Karlsruhe Palace

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The city side of the Karlsruhe Palace with guard buildings

The Karlsruhe Palace was built from 1715 in the Baroque style as the residence of the Margrave Karl Wilhelm von Baden-Durlach . It served as the residential palace of the margraves and grand dukes of Baden until 1918 . Today the Badisches Landesmuseum and part of the Federal Constitutional Court are housed in the building.


Map of the Karlsruhe palace complex
The Chinese tea houses in the pheasant garden
The tower of Karlsruhe Palace

The builder of the original building was Jakob Friedrich von Batzendorf. The first building was partly made of wood and had to be completely renovated as early as 1746, with the wooden structure being replaced by a new stone building. The castle consisted of two floors and mansards in the attic, with long side wings adjoining the corps de logis . The seven-story tower (51 m high) north of the Corps de Logis was originally free and was only connected to the main building by open wooden galleries.

With the beginning of Karl Friedrich's reign in 1738, the palace was rebuilt by the former court junker Friedrich von Kesslau until 1770 according to plans by Balthasar Neumann , which were changed several times. The most noticeable external features of this conversion were the larger windows and doors as well as the two pavilions between the central wing and the side wings of the complex. In 1785, the castle tower was shortened by Wilhelm Jeremias Müller and received a domed roof .

In the course of the March Revolution , Grand Duke Leopold was temporarily expelled from the palace in 1849. The final end of the use of the castle as a family residence was sealed with the abdication of the last Baden monarch Friedrich II. In 1918. The building has served as the Baden State Museum since 1919 .

During the Second World War , Karlsruhe Castle burned down in September 1944 as a result of bombing raids. Between 1955 and 1966 it was rebuilt as a museum. Only the outer facade was faithfully restored. Modern exhibition areas were created inside. The palace facade was extensively renovated up to the city birthday of Karlsruhe in 2015.

The castle tower with its approximately 42 m high viewing platform can be climbed today as part of a visit to the Badisches Landesmuseum and offers a panoramic view over Karlsruhe to the Black Forest and the Palatinate Mountains. The story of the tulip girls, who enjoyed a somewhat dubious reputation, is presented in the hall under the viewing platform.


The castle had a number of representative rooms and others that were intended for the staff. For the time, the room arrangement was usually combined with suites . Important rooms were, for example, the marble hall and the garden hall in the tower wing. The throne of Baden was alternately in different rooms of the castle over time. The interior was decorated in the baroque style. Before the war, a number of photographs could be taken, mainly by the court photographer Wilhelm Kratt (1869–1949), which captured the original appearance.

The marble hall got its name because of the walls that were covered with stucco marble . The hall was located in the center of the castle and extended over two floors. There were other representative rooms on both sides of the hall. The hall was used for official occasions. There was a large painting by the court painter Joseph Melling on the ceiling . It showed the birth of Venus .

From 1719 to 1723 the castle church was built in the castle by court architect Johann Michael Ludwig Rohrer , which was completely destroyed in the Second World War.

After the destruction in the Second World War, the state administration decided against the faithful restoration of the interior. The new rooms were adapted to the museum. Parts of the inventory could be saved and are kept in the castle, such as the throne of Baden and the crown jewels. A reconstruction of the state rooms would theoretically be possible based on the photographic documentation, but has not yet been tackled.

Castle garden

The palace garden, located on the north side of the palace facing the Hardtwald , was laid out between 1731 and 1746 by Christian Thran in the French baroque style . In the 18th century, Grand Duke Karl Friedrich had parts of the park converted into an English landscape garden . On the occasion of the Federal Horticultural Show in 1967, it was renewed and further developed in the same style. In addition to numerous rare tree species, there are works of art, monuments and fountains from different epochs from the baroque to the modern. A band of 1645 blue majolica tiles has been leading from the castle tower to the majolica factory on the edge of the castle park since 2001 . In 1967 the Karlsruhe Palace Garden Railway was put into operation on the occasion of the Federal Garden Show . The Karlsruhe Botanical Garden is located on the western edge of the palace gardens . The Federal Constitutional Court is located between the botanical garden and the forecourt of the palace .

Panoramic view from Karlsruhe Castle


  • Josef Durm : On the building history of the Grossh. Residential palace in Karlsruhe . In: Ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the government ... of Grand Duke Friedrich von Baden . Braun, Karlsruhe 1892, pp. 1-27.
  • Emil Gutmann: The Grand Ducal Residence Palace in Karlsruhe (= magazine for the history of architecture , supplement 5). Winter, Heidelberg 1911 ( digitized version ).
  • Arthur Valdenaire: The Karlsruhe Castle . Müller, Karlsruhe 1931.
  • Rosemarie Stratmann-Döhler : Karlsruhe Palace and Gardens . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich / Berlin 2000, ISBN 978-3-422-03062-6 .
  • Karlsruhe Palace and Courtyard. Guide to the castle history section. Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe . Info-Verlag / Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe 2008, ISBN 978-3-937345-24-6 .

Web links

Commons : Karlsruhe Palace  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Karlsruhe: City History Look into History No. 95
  2. ka-news.de: Karlsruhe Palace: Four million euros for renovation
  3. Schlosssturm Karlsruhe on badische-seiten.de
  4. Schlossturm - The Margrave's Tulip Girls on the website of the Baden State Museum
  5. Karlsruhe Castle Ground Floor - Tower Wing Garden room view to the south  in the German Digital Library
  6. ^ Landesarchiv BW: Photographs
  7. ^ Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe: Palace and Courtyard
  8. ^ City of Karlsruhe: Schlossgarten , accessed on June 11, 2013

Coordinates: 49 ° 0 ′ 49 ″  N , 8 ° 24 ′ 16 ″  E