Ever since 1615, when the Bavarian aristocrat Lamoral von Taxis became the Holy Roman Empire’s hereditary postmaster general, his family has been living LARGE. The German clan’s behemoth country estate was captured by my old pal, photographer Todd Eberle, in the his book House of Thurn und Taxis. It is a jaw-dropping world of luxury, elegance and eccentricity where Baroque excess meets Jeff Koons sculptures. Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis says,
“Every generation leaves its trace, and mine is contemporary art.”
In the 1980s, the chatelaine’s punk coiffures and party-animal escapades prompted Vanity Fair to dub her “Princess TNT, the dynamite socialite,” but these days she is the very model of a modern matriarch. Eberle said of his time photographing the schloss…
“I found myself with keys to the castle, and made my way around on my own with a tripod and a couple of cameras. I actually lived in a real castle with a real princess while making the photographs for the book at the princess’s request. And sometimes her daughters would wear tiaras, family jewels, and their mother’s couture dresses, exactly as I imagined living a fairy tale would be.”
Among those 500 rooms, there are grand ballrooms and staircases, chambers and bowling alleys. But there are also some of the less expected spaces like a winding “staircase of love,” an art-filled bathroom and a door covered with Keith Haring drawings. As Eberle says,
“The schloss cannot be logically or fully described, in words, or even in photographs.”
Have a look and just imagine the 475+ rooms you are not seeing.
(Photos, Todd Eberle; via Vogue)