The first Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine

Rastatt Residential Palace

View of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm's audience chamber. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Steffen Hauswirth
CLASSIC DESIGN

THE MARGRAVE'S APARTMENT

The margrave's and margravine's state and private apartments stretch out on either side of the ancestral hall. Their layout and design corresponds to an ideal from that period. Representation and courtly rules are particularly visible here.

Antechamber to the margrave's apartment, Rastatt Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The margrave’s antechamber.

LAYOUT OF THE STATE APARTMENTS

The antechambers were waiting rooms for guests, supplicants and attendants, but could also be used for dining. The audience rooms are where state business was conducted and where individuals seeking an audience were received. Only high-ranking guests and members of the family were allowed as far as the state bedroom, which constituted a marked difference to the Palace of Versailles, where the Sun King's bedroom was open to the public. The splendor of the decor increases from room to room, all the way to the small cabinet for only the most private conversations.

"Transporting Fascines," scene from the Art of War series, wool and silk tapestry, Brussels, circa 1700. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

"Transporting Fascines" from the Art of War series.

TAPESTRIES DEPICTING THE ART OF WAR

Four large tapestries from the Art of War series by the van der Borght factory in Brussels are on display in the margrave's antechamber and audience room. Such tapestries were expensive, but also exceptionally representative. They served to glorify Ludwig Wilhelm as a war hero. The first scene depicts the "Transporting Fascines," brushwood bundles used for building paths across rough terrain or strengthening earthen structures. But scenes of marching into battle, ambush and siege of a village are also depicted.

Bedroom and porcelain cabinet. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Steffen Hauswirth

The state bed was not used for sleep.

BEDROOM AND PORCELAIN CABINET

The alcove in the bedroom presents the state bed as if under a triumphal arch. It serves a purely representative function. Adjacent to this room lies the porcelain cabinet, the small but beautiful highlight of the margrave's apartments. The wall consoles display porcelain in all shapes and sizes. Mirrors multiply the splendor further. This room also warrants a look both up, at a ceiling covered in lavish floral decor, and down, at the inlayed parquet.

Detail of the wood paneling in the writing cabinet. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

Wood paneling in the writing cabinet.

THE WRITING CABINET AND THE TREATY OF RASTATT

The writing cabinet is located in the private apartments. This is where Marshal Villars and Prince Eugen, as an Austrian representative, are said to have signed the Treaty of Rastatt in March of 1714. The treaty ended the War of the Spanish Succession that had started in 1701. This peace meant stability for the Margraviate of Baden-Baden, which was expressed in Sibylla Augusta's continued expansion of the residence.

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