Bürglass-Schlösschen

Continuing our run of Coburg's plentiful palaces in the past couple of weeks is the Bürglass-Schlösschen. (Schlösschen meaning little palace though while not massive in size, nobody ever had to squeeze in to fit, I'm pretty certain.) It most famously served as the residence of Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria during his years of exile until his death in 1948 though its connection with the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family goes back a few centuries further. 

After previous buildings on the same site had been and had not been owned by the family at different points in time, Prince Friedrich Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld purchased the small estate near the ducal residence Schloss Ehrenburg in 1794. Friedrich Josias had been a general in the Austrian army but resigned following a dispute with Austrian policymakers and retired to Coburg. After only ten months of construction, he was able to move into his new residence. After Friedrich Josias' death in 1815, his palace came into the possession of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Starting in 1816, it was used as a widow's seat by Duchess Auguste. At the time, the palace was known as Augusten-Palais
Later, the Schlösschen got some very royal inhabitants when King Ferdinand II of Portugal, husband of Queen Maria II and a born prince of Saxe-Coburg-Koháry, used it as a residence whenever in Coburg. For this reason, several changes were made to the interior of the palace in 1842 and 1843. The Schlösschen subsequently became a home for Ferdinand's brother Prince August and his wife Clementine d'Orléans. Their son Philipp also used the Schlösschen as his residence until his death in 1921 when it, at the time still known as Augusten-Palais, passed to his nephew Prince Kyrill of Bulgaria.

Kyrill's father Tsar Ferdinand I used the palace as his exile home starting in 1925 until 1948. During this time, the palace became known to the local population as the Bulgaren-Schlösschen (Bulgarian palace). Only after his death, the current name Bürglass-Schlösschen, after a nearby street, became popular. After 1948, the Schlösschen, that had legally been owned by the city of Coburg already since 1919, was used as a storage facility by the neighbouring state theatre. During the 1960's it was decided to renovate the palace. Subsequently, the local registry office moved into the Bürglass-Schlösschen with the former reception hall of Prince Friedrich Josias used for wedding ceremonies.

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