One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg, um 1920; Foto: Landesmedienzentrum für Baden-Württemberg, Otto Lossen
Citizens take over the palace

The end of the monarchy

On November 9, 1918, the republic was proclaimed, including in Baden and Württemberg. The monarchies abdicated and democracy began in Germany. At the same time, many former residences were turned into museums and places that henceforth belonged to the entire country.

The residence loses its function

By the 20th century, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace hadn't been an official residence for a long time. The king lived, worked and resided primarily in Stuttgart until his abdication on November 9, 1918. After that, Wilhelm II and his wife, Charlotte, lived at Bebenhausen Palace. At the time, two apartments at Ludwigsburg were still being used by members of the ruling family.

Princess Olga and Prince Maximilian with their children, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, credit unknown

Princess Olga and Prince Maximilian with their children.

A PRINCESS AS TENANT

After its founding, the new state of Württemberg decided that the members of the former royal house should vacate all rooms of state-owned buildings by April 1, 1919. Subsequently, Duke Ulrich moved out of the palace in January. Princess Olga, on the other hand, began leasing her rooms in the new central building from the Württemberg state financial administration in February. She lived in the residential palace as the last member of the royal House of Württemberg until her death in 1932.

THE ORDER HALL: A PLACE OF TRADITION

On January 12, 1919, the election of the regional constituent assembly took place in Stuttgart. It was the first substantial step in Württemberg's democratic transformation. The newly founded state now required its own constitution. On the night before its adoption, the order hall of Ludwigsburg Residential Palace was the setting for the official ceremony for the new constitution. The order hall was and is a place of tradition. Just one century before, in 1819, an important political event also took place in the hall: King Wilhelm I proclaimed the constitution for the Kingdom of Württemberg. The passage of the new constitution in 1919 was deliberately schedule to closely coincide with the anniversary of this event, in order to include the democratic constitution in Württemberg's historically progressive constitutional tradition.

Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg, Ordenssaal; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, David Franck

King Friedrich I's throne in the order hall.

A CENTURY OF PALACE STORIES

Many palaces had not been used by the old ruling families as residences or even government seats for 100 years. The transformation had started long ago: as museums or tourist attractions, as archives or administrative centers. With the end of the monarchy, this transformation became permanent. Only those palaces that were part of the former rulers' private estates remained in their possession. All other palaces became property of the state and many have remained worthwhile sites, managed by the State Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Württemberg.