One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Venezianische Maske beim Karneval in Venedig; Foto: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Omar Balliali
Colorful masquerading and luxurious fair

The Venetian Fair

Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg traveled to Italy four times. He was particularly taken with the lagoon city, Venice, with its imposing piazzas and lavish noble palaces. He brought Venetian flair to his residential city of Ludwigsburg with a "St. Marcus Fair."

Couple made of Ludwigsburg porcelain, ceramics museum at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Landesmuseum Württemberg

"Venetian Fair" couple made of Ludwigsburg porcelain.

A royal souvenir

In 1767, Carl Eugen stayed in Venice for almost half a year, far removed from his duties as a sovereign. With a retinue of 129 people, he enjoyed the famed carnival and Ascension Day regatta. Back in Württemberg he initiated the Venetian Fair, which took place for the first time in January of 1768 in the Ludwigsburg marketplace. The spectacle took place annually until the dukes death in 1793.

Delicatessen boutique made of Ludwigsburg porcelain, ceramics museum at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Landesmuseum Württemberg

Delicatessen boutique at the "Venetian Fair" made of Ludwigsburg porcelain.

Baroque shindig

During the Venetian Fair, all visitors were ordered by the duke to appear"en masque". Merchants in wooden stalls presented a fine selection: fabrics, masques, delicacies and even artwork. What the marketplace, the merchants and the visitors looked like can still be experienced today. The Ludwigsburg porcelain factory created a "Venetian Fair" in miniature. This sculptural art from the time of Duke Carl Eugen is on display in the ceramics museum.

Figurengruppe aus der „Venezianischen Messe“, Ludwigsburger Porzellan, Keramikmuseum im Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg; Foto: Landesmuseum Württemberg

Figures from the Italian "commedia dell'arte" on display; they belong to the "Venetian Fair" collection of Ludwigsburg porcelain.

TIPP

The love that Württemberg's rulers had for Italy is evident at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. On tours, visitors can discover many precious souvenirs, such as Venetian chandeliers, Florentine stone mosaics or two pictures gifted to Duke Carl Eugen by the pope.