Around 1710, Prince Abbot von Dalberg of Fulda commissioned a modest country retreat to be built outside the gates of Fulda. It still forms the heart of the complex between two high, onion domed towers. In 1739, Dalberg's successor, the future Prince Bishop of Fulda Amand von Buseck, commissioned master builder Andrew Gallasini to extend the building to its current dimensions, and made it his official summer residence.
Two elongated wings flank a completely enclosed courtyard and a three-sided Cour d'honneur. Lodges, gated enclosures, and also guard houses and estate outbuildings in front of the main building indicate that the highest ranking family in the land resided in this palace complex.
When Prussia annexed the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel in 1866, the Hesse dynasty also lost all claim to Schlosses Fasanerie. However, in 1878, after drawn-out negotiations with the Prussian monarchy, the palace was returned to Landgrave Frederick William, the rightful heir of the title, as his private property together with the Prince Bishop's palace in Fulda. It served the landgrave and his wife as a summer residence for many years. After Frederick William's death in 1884, his widow Anna continued to make extensive use of the palace during the summer months until she passed away in 1918. She became the only woman to be buried in Fulda Cathedral.
After the Second World War, during which the palace had been heavily damaged, Landgrave Philipp of Hesse began to restore the palace complex to its former glory. As early as 1951, the first exhibition rooms of what was to become the museum opened to the public. The museum was finished in 1972, and is now considered one of the most important of its kind in Germany.