Gallery of Schloss Herrenhausen
the Baroque-style Great Garden of the Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover. The building in the picture, the Gallery, is actually one of the few buildings of the ensemble preserved in its original state.
Unfortunately, most people will never get to see its interior as the Galerie isn't usually open to the public. If you have a few (more) spare euros lying around, you can rent it for your wedding or birthday celebration - or whatever kind of celebration floats your boat - but it is not part of a tour of the Herrenhausen Gardens or the rebuilt Schloss Herrenhausen. So how did I get in?
This weekend were the European Heritage Days. The annual programme offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public - and the Gallery of Schloss Herrenhausen was one of the thousands of buildings all over Europe opened on the occasion today. So yours truly naturally went to Herrenhausen to see it.
The history of the Gallery buildings starts out much less fancy than it looks today as it was originally intended to house plants during the winter months. However, already during the construction period from 1694 to 1698, Electress Sophie of Hanover championed to have the building remodelled as a banqueting hall for formal receptions. Thus architect Johann Peter Wachter gave the Gallery a Baroque-style makeover with the typical ornate interior decorations.
Venetian artist Tommaso Giusti was commissioned to paint the banqueting hall and the private rooms of the Gallery to the west of the building. The elaborate mural paintings depict the Aeneas saga. The ceiling is adorned by an equally elaborate ribbon pattern and some several large golden chandeliers. Just as in the days of Electress Sophie, a.k.a. the ancestress of all people in line to the British throne, the hall is still used for banquets and concerts when not rented out.