Schwetzingen Castle dates back to the 14th century, when the von Schomberg family provided the then moated castle to Count Palatine Ruprecht. In the following centuries, the area around the castle was expanded and served as a hunting resort for the Palatine court.
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Water castle, hunting lodge and love nest
A knightly moated castle in Schwetzingen was first mentioned in the 14th century. It consisted of a small walled enclosure with a keep on an island in the Leimbach. Elector Ludwig V converted the fortress 200 years later into a hunting lodge where magnificent hunting parties were held. During the Thirty Years' War, however, the castle was severely destroyed. From 1655, Elector Carl Ludwig had it rebuilt and magnificently furnished for his mistress and second wife Luise von Degenfeld.
A total work of art is created
Only 35 years later - during the Palatinate War of Succession - the palace was destroyed again. Elector Johann Wilhelm not only ordered the reconstruction, but also an extension. The palace now presented itself as a small three-winged complex with a courtyard of honor. Elector Carl Philipp devoted himself to the design of a palace garden in the first half of the 18th century. His successor Carl Theodor ultimately created the fascinating Gesamtkunstwerk Schwetzingen, which still exists today.
Country palace in slumber
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Electoral Palatinate fell to Margrave Carl Friedrich of Baden. The former electoral summer residence Schwetzingen now became the Baden branch palace. Although the Badeners only used the palace for occasional stays, Grand Duchess Stephanie had her living quarters furnished with some new furniture. From 1840, it served as grand ducal guest quarters, and from 1860 as an institution for the blind, a military hospital and a tax office. Extensive renovation work counteracted the deterioration of the building fabric.
True to original refurbishment
In the 1920s, a museum was set up in the castle rooms to commemorate Carl Theodor's time. Although there was no destruction during the Second World War, numerous pieces of furnishings were lost due to the occupation of Allied troops. The 1991 refurnishing was based on the inventory books of 1775 and 1804. Today, guided tours of the palace show the electoral apartments, parlor rooms and the enchanting Hochberg apartment.
Note: The castle can only be visited as part of a guided tour.