seems to open out between the rows of trees: the ceiling is populated with fairy-tale birds, flying fish, winged snakes and dainty dragons. The guests at the banquets held here were thus given the impression that they were dining in a palm grove.

The decoration of this room with palm trees is not just an unusual aesthetic idea, it also has a deeper symbolism. It was inspired by the Holy of Holies in a temple of Solomon's, described in the Bible as a room surrounded by palm trees; the margrave saw himself as the heir of this just ruler from the Old Testament. King Solomon was also an important figure for the freemasons and the Palm Room was in addition used by the palace Masonic Lodge, which Margrave Friedrich, an enlightened prince in the Age of Absolutism, had founded in Bayreuth in 1741. It is thus one of the oldest Masonic Temples on the continent.

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