The only ecclesiastical residence on the upper rhine

Bruchsal Palace

Bruchsal Palace, ceiling fresco in the Domed Hall; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, copyright unknown
Power and fame in sight

The ceiling fresco

It majestically and self-assuredly crowns the door to the Marble Hall. Prince-Bishop Franz Christoph von Hutten, who ruled from 1743 to 1770, is depicted in the frescos in the Dome Hall surrounded by some of the buildings he commissioned in Bruchsal.

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

Prince-Bishop Schönborn commissioned construction of the palace.

Buildings of prestige

It was not just the Residential Palace that the Prince-Bishops built, they were also responsible for countless other buildings in the city. Baroque rulers were all too keen to emphasize their commitment to construction since buildings were part of their royal prestige. The ceiling frescos often served as a platform for self-expression of this nature – and it was no different in Bruchsal. The fresco in the Dome Hall was created by Johann Zick in 1752.

Bruchsal Palace, detail of the ceiling fresco in the Domed Hall; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Prince-Bishop Hutten commissioned the constructions and was a patron of the arts.

Commissioners of buildings on the ceiling

The two building commissioners are depicted above the doors to the ballrooms: Damian Hugo von Schönborn is at the entrance to the Princes' Hall and Franz Christoph von Hutten can be seen in the Marble Hall. He is seated on his throne with his arms open wide pointing to all that he has created in Bruchsal – represented by male figures of different ages holding the construction plans and drawings in their hands. The women on the left embody painting and sculpting. One of them is carving Hutten's weapon in stone.

Bruchsal Palace, detail of the ceiling fresco in the Domed Hall; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Two master builders with architectonic plans.

The Prince-Bishop as master builder

On Hutten's left, a young man is holding a drawing of the palace. Hutten had added protruding balconies to Schönborn's construction, to which this illustration alludes. These men could well be the construction managers – in which case the young man would be the court architect Johann Leonhard Stahl. Below him is an older gentleman – perhaps his father Johann Georg Stahl – with the plan of the barracks which Hutten built between 1750 and 1753.

Bruchsal Palace, detail of the ceiling fresco in the Domed Hall; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Salt works and moated castle depicted in the ceiling fresco.

Salt works and water reservoir

To the right of the bishop, a cherub completes a view of the salt works. The woman holding the small flag is a reference to the Bruchsal salt springs: she shows the sign that alchemists, forerunners to chemists, used for salt. The naked river god on the bottom right next to the waterfall depicts the moated castle which was completed in 1748 on the Steinsberg above a newly sited water reservoir. Its remains today form part of the Schönborn high school. A nearby hunting lodge that was built later is the Belvedere of today.

other highlights of bruchsal palace