Monaise Palace (Schloss Monaise)

Just before Trier-Zewen, a side road turns off the main road (B 49) toward the Moselle to Monaise Palace.

Between 1779 and 1783, the Dean of Trier Cathedral, Philipp Franz Count of Walderdorff had a summer residence built on the west bank of the Moselle in the style of early French neo-classicism. The architect engaged was the French master builder François Ignace Mangin. Situated directly on the bank of the Moselle, the residence faces northeast and thus lies in the direct line of sight to Trier. The name Monaise means "my leisure", pointing to the original function of the palace as a summer residence.

The structure belongs to the few examples of early French neo-classicism in Germany. The style developed in France during the reign of King Louis XVI and is therefore called Louis Seize Style. The height of the structure is remarkable in comparison to the small surface area at ground level, only 10 x 20 m (33 x 66 ft). The main façade is characterised by a tri-part central projection with four Ionic columns in the upper storeys, with balcony behind. Crowning the central projection is a coat of arms held by two lions rampant. The motto underneath, "OTIUM CUM DIGNITATE", means more or less "Enjoy leisure with dignity". The palace is surrounded by a sandstone balustrade and four small corner pavilions. 

When the owner, Count of Walderdorff, became Prince Bishop of Speyer in 1791, he sold the palace to Eleonore of Blochhausen, the widow of a court legal advisor in Luxembourg. Later, it fell into the hands of various owners. Beginning in 1920, it belonged to the United Hospitals and, in 1969, it was bought by the city. As the palace had not been used for a long time, its condition continued to deteriorate, although shoring-up measures were conducted again and again. Numerous attempts to save the building always failed in the end because of lack of finances. Only after the German Monument Protection Foundation took over half of the originally calculated restoration costs with a subsidy of 1.8 million Euro could the restoration get underway in 1992. 

Further subsidies were provided by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The federal subsidies were available only because Monaise Palace is a cultural monument of national importance. The people of Trier joined in the effort by founding a funding organisation for the restoration of the palace. The restoration of Monaise was finished in May 1997. Because of the necessary extensive structural and archaeological inspections, the restorers were able to gain new knowledge about the original fittings in the mansion. Whenever possible, the findings of these inspections were worked into the restoration concept on the spot, so that a high standard of restoration could be achieved in cooperation with the State Office of Monument Protection in Mainz. This, however, raised the building costs to about 10 million D Marks, which were, for a large part, financed by state subsidies.

With Monaise, which nowadays houses, among other things, a top-quality restaurant, Trier was able to bring back a structure of exceptional cultural-historical importance. The region now has a further attraction of great cultural quality.

Further information:

Schloss Monaise, 54294 Trier-Zewen, Germany, tel. +49 651 828670, fax +49 651 828671, e-mail: info@schloss-monaise.de, official website (in German): www.schloss-monaise.de