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One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Eagle on the courtyard fountain at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende
A Baroque residence with an eventful history

Milestones

In the early 18th century, Duke Eberhard Ludwig had a spacious and representative palace built, along with a new residential city. Ludwigsburg Residential Palace became a showplace for great events, including the proclamation of the country's first democratic constitution in 1919.

Portrait of Duke Eberhard Ludwig. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg local administration

Versailles was his inspiration.

Living like the Sun King

Building was a passion shared by many Absolutist rulers. A representative palace, an expansive garden, establishing an entire city, all of these were prominent demonstrations of royal power. Shortly after the margraves of Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach began building their new, Versailles-inspired residential palaces in Rastatt and Karlsruhe, the Duke of Württemberg laid the foundation for his palace.

Portrait of Duke Carl Eugen, circa 1760. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger

Duke Carl Eugen moved from Stuttgart to Ludwigsburg.

From hunting lodge to residential palace

In 1718, the duke and his entire retinue moved into the new palace in Ludwigsburg. The palace and city of Ludwigsburg became his residence and thus the state capital. His successor moved back to the old residential city, Stuttgart. Between 1765 and 1775, Duke Carl Eugen once again made use of the giant palace in Ludwigsburg as his residence. Ostentatious celebrations and fireworks, magnificent ballet and opera performances, made the court shine. Ludwigsburg was known across Europe.

Writing room in King Friedrich I's apartment in the new central building, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger

King Friedrich I had his apartment decorated in the Classical style.

A royal summer residence

A new splendor took hold of Ludwigsburg Residential Palace when Duke Friedrich II, who would become Württemberg's first king, turned it into his summer residence. Starting in 1797, he lived there with his wife, Charlotte Mathilde, over the summer months. The royal couple had many rooms luxuriously updated. Ludwigsburg was intended to be a royal palace. It was a demonstration of the power-conscious King Friedrich's new status and the new greatness of Württemberg.

Baroque experience as a tourist attraction

In 1919, the palace fell under public administration. Administrative offices moved into the rooms in which the members of the court had lived. However, members of the royal family still lived there as well. Except for minor damages, the palace complex weathered all wars without destruction. After the 1950s, the residence became a tourist attraction, thanks in part to the "Blooming Baroque" exhibit and the Ludwigsburg Palace Festival. Today, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace is a place of happy memories for many of Baden-Württemberg's residents.

Garden facade of the new central building, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

The new central building's garden facade.

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