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The oldest ecclesiastical Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine

Bruchsal Palace

Nordwestecke des Roten Zimmers in Schloss Bruchsal, historische Fotografie vor der Zerstörung; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Inhabitant wanted

The abandoned palace

After the death of the late royal inhabitant of the palace in 1832, the fate of Bruchsal Palace remained uncertain for a long time. The state of Baden searched for new ways to use it for a long time: Could it be apartments for future teachers or for a French nobleman?

Bruchsal Palace, Facade Paiting at the Orangery; Image: Dr. Manfred Schneider, Nußloch, www.manfred-schneider.de

Sensitive surface: the facade painting at the Orangery.

Foreign uses

"Not found in any travel guide, the palace lies unknown and unvisited in a small city...," was written about Bruchsal Palace in a photo map from 1871. After the death of Margravine Amalie von Baden, the palace has rarely used for royal purposes instead being used as offices and military headquarters. The plaster of on the facades crumbled. The importance of the palace as a significant monument to architecture and art was slowly recognized.

View through the door of the bedroom in the Watteau Cabinet in Bruchsal Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

View through the door into the Watteau cabinet.

Toilets in the cabinet

In 1869, Baden's minister of the interior wanted to move the Catholic teacher's academy in Ettlingen to Bruchsal Palace. Extensive renovations were planned: interior walls added in the great hall to create apartments, toilets installed in the prince-bishop's palace church and in the Watteau Cabinet, a room with red paneling and paintings in the style of the artist Antoine Watteau. At some point, the plans were thrown out—luckily, from today's point of view.

Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Georg Maria Eckert

Exterior view of the palace around 1870.

An enthusiast wants to buy the palace

In 1880, the government of Baden received a letter: The Würtzburg court jeweler of the Landgrave of Hessen wrote on behalf of Vicomte de Montmort. The wealthy nobleman from Paris wanted to buy, renovate, and permanently live in Bruchsal Palace. If necessary, he would have been satisfied with just the most magnificent part: the central building with the courtyard and garden. He would have liked to purchase at least some furniture, mirrors, or tapestries to create a building in the style of Bruchsal Palace. After some discussion, the request was declined.

Spiegelrahmen aus dem Jagdzimmer, um 1870; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Konsoltisch aus dem Musikzimmer, um 1870; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Goldrahmen der Wandfüllung aus dem Gelben Zimmer, um 1870; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Georg Maria Eckert

A Frenchman wanted to purchase furniture, mirrors, and tapestries from Bruchsal Palace in the 19th century.