With sweeping views of Lake Constance, Tettnang New Palace (Neue Schloss Tettnang) rises majestically above the gently undulating landscape. Its forerunner, known today as the Altes Schloss, or Old Palace, was built in 1667 – but by the early 18th century, at the height of the Baroque period, it no longer reflected contemporary tastes.
A MONUMENT TO ARISTOCRATIC AMBITION
Count Anton III von Montfort ordered the construction of a newer, grander residence. This would occupy a prime position, formerly the site of Tettnang Castle, which had burnt to the ground. From 1712 onwards, the edifice gradually took shape: an immense, symmetrical four-wing complex, with square towers set diagonally on all four corners. The counts invested vast sums in this ambitious venture, which eventually brought them to the brink of ruin. In 1728, after fifteen years, the count was forced to abandon the project. In 1753, the palace burnt down to its reinforced ground floor walls.
Count Franz Xaver (1722–1780) commissioned the region’s best artists and craftsmen with the reconstruction and redesign of the interiors. Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer decorated the rooms with exquisite plasterwork; Joseph Johann Kauffmann contributed oil paintings of landscapes; and his even more famous daughter Angelika produced some of the family portraits.
Many of the opulent rooms – the counts’ private apartments, the palace chapel, Bacchussaal (Bacchus hall) and Fürstenzimmer (royal chamber) – reveal the highly personal tastes of the counts of Montfort, which included a sense of irony. The most charming and original creations are the Grünes Kabinett (green room) and Vagantenkabinett (vagabonds room), with its depictions of travelling craftsmen and entertainers. To this day, these splendid interiors give the New Palace its artistic significance.