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One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Luftansicht des Residenzschlosses Ludwigsburg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende
Impressive stability

The roofs

The roofs, with their contoured silhouettes and countless handmade plane tiles, also called beaver tail tiles, form the culmination of the majestic architecture that characterizes Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Their complex construction is an example of the mastery of Baroque carpentry.

New central building with mansard roofs at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

Mansard roofs offered additional living space.

Inspired by France

The shape of the Ludwigsburg roofs is based on the French mansard roof. The first verifiable example of this roof shape in Germany dates back to 1670 at Mannheim Palace. In contrast to the uniform gabled roof, its construction offers the advantage of a shorter ridge, for which considerably shorter beams could be used. This means that the necessary lumber was easier and cheaper to procure. Furthermore, additional living spaces for servants could be housed under the lower roof sections.

Pavilion attic in the old central building with clockwork from the monastery church at Zwiefalten. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg local administration

Attic with clockwork from the Zwiefalten monastery church.

A wooden case for a giant clockwork

The roof on the old central building is particularly impressive. In 1719, architect Frisoni placed a pavilion with a mansard roof on top of the building, of which the original roof was flat and had begun to leak. The interior houses a magnificent, intact former clockwork from the Baroque monastery church at Zwiefalten. In 1809, King Friedrich I ordered it brought to Ludwigsburg and installed in the palace.

Alter Hauptbau des Residenzschlosses Ludwigsburg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

A pavilion with a mansard roof crowns the old central building.

New central building at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

The palace roofscape.

Refined construction and a unique mechanical feature

The roofs construction over the marble hall at the center of the new central building is a masterful technical feat. The beams are cantilevered, which means that, across the entire considerable expanse, the roof rests only on the edges of the retaining wall, without any other supports. Moreover, the roof structure originally had to support the added weight of the Baroque stucco ceiling in the marble hall. And on top of that, the roof also follows the oval shape of the hall. Each element of the roof truss had to be planned separately.