Ludwigsburg Residential Palace
One of the largest baroque buildings in Germany to survive in its original condition, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace, near Stuttgart, was built between 1704 and 1733 by Duke Eberhard Ludwig as a refuge for himself & his mistress, Wilhelmine von Grävenitz. His cousin Carl Alexander, who succeeded him as the next Duke of Württemberg, cared more for the military than for architecture, but Carl Eugen, who took over the duchy after his father died, completed the still-unfinished interior of the palace, adding playful rococo elements to the lavish baroque style. In the early 19th century, a new splendour took hold of Ludwigsburg, a royal palace by that time, when King Friedrich I, Carl Eugen’s nephew, had many rooms luxuriously updated in neoclassicist style.
The building comprises four wings arranged in a rectangle around a central courtyard. In the north wing, the palace’s oldest part, the elaborately decorated small marble hall is considered a highlight of baroque interior design. The south wing houses Carl Eugen’s apartment and, adjacent to the elegant neoclassicist marble hall, on its west & east sides, the apartments of King Friedrich & Queen Charlotte, which both exude a dignified noblesse. Other highlights are the imposing 80-m-long ancestral portrait gallery, the chapel, unusually opulent for a Protestant church, and the theatre in the east wing, which dates from 1758. In season, one-hour guided tours in German leave every half hour; there are English tours at 1¼ p.m. and 3¼ p.m. Of further interest are the ceramics museum & the fashion museum.schloss-ludwigsburg.de