06366 Köthen (Anhalt)
Schloss Köthen – once the seat of the Princes and Dukes of Anhalt – has undergone many processes of expansion, modification and renovation during its 800-year history. After a lengthy, comprehensive restoration, the Hall of Mirrors has recently been reopened and now sparkles with the same brilliance it had in the times of Duke Friedrich Ferdinand of Anhalt-Köthen, who in 1823 had the old Great Hall renovated in neoclassical style by the architect Bandhauer, as a birthday present for his wife, Duchess Julie. The barrel vault ceiling (made up of more than one thousand filigree plaster coffers), as well as the marble stucco and the mirrors on the walls, combine to truly overwhelming effect. The Hall of Mirrors is also beloved by musicians for its excellent acoustics and for the sense of Johann Sebastian Bach’s presence, lingering from his time as director of music at the court of Köthen (1717–1723). Among other performances, it was in this very room – though still in its baroque form – that Bach and his colleagues first performed his Brandenburg Concertos.