PALACE AND GARDEN OF MOSIGKAU
Mosigkau – A pearl of the Rococo period
The Rococo palace of Mosigkau was built by Princess Anna Wilhelmine of Anhalt-Dessau as a summer residence. The house – today affectionately called »little Sanssouci« – is one of the last surviving Rococo ensembles in Central Germany.
In 1742/43 Prince Leopold I. of Anhalt-Dessau gave his favourite daughter Anna Wilhelmine two estates in the village of Mosigkau. In 1752 the Princess commissioned the architect Christian Friedrich Damm to build a summer residence. Early versions of the design are possibly by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, the architect of Sanssouci in Potsdam. Corps de logis, cavaliers’ houses and outbuildings are grouped around a »Court of Honour«.
Inside the palace one can visit 17 rooms, some of them originally furnished. The core and at the same time climax of the whole design is the Gallery within the Corps de logis. The room holds important paintings by Anthonis van Dyck, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Brueghel Sr, Jacob Jordaens, Hendrick Goltzius and Gerard van Honthorst, amongst others, hung in a baroque fashion (i.e. without gaps between the pictures) which is rare, in fact unique for Germany, and set in recesses in the wall. The palace also houses an extensive collection of portraits of Anhalt princes.
The high windows of the Gallery open the view to the pleasure grounds towards the south where the visitor is lured by the colourful summer flowers of the Parterre and the exotic tub plants, the hedge area with the bowling house, the fish pond and a maze who all invite further exploration. Two orangeries that flank the southern entrance similar to gate houses contain tub plants, some of them centuries old.
After the death of its owner in 1780 and in keeping with her last wishes, the house was converted into an institution for noble unmarried women, which existed until 1945. This period is remembered by a reconstructed Lady’s Apartment as well as the cemetery of the institution which is still situated towards the north of the garden.