The only ecclesiastical residence on the upper rhine

Bruchsal Palace

The only ecclesiastical residence on the upper rhine

Bruchsal Palace

Bruchsal Palace (Schloss Bruchsal) is the only Prince-Bishop’s residence on the Upper Rhine. It is famous for its opulent staircase constructed by Balthasar Neumann – known as the “crown jewel of all Baroque staircases”.

Bruchsal Palace was constructed in 1720 as a residence for the Prince-Bishops of Speyer. The then Prince-Bishop, Damian Hugo von Schönborn, an avid art collector, played an important role in planning the complex. The three-wing palace is built of sandstone. The collection of exquisitely matched buildings, along with the carefully laid out garden, make up an extraordinarily beautiful ensemble.

It would be hard to imagine a more beautiful Rococo hall: the Marmorsaal (marble hall); Photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten, Christoph Hermann

It would be hard to imagine a more beautiful Rococo hall: the Marmorsaal (marble hall).

Stunningly Baroque

Visitors entering Bruchsal Palace’s cour d'honneur (three-sided grand courtyard) are greeted with a splendid and colourful sight. The buildings are lavishly painted, decorated with gold-plated stucco, and feature golden gargoyles in the shape of dragons. Construction of the famous staircase by Balthasar Neumann began in 1728. This stunning architectural masterpiece is unsurpassed in terms of its unique style and the poetry of its design. Franz Christoph von Hutten, who resided in the palace after Schönborn, made his mark by decorating the Fürstensaal (Prince’s hall), Marmorsaal (marble hall) and the exquisite Paradezimmer (grand rooms). 

An elegantly-winding staircase, constructed in Balthasar Neumann’s signature style; Photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten, Andrea Rachele

An elegantly-winding staircase, constructed in Balthasar Neumann’s signature style.

Painstakingly renovated

The palace complex was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. Fortunately, the structure of the staircase was mostly preserved. The palace complex’s reconstruction was one of Baden-Württemberg’s most impressive projects of this kind. Today, Bruchsal Palace is more than a breathtaking example of Baroque architecture – it is also the outstanding result of carefully-planned, highly historically accurate reconstruction work. After visiting the palace’s corps de logis (main part of the building), we recommend you pay a visit to the German Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments and the Bruchsal City Museum.