The only ecclesiastical residence on the upper rhine

Bruchsal Palace

Magnificent halls in the palace

The ballrooms

The décor of the bel étage was completed between 1751 and 1754 under Prince-Bishop Franz Christoph von Hutten and is a complete work of art in the Rococo style. The hall’s ceiling frescoes glorify the past, present and future of the Speyer diocese.

Bruchsal Palace, Domed Hall; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Artists from Würzburg created stucco and paintings.

Artists from Würzburg

Artists who had previously worked at the famous Würzburg Residence were despatched to Bruchsal Palace: the frescoes were the work of Johann and Januarius Zick while the stucco is by Johann Michael Feichtmayr. The carvings by Ferdinand Hund – which once adorned panelling in the apartments – did not survive. However, following refurbishment of the bel étage, some of this important wood carver's pieces of furniture have been put on display.

Bruchsal Palace, ceiling painting in the Domed Hall; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

History is presented in a bright and colourful way.

Dome Hall displays history

In the Dome Hall, which marks the end of the staircase, the cycle of large ceiling frescoes begins. The dome was designed by Johann Zick using numerous scenes from the history of the Speyer Prince-Bishops – beginning with the first Bishop Jesse in the 4th century. Franz Christoph von Hutten and his predecessor Damian Hugo von Schönborn appear in the two main scenes, where they are depicted as developers and patrons of art and architecture.

Left: Architects and sculptors at work; right: Prince-Bishop Schönborn with the plan of the palace.

Bruchsal Palace, Princes' Hall; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Still Baroque: the Fürstensaal (Princes' Hall).

Tradition in the Fürstensaal (Princes' Hall)

The Fürstensaal (Princes' Hall) was one of the ballrooms in the bel étage. In common with the ancestral portrait galleries of secular princes, Hutten and his predecessors are considered to be Prince-Bishops – beginning with Eberhard von Dienheim who ruled from 1581. The portraits reflect the tradition of Prince-Bishop rule, which was to endure for only around another 50 years until secularization in 1803. The ceiling fresco was intended to depict the “prosperous age” of the Speyer prince bishopric in all its aspects.

Bruchsal Palace, Marble Hall; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Christoph Hermann

Rococo in its finest form.

A high point of splendour: the Marble Hall

Magnificent columns, delicate stucco, marble and gold – the Rococo style reaches its high point in the palace's hall of splendour, the Marble Hall. The hall takes its name from the interplay between real stone and stucco marble. Countless gods and other figures populate the ceiling. They are constantly trying to make time stand still: they are trying to say that the prince-bishopric should endure forever. Johann Zick worked on this fresco with his son Januarius, who would later become an important fresco and canvas painter in his own right.

other highlights of bruchsal palace