Note: There’s a second palaces in Rastatt: The Rastatt Favorite Palace – a.k.a. the porcelain palace. Follow the link if your looking for that. This post is about the Residential Palace.
Margrave and military commander Louis William of Baden-Baden wasn’t the luckiest of fellas: While he was busy protecting Europe from the Turks, his residence got burned down in 1689 by French troops during the Palatine war of succession. Needless to say, he needed a new residence, and therefore he had Rastatt Residental Palace build between 1700 and 1707.
Luis was a brilliant military commander. His victories over the Turkish troops rewarded him the name Türkenlouis (German for Turkish Louis). No surprise then, that it seems like he was was the kind of guy who held a grudge: See the golden statue on the roof? That’s Jupiter! It’s facing in the direction of Strasbourg (France) and is supposed to toss it’s lightnings over to the Frenchmen.
Anyway, in the end Louis couldn’t enjoy his palace for long, as he passed away in 1707 because of a war injury.
Construction of Rastatt Residential Palace costed ~12 million guilder. This equaled a purchasing power of about 264,6 million € (~22.05€ per guilder) in 2016, according to the International Institute of Social History! Needless to say, that there are some impressive rooms at the palace. Unfortunately you’re not allowed to take pictures in most of them. Fortunately the Ancestral Hall is an exception:
The palace houses a military history museum. It’s a must see if you’re interested in arms. There’s an extensive collection of swords and sabers on display as well as some other unusual pieces like, for example, this Prussian Dreyse Needle Revolver from around 1869:
After the Turkish Louis passed away in 1707, his widow Sibylla Augusta reigned Baden Baden on behalf of their five years old son. Three years later she had her own palace build: Rastatt Favorite Palace. Should you be close to Rastatt be sure to visit both places. Here’s my recommendation if you can visit only one of them:
Next month, we’re going to take a look at the castle at Sigmaringen.
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