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One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Aerial view of Ludwigsburg Residential Palace with some of the gardens. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende
A walk through three centuries of garden design

The garden

Lushly blooming flowerbeds, a superb collection of tress, romantic castle ruins and idyllic streams: The expansive parks surrounding Ludwigsburg Palace have retained a residential character despite changes.

View of the palace garden at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace in a painting in the knights' hall at Weikersheim Palace, circa 1710. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Planned based on a French model.

Baroque garden splendor

The garden would have become an impressive example of Italian garden design north of the Alps. Duke Eberhard Ludwig, the builder of Ludwigsburg Residential Palace, actually wanted to install a terraced garden with water features on the steep slope on the north side of the palace. But as the palace grew, his focus soon shifted to the south garden. Here, a symmetrical Baroque garden was established in the French style to complement to palace facade.

Friedrich garden at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Sylvia Thieme

View of the Friedrich garden.

Royal refuge

In 1798, Friedrich I, who would later become king, ordered the redesign of the long-neglected gardens. It had not been updated to modern tastes for a long time. The south garden was now simpler, with large spaces and a canal at its center, which is no longer present. He also commissioned two small gardens in the English style for himself and his wife, the English princess, Charlotte Mathilde. The Friedrich garden and the Mathilde garden, to the right and left of the new central building, were designed as private hideaways that could be accessed directly from either of their apartments.

The Emichsburg castle in the palace garden at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Marcus Bugbee

The Emichsburg castle is a fake castle ruins.

Dark grottoes, ruins and a playground

The Emichsburg castle and its high tower are like a holdover from the Middle Ages. This artificial ruins has risen out of a steep cliff east of the palace since 1802. The interior of the fake castle tower was home to an elegant room for court society. Friedrich I had an English landscape garden built all around the Emichsburg castle, with romantic and exotic areas. This included a playground with swings and a carousel for the enjoyment of royal guests. Today, the reconstructed historic playground is a special draw for children.

Of palace parks and fairytale gardens

After Ludwigsburg was no longer a residence, the palace park was converted into an orchard. In 1954, the creation of the Blooming Baroque, a permanent garden show and fairytale garden, revitalized the former royal gardens. The perfect combination of preserved historic original elements, careful reconstructions, and the inventory introduced in the post-war era, make the Ludwigsburg palace garden a favorite and worthwhile attraction.

View across the north garden, part of the Blooming Baroque at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger
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Vineyard in the upper palace garden at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Steffen Hauswirth

Impressions: the north garden and its Baroque-style borders; the gardener's house in the east landscape garden; the reconstructed vineyard in the upper palace garden.

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