The World's Most Beautiful and Spectacular Buildings: The Rise of Europe - Age of Happiness

Rococo architects wanted buildings to look light and weightless. One way they achieved this way by covering walls and ceilings with delicate vines made of stucco - a type of plaster they could mold by hand into shapes. Stucco birds and butterflies flew across ceilings.

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The World’s Most Beautiful and Spectacular Buildings: Rise of Europe - Age of Happiness

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The eighteenth century was an optimistic and light-hearted age. New ideas in science had convinced people that famine and disease could be conquered. Happiness was the highest goal in life. Statues of saints dancing or angel swinging from vines sometimes decorated churches. People no longer feared nature and they enjoyed the ever-changing plant and animal life around them. Some retreated from the busy city life to houses in the countryside. They invited friends there to enjoy the surroundings. Listen to music, discuss science or play games. These country retreats were built in a delicate new architectural style called Rococo. Pink, yellow and other pastel colors made every room look cheerful. Rococo achieved this was by covering walls and ceiling with delicate vines made of stucco-a type of plaster they could mold by hand into shapes. Stucco birds and butterflies flew across ceiling.

The Amalienburg

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In the 1730s, the ruler of Bavaria built this hunting lodge in the gardens of the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, Germany for his wife Maria Amalia. A stairway led from her bedroom to her shooting terrace on the roof.

Nymphenburg Palace

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Three cube shapes linked by bridges make up this palace in Munich, Germany, which is built in the Baroque style. The Amalienburg is hidden among the trees to the right .

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Hunting Room

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Painting of hunting scenes cover the walls of this picture gallery. Silver plant foliage made from stucco flows across the wall from one picture frame to the next.

Hall of Mirror

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Friend gathered for musical evening in this round room at the center of the Amalienburg.

Decorating with Mirrors

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Glass was invented in Mesopotamia in ancient times. The Romans were the first to use glass by pouring liquid glass out onto a table and rolling it flat. Once the glass hardened, it was ground smooth and polished to make mirrors often decorated the inside of Rococo buildings.

Food for Thought

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Maria Amalia and her friends could prepare their own meals in this blue and white kitchen. Each tile in the room has a different picture.

De Luxe Kennels

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Hunting dogs slept in the kennels at the base of the walls in this room in the Amalienburg. Guns were stored in the cabinets above.

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