View of the Marble Hall in Bruchsal Palace

Magnificent rooms in the palaceThe ceremonial halls

The three ceremonial halls in the representational bel étage of Bruchsal Palace are a Baroque and Rococo work of art. It was created between 1751 and 1754, during the reign of Prince-Bishop Franz Christoph von Hutten. The ceiling paintings in the halls honor the past, present, and future of the Bishopric of Speyer.

Domed Hall of Bruchsal Palace with the entrance to the Marble Hall

Famous artists from Würzburg shaped the ceremonial halls.

Artists from Würzburg

Several artists who previously worked in the famous Würzburg Residence contributed to Bruchsal Palace: The paintings were created by Johann and Januarius Zick, while the stucco is by Johann Michael Feichtmayr. The carvings by Ferdinand Hund, which once decorated the wall paneling of the apartments, sadly no longer exist. Since the refurnishing of the bel étage, however, some furniture by this important wood carver can be seen.

Bruchsal Palace, Painted ceiling in the domed hall

Painted ceiling in the domed hall.

History in the Domed Hall

A cycle of large ceiling paintings begins in the Domed Hall, at the end of the staircase. The cupola was designed by Johann Zick, with many scenes from the history of the Prince-Bishops of Speyer, beginning with Jesse, the first bishop, in the 4th century. Franz Christoph von Hutten and his predecessor, Damian Hugo von Schönborn, can be seen in the two primary scenes, presented as builders and patrons of art and architecture.

Bruchsal Palace, Door of the Royal Hall

Look inside the Royal Hall.

Tradition in the Royal Hall

The Royal Hall was one of the two ceremonial halls of the bel étage. As in ancestral portrait galleries of worldly rulers, Hutten and his prince-bishop predecessors are on display, beginning with Eberhard von Dienheim, whose rule began in 1581. The portraits refer to the tradition of rule by prince-bishop, which would only last 50 more years, ending with secularization in 1803. The ceiling fresco was intended to express the "flourishing present" of the Prince-Bishopric of Speyer in all its facets.

Detail from the Marble Hall of Bruchsal Palace

The finest Rococo in the Marble Hall.

Ceremonial centerpiece: the Marble Hall

Magnificent columns, delicate stucco, marble, and gold: In the palace's most ceremonial room, the Marble Hall, the Rococo style reaches a climax. The room gets its name from the combination of real stone and stucco marble. Countless gods and other figures populate the ceiling. Again and again, they seek to halt time: the prince-bishopric shall last forever, they seem to say. In the two frescoes, Johann Zick collaborated with his son Januarius, who later became an important fresco and canvas painter in his own right.

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