The first Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine

Rastatt Residential Palace

View of the garden and fountain, Rastatt Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
FROM BAROQUE TO PRESENT DAY

THE GARDEN

Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden planned a pleasure garden of the kind popular in France, to be built behind the palace. However, implementation progressed slowly. Today, the garden has a modern design that echoes the Baroque.

Design for the Rastatt palace garden, pen drawing, 18th century. Image: Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

Palace garden design, 18th century.

THE BAROQUE GARDEN

The earliest design for the palace garden, dating back to 1705, was divided into square sections corresponding to the square layout of the town. The detailed plan was based on the French Baroque gardens. Implementation of the garden failed early on. New plans were drafted under Margrave Ludwig Georg but were only partially realized. The greenhouses and orangeries, however, contained extensive collections, numbering 380 citrus trees and more than 200 pineapple plants in 1772.

State of the garden in 1798.

THE PALACE GARDEN AFTER 1771

After Karl Friedrich von Baden-Durlach inherited the Margraviate of Baden-Baden in 1771, he had a new garden laid out. The plan, by royal gardener Joseph Enslen, was based on the earlier designs. Due to high maintenance costs, however, the garden was abandoned again in 1783, placed at the royal gardener's disposal and finally leased out. After construction of the confederate fortress in the 1840s, the area served as a parade ground.

MAX LAEUGER'S PUBLIC GARDEN

Between 1920 and 1926, the established sculptor and senior government building officer, Max Laeuger (1864–1954), dedicated himself to the Rastatt garden. He created a public "garden of the people" on several levels, shaped by geometric lawns, hedgerows and flowerbeds. At the end of the garden, a tall obelisk stood as a memorial to fallen soldiers of World War I until the 1980s.

Aerial view of the palace garden, Rastatt Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

The palace garden's symmetry is clearly visible from the air.

THE PALACE GARDEN TODAY

Today's garden was designed in the 1980s by Swedish landscape architect Gunnar Martinsson. Martinsson, then a professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, incorporated elements of the Baroque garden and the public garden. The park is symmetrically subdivided and basins, hedgerows and pergola arcades are reminiscent of the Baroque period. The park is bounded by chestnut trees, as it was 300 years ago.

Pergola arcade in the palace garden, Rastatt Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff
View of the palace from the pergola arcade, Rastatt Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

Idyllic pergola arcades invite visitors to take a stroll.

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