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The oldest ecclesiastical Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine

Bruchsal Palace

Stuckbild im Kammermusiksaal von Schloss Bruchsal; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele
A festive room in the side wing

The Chamber Music Hall

In delicate yellow, the Chamber Music Hall appears bright, friendly, and elegant. It was designed at the end of the 18th century in the style of early Classicism, making it unique in the palace. The hall is in the chamber wing, which gets its name from the financial administration, or "chamber."

Chamber Music Hall in Bruchsal Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Stucco in white and gold: the Chamber Music Hall.

Elegant early Classicism

An abundance of filigreed flat stucco decorations cover the walls and ceiling: playful, yet symmetrical ornamentation separated into strongly articulated fields. The garlands, twining leaves, and rosettes are reminiscent of the art of antiquity. After the Rococo period, this transitional style introduced Classicism in France beginning around 1760. This phase is named for Louis XVI, who was the King of France at the time: thus, the Louis Seize.

Modernizations

The function of this room is clearly shown in the stucco decorations: Musical instruments are included in the hanging garlands. Even in the time of Prince-Bishop Schönborn, there was a music room here, though it was then two stories tall and surrounded by galleries. The ceiling painting honors the prince-bishop as a patron of architecture and the arts. Damian August von Limburg-Stirum, whose rule began in 1770, had a suspended ceiling added in 1776 and had the room redecorated by stuccoist Joachim Günther.

Kammermusiksaal von Schloss Bruchsal; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Playful, yet strongly articulated, the decoration in the Chamber Music Hall is in the early Classical Louis Seize style.

Stucco decoration in the Chamber Music Hall in Bruchsal Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Garlands with wind instruments.

Music at court

In the beginning, there were primarily lay musicians at the court of Bruchsal. Under Prince-Bishop Hutten and Prince-Bishop Limburg-Stirum, many professional musicians were added, and the orchestra grew to approximately 50 people, including singers. Particularly Limburg-Stirum supported music at court. The modernization of the Chamber Music Hall was therefore his most important construction project in Bruchsal Palace, as he was otherwise rather thrifty.

Chamber Music Hall with grand piano and seat in Bruchsal Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The Chamber Music Hall can be rented.

The hall after reconstruction

After the palace was destroyed in World War II, the Chamber Music Hall—restored in 1955—was the first major room in Bruchsal Palace to be restored. Though the ornamentation was originally gilded, this was unfortunately not possible to replicate, for reasons of cost. The room still continues to fulfill its function today. Kulturring Bruchsal regularly hosts the Bruchsal Palace concerts here, a highly respected international chamber music series.

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