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A Guide to Bückeburg

Bückeburg is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany, on the border with North Rhine Westphalia. It was once the capital of the tiny principality of Schaumburg-Lippe and is today located in the district of Schaumburg close to the northern slopes of the Weserbergland ridge.

Bückeburg Palace (Schloss Bückeburg) was the residence of the Princes of Schaumburg-Lippe. Although the Princely family surrendered political power in 1918, they still live there today. The palace, part of which is open to the public, is an important major tourist sight and houses important works of art and an important library. The history of the building spans 700 years, with the most important contributions stemming from the 16th, 17th, and 19th centuries. The Princely Mausoleum in the palace grounds is open to the public as well. Built in 1915 in Neo-Romanic style and resembling the Roman Pantheon, it is the world’s largest private sepulchre still in use. The cupola is adorned by an impressive gold mosaic, the second largest of its kind after the one in the Hagia Sophia.

The Town Church of Bückeburg (Bückeburger Stadtkirche) was one of the first Lutheran churches built after the Reformation. It is known for its pulpit and especially for the ornately decorated bronze-cast font, made by the Dutch artist Adriaen de Vries. Composer Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (1732-1795), a son of J.S. Bach, worked at the Bückeburg court from before 1751 until his death, first as a harpsichordist, then, from 1759, as Konzertmeister (director) of the Hofkapelle (court orchestra) there. Bach is buried in the churchyard of the Stadtkirchengemeinde-Bückeburg. Bach set several texts by Johann Gottfried Herder, who was at the Bückeburg court as its superintendent and chief preacher from 1771-1776.

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