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One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Besucher im Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert
An addition for festive occasions

Order house and

chapel

Construction began on the order building and its grand second-story hall in 1709. It and the new order chapel provided Duke Eberhard Ludwig additional staterooms for festivities, especially those of his hunting order. Not 100 years later, King Friedrich I used the converted order hall as a throne room.

Throne in the order hall at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Koch

King Friedrich I's throne in the order hall.

For festive occasions of all kinds

The order hall was the largest room in the palace before the final expansion that added the new central building. Duke Eberhard Ludwig used the space for the festivities of his newly founded Württemberg hunting order. Friedrich I, who rose to the rank of King of Württemberg in 1806, turned the order hall into his throne room for his summer stays at Ludwigsburg. The actual official throne room was located in the New Palace in Stuttgart. Today, the order hall is the only remaining preserved throne room in Württemberg!

The order hall at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, David Franck

View into the order hall, converted into the throne room.

Splendor no longer in fashion

Friedrich's rise in rank was occasion to completely renovate the order hall, starting in 1804. Under the supervision of court architect Nikolaus Friedrich Thouret, the outdated Baroque stucco on the walls was replaced by Classical pilasters. The ceiling painting by Pietro Scotti, on the other hand, was painted over. In 1939, it was possible to uncover this perspective architectural painting and the view of the realm of the gods.

View into the order chapel at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

A chapel for high nobility.

The order chapel

King Friedrich I elevated the prior ducal hunting order to the Order of the Golden Eagle. The architectural setting he wanted to create for the meetings of his Order of the Eagle is impressive. To do so, royal architect Thouret had to alter the former Protestant court chapel. The members of the illustrious order included Emperor Napoleon, the kings of Prussia and Bavaria, as well as high nobility. The circular rows of seating on which the knights of the order sat beneath their gilded shield have been preserved to this day.

Deckengemälde „Kreuzigung“ von Livio Retti in der Ordenskapelle des Residenzschlosses Ludwigsburg; Foto: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger
Deckengemälde „Christi Himmelfahrt“ von Livio Retti in der Ordenskapelle des Residenzschlosses Ludwigsburg; Foto: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger
Deckengemälde „Ausgießung des Heiligen Geistes“ von Livio Retti in der Ordenskapelle des Residenzschlosses Ludwigsburg; Foto: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger

Ceiling painting by Livio Retti in the order chapel, depicting scenes from the New Testament.

Medal of King Wilhelm I, created for the 1819 constitution. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger

The king used the hall.

An important place for Württemberg

Later, the order hall became the site of important political events. In 1819, the constitution for the Kingdom of Württemberg was proclaimed here and in 1919, 100 years later, almost to the day, the first democratic constitution was proclaimed on the same site. 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.

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