Gala and representative carriages

Berlina is a carriage which at the end of the seventeenth and early eighteenth century replaced Kareta model used at royal courts since the Middle Ages. With two or five windows, initially with a reach but from the second quarter of the nineteenth century, with the widespread use of elliptic leaf spring, without a reach.

The gala or semi-gala version of the Berlina model is in the first instance characterised by a shabrack, very expensive part of the upholstery, metal decorative elements around the entire roof (semi-gala version) and in the case of coronation carriages - a crown on entire roof plus additional decorative element at the centre of the roof (gala version).


Importance of this element may be emphasised by the fact that the Bavarian King Ludwig II had designed this element for his own wedding carriage on his own. The carriage is displayed in Marstallmuseum at Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, even though the wedding never happened. The King, at his fairly young age (41 years old), committed suicide by drowning in Lake Starnberg located 25 km south west of Munich.

Berlina-Coupe is a cut-off version of the Berlina carriage. It is a closed box carriage (box seat). The most popular carriage used in colder seasons, with luxurious upholstery inside, in most cases.  It was used to travel to the opera which was much more popular in the nineteenth century than nowadays. Opera was a place where the real social life took place, new acquaintances were made, adolescent offspring, especially female one, and the latest fashions were presented, etc. A good example may be scenes from The Promised Land directed by Andrzej Wajda showing the Polish city of Łódź in the nineteenth century. It was also a favourite carriage of so-called ladies of pleasure due to its roller shutters preventing curious people from peering inside, among other things. Damask was a popular material used for upholstery production. For simplicity, the name was shortened from Berlina-Coupe to Coupe. The two-seat version known in nineteenth century England as Brougham and Clarence equipped with a small bench and semi-circular front.

Dormesse or Coupe with the possibility of overnight travelling in the supine position and an interior lit with special lamp fixed to the rear wall of the carriage.

5. Phaeton Spacerowy

6. Gala Coupe

7. Gala Coupe

8. Gala Berlina

10. Gala Berline