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The oldest ecclesiastical Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine

Bruchsal Palace

Cherub at the entrance to the garden side of Bruchsal Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende
Architecture of impressive beauty

The palace

and the garden

Bruchsal Palace is famous for its impressive staircase by Balthasar Neumann. Yet the former residence of the prince-bishops of Speyer had even more to offer: a festive Baroque ambiance, both inside the palace and in its surroundings.

Bruchsal Palace, Original sculptures in the gable by Wilhelm Glaser; Photo: Dr. Manfred Schneider, Nußloch, www.manfred-schneider.de

Bishop's staff and sword as insignia of power.

Bishops as builders

The prince-bishops of Speyer were not only spiritual rulers, but also rulers of state. Four of them built Bruchsal Palace in the 18th century, inhabited it, and made it the center of their rule for 80 years. The palace and its garden had to be representational: Spiritual rulers could not take second place to worldly rulers in such matters. Many of the wall and ceiling paintings have Christian themes.

North stairs in the staircase of Bruchsal Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Balthasar Neumann's ingenious staircase.

Famous: Schönborn and Neumann

A member of the Schönborn family selected Bruchsal as the site of his new residence: Damian Hugo von Schönborn, Prince-Bishop of Speyer. The important Baroque architect Balthasar Neumann was one of the architects who shaped the palace. Schönborn's successor, Franz Christoph von Hutten, had the interior decorated in the Rococo style in the 1750s. The ornate paintings and stucco were created by artists who, like Neumann, had previously worked on the famous Würzburg Residence.

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Neumann planned the staircase with an oval layout, as can be seen on the half plan of the palace.

Colorful, bright, and festive

In addition to the staterooms, the palace boasts two museums: the German Music Machine Museum, with its fascinating collection of self-playing instruments, and the Bruchsal City Museum. The palace and garden, many preserved outbuildings, and the museums make a visit to Bruchsal Palace an eventful and impressive experience. A walk through the complex is sure to inspire emotion, namely gaiety!

Aerial view of Bruchsal Palace with part of the garden. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

A festive ensemble: Bruchsal Palace and its garden.

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