New Meersburg Palace, Exterior of the teahouse

Relaxation with a breathtaking viewThe teahouse

The pavilion below the palace garden served the princes as a retreat and as a site for intimate meetings. Thanks to the recently completed preservation and restoration, the New Palace's garden pavilion is a further example of the grand culture in the prince-bishops’ court.

New Meersburg Palace, Interior of the pavilion

Pavilion interior.

The prince-bishop's hideaway

The pavilion, known as the teahouse today, sits on the terrace below the palace garden and consists of only a single 30-m² room. It provided the princes with a retreat and a space for private meetings. The entry portal, like the entire garden, faces the old palace and is accessible from the terrace via a stone staircase. Until 1741, an orangery was situated directly in front of the pavilion, which housed the exotic plants during the winter months.

New Meersburg Palace, Teahouse with a view of Lake Constance

A view of Lake Constance.

The challenge of a steep slope

The pavilion is part of the former court garden. It served the exclusive pleasure of the lord of the house, his courtiers and guests, who promenaded in it chatting with each other. Creating an even, baroque garden was a challenge due to the steep slope. The tea house was built in 1712 in the course of the garden redesign according to designs by the Benedictine monk Christoph Gessinger and was intended to contribute to harmony through its placement. He and his employer, Prince-Bishop Johann Franz Schenk von Stauffenberg, were inspired by a joint study trip to Vienna. Today's complex is a free reference to its baroque history.

Fresco in the Baitenhausen pilgrimage church

Meersburg in a fresco in the transept of the Meersburg-Baitenhausen pilgrimage church, circa 1750.

New Meersburg Palace, Detail of the ceiling fresco

Detail of the ceiling fresco.

Omnia tempus habent – Everything has its time

Inside, the garden pavilion holds a ceiling fresco from 1760, when the Baroque New Palace was prepared for the move-in of Prince-Bishop Franz Konrad von Rodt (r. 1750-1775), the first occupant of the Baroque residence. The Augsburg painter Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner (1702-1761) painted a classical Baroque allegory of the seasons. It shows Apollo on the sun chariot as well as Chronos, the god of time, in the midst of the seasons and reminds us of the transience and power of time through the motto "omnia tempus habent". Playful putti and motifs that stand for lightness here and in the castle appeal to the balance between seriousness and lightness, duty and leisure.

New Meersburg Palace, Detail of the facade

Facade bearing the royal coat of arms.

The renewed grandeur of the teahouse

After restoration of the New Palace was completed in 2012, the teahouse was also restored, between August 2014 and May 2015. Staatliche Toto Lotto GmbH (state lottery association) covered €270,000 in costs. The work included repainting the exterior, after having secured the plaster and restored the sandstone elements. The structural integrity of the roof was improved. The interior work focused primarily on restoring the Baroque ceiling fresco. The space can now be used for small events.

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