A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe
Rastatt Favorite Palace
Schloss Favorite Rastatt, Skulptur im Gartensaal

A retreat for the margravineThe Baroquepleasure palace

Rastatt Favorite Palace was built as a pleasure palace for Margravine Sibylla Augusta von Baden-Baden. In the 18th century, many rulers had such a “maison de plaisance” built as a place for private celebrations. The architectural designs originated in France.

Jacques-François Blondel, um 1760

Blondel authored a book on pleasure palaces.

A charming destination

The courtly ceremony and the sovereign’s representational duties played a considerable role at the residence. The pleasure palace, on the other hand, offered a certain degree of freedom. It was where a sovereign could withdraw, away from his official residence. The courtly ceremony was relaxed and often only a select circle of guests were invited. A royal pleasure palace was not consistently occupied, but rather, was visited as destination outside the official residence. In the summer, small celebrations, dinners, concerts and hunts were hosted there.

Inspiration from France

Pleasure palaces are characterized by exceptionally lavish decor. Simultaneously, individual rooms are more comfortable and intimate. Like so much in the 18th century, the model for the elegant “maison de plaisance” originated in France. The treatise on architecture by French architect Jacques-François Blondel (1705–1774), an educational reference for French architecture, provided a blueprint. Blondel is considered one of France's most important architectural teachers, sharing his ideas at the École des Arts, an architectural school he founded. His students included, Philippe de La Guêpière, Pierre Michel d’Ixnard and Nicolas de Pigage, all of whom went on to significantly shaped the architectural landscape of southwest Germany.

Lustschloss Favorite
Image: Solitude Palace
Image: Ludwigsburg Favorite Palace

Pleasure palaces in southwest Germany: Favorite Palace in Rastatt, Solitude Palace near Stuttgart, and Favorite Palace in Ludwigsburg.

Image: Draft of the plan for Rastatt Favorite Palace

Plan for Favorite Palace by royal architect Johann Michael Ludwig Rohrer.

A pleasure palace in Rastatt

Favorite Palace was built between 1710 and 1730 by Johann Michael Ludwig Rohrer. Margravine Sibylla Augusta von Baden-Baden headed this project. Collaborating closely with her royal architect, she incorporated many of her own ideas. The palace consisted of more than just a garden hall for celebrations and apartments in the bel étage for her and her son, it was also important to the margravine that space, such as the hall of mirrors, be provided where she could display her precious collections.