Bruchsal Palace, aerial view

Citizens take over the palaceThe end of the monarchy

On November 9, 1918, the republic was proclaimed, including in Baden and Württemberg. The monarchies abdicated and democracy began in Germany. At the same time, many residential palaces such as Bruchsal Palace were turned into museums and public spaces.


Bruchsal Palace, built as a prince-bishop's residence in the 18th century, was used by the Grand Dukes of Baden in the 19th century. Margravine Amalie von Baden was the last royal inhabitant. After her death in 1832, the ducal family only occasionally visited the palace. The Baroque complex was primarily used by officials and the military. The November Revolution of 1918, which was relatively bloodless in Baden, was also uneventful at Bruchsal Palace. Baden's ruler, Grand Duke Friedrich II, abdicated on November 22, 1918, opening the path for Baden to become a republic.

Schloss Bruchsal, Historische Aufnahme Rotes Zimmer

This historical photograph shows how the Red Room was furnished at the time.


There's something special about Bruchsal: The historical and art historical value of the palace was recognized quite early, at the end of the 19th century, and the first renovations began then. In the 1920s, a permanent exhibition of the bel étage and its treasures was opened to the public. Bruchsal Palace was thus the first monument that became a destination for visitors in the sense of modern palace administration, and it remains one to this day.


Many palaces had not been used by the old ruling families as residences or even government seats for 100 years. The transformation had started long ago: as museums or tourist attractions, as archives or administrative centers. With the end of the monarchy, this transformation became permanent. Only those palaces that were part of the former rulers' private estates remained in their possession. All other palaces became property of the state and many have remained worthwhile sites, managed by the State Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Württemberg.