The first Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine

Rastatt Residential Palace

Front of Rastatt Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Sandra Eberle
RESIDENCE OF THE MARGRAVES OF BADEN-BADEN

THE PALACE AND GARDEN

Rastatt Palace, the palace of the "Türkenlouis," is the earliest Baroque residence along the Upper Rhine. In the construction of the three-winged palace and the design of the garden as well as the residential town itself, Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm and Margravine Sibylla Augusta used the palaces in Versailles and Vienna as their inspiration.

Detail view of golden Jupiter, Rastatt Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Sandra Eberle

Golden Jupiter crowns the roof.

THE COMPLEX

The stately palace lies slightly above the town. High atop the roof shines golden Jupiter, colloquially called the "golden man." It symbolizes the palace's builder, Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden, who ruled between 1677 and 1707. In 1700, he was the first prince on the Upper Rhine to decide to build a modern residence, in place of the previously started hunting lodge. 

Portrait of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden, copy of Stampart, 1744. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

Portrait of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm.

THE GLORIFICATION OF LUDWIG WILHELM

The palace is one of the earliest German examples of the imitation of the system at Versailles. The glorification of the sovereign through architecture, paintings and stucco is especially distinct here. The margrave flaunted his military service within the palace—as an imperial general, he had been successful in the Great Turkish War, which is where he received his nickname "Türkenlouis." In 1705, the family took up residence in one wing of the palace, but the margrave could not enjoy his new home for long.

Portrait of Margravine Sibylla Augusta von Baden-Baden. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Margravine Sibylla Augusta von Baden-Baden.

SIBYLLA AUGUSTA AS REGENT

Ludwig Wilhelm died in January of 1707. His wife, Sibylla Augusta, took over as regent for twenty years while her son, Ludwig Georg, was still under age. Sibylla Augusta completed the palace interior and expanded the residence with additional buildings. Her Favorite Palace, a summer palace, which is located only a few kilometers from the Residential Palace, speaks to her love of art. Both palaces remained intact through World War II.

VISITING THE RESIDENTIAL PALACE

The state and private apartments and their impressive decor are accessible to visitors as part of a tour. Luminous frescoes by Italian artists, tapestries, furniture and the stories of the palace's inhabitants still bring the Baroque period to life today. The Military History Museum and the Memorial to Freedom Movements in German History are housed in the wings.

Visitors on the staircase, Rastatt Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert

The staircase contains original stucco.

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