Rococo - architectural style definition


Rococo is an architectural style that developed in Europe in the 18th century. Its name comes from the French word 'rocaille', meaning the ornate ornaments that were characteristic of this style.

Rococo was a turn-of-the-century style of Baroque and Classicism that was popular in Western Europe, particularly in France. It was characterised by lightness, elegance and subtlety of forms. Compared to the Baroque, Rococo was less pompous and opulent, but still retained many ornate elements.

Rococo buildings had distinctive, ornate facades topped with richly decorated cornices and attics. Rococo often used rich, compositional decorative stones such as marble, alabaster or granite, which added elegance and opulence to the buildings.

Rococo was also characterised by rich, elaborate ornamentation. Decorative elements such as sunflowers, floral motifs or mushrooms were often used. Rococo was also known for its finesse and delicacy, which was evident in the subtle, airy forms and lines that were used in architecture.

Other characteristic elements of the Rococo style were complex geometric compositions and asymmetrical forms. Rococo buildings were often spiral in shape, which added to their lightness and elegance. Rococo was also known for its use of pastel and light colours, which gave them subtlety and delicacy.


Precursors of Rococo

François de Cuvilliés - German architect who introduced Rococo elements into his designs in Bavaria.

Germain Boffrand - French architect who influenced the development of the Rococo style in France.


The most popular buildings in the Rococo style

Palace of Versailles (France) - One of the most important examples of the Rococo period, made famous by King Louis XV. The palace consists of numerous halls, huge gardens and fountains, as well as the famous Mirror Gallery.

Another significant Rococo building is the Vienna Hofburg, the imperial seat in Vienna. It was built between 1360 and 1913 and is a huge complex comprising a palace, church, museum and other public buildings. The Vienna Hofburg has been the imperial seat since 1365 and was the home of the Habsburg emperors. Today it is a museum that presents the history of the Habsburg Empire.

Residenz in Würzburg (Germany) - The Baroque bishop's palace in Würzburg, designed by Balthasar Neumann. It has beautiful frescoes and rich Rococo finishes.

Charlottenburg Palace (Germany) - A royal palace in Berlin, built in the Rococo style at the behest of King Frederick II the Great. It is known for its beautiful gardens and palace theatre.

Schönbrunn Palace (Austria) - A classicist-rococo palace in Vienna, built as the summer residence of the Habsburgs. It houses the famous Marble Hall and a beautiful garden.

Strasbourg Cathedral (France) - A Gothic cathedral that was rebuilt in Rococo style in the 18th century. It introduced decorative elements and finishes in this style.


These are just a few examples of the most famous buildings in the Rococo style. This period in architectural history was rich in many other masterpieces that influenced the appearance of cities and palaces in Europe.

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