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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe

Rastatt Favorite Palace

Portrait of Margrave Ludwig Georg von Baden-Baden. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ina Friedrich
“Jägerlouis”

Ludwig Georg von Baden-Baden

Ludwig Georg von Baden-Baden (1702–1761) was heir to the throne, margrave, and above all a passionate hunter. The margrave, known as “Jägerlouis”, was married twice, but never produced an heir.

Pendant with a portrait of Ludwig Georg, circa 1712. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Pendant with a portrait of the seven-year-old Ludwig Georg, a memento from the pilgrimage.

Ludwig Georg: the long-awaited heir to the throne?

Ludwig Georg was born in Ettlingen in 1702. He was not yet the heir, as both of his older brothers were still alive. However, by 1709, both had died, meaning Ludwig Georg would one day assume rule of the margraviate. He was supposedly mute until his sixth birthday, not speaking until a pilgrimage to Einsiedeln. Out of gratitude, his mother donated the Einsiedeln chapel in her native Schlackenwerth, Bohemia. The chapel in Rastatt by the same name wasn't built until 1715/17.

Portrait of Margrave August Georg von Baden-Baden, 1724. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Ludwig Georg in 1724.

Did he fulfill his “duties”?

Naturally, the heir's duties consisted of doing everything in his power to preserve the dynasty. In 1721, he married Maria Anna von Schwarzenberg. In honor of her “repatriation” from Bohemia back to Baden, a week-long celebration was held at Rastatt Residential Palace and Favorite Palace. The couple had four children, but only the eldest, Elisabeth Auguste, survived. No heir in sight! In 1727, upon his coming of age, he assumed rule from his mother – and did a poor job of it.

What did he do at the Favorite Palace?

Ludwig Georg loved hunting in the forests around Favorite Palace. Historic reports reference his high kill rate. Not a difficult achievement on a “controlled hunt”, where animals were driven right in front of the prince's gun. For the purposes of celebratory meals that took place at Favorite Palace after such hunts, Ludwig Georg bought “showpieces” made of Strasbourg glazed earthenware: tureens shaped like animals or vegetables, placed on the table to give an impression of splendor.

Painting of a hunt, 1738, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Steffen Hauswirth

Painting depicting a hunt that took place at Favorite Palace in 1738.

Portrait of Maria Josepha von Bayern. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The second wife: Maria Josepha von Bayern.

Why did Ludwig Georg marry twice?

His wife died in 1755. In the same year, Ludwig Georg married again, this time wedding the emperor's daughter, Maria Josepha von Bayern. They shared a love of the hunt. Was this his last chance to secure an heir to the throne? Six years later, Ludwig Georg died without producing an heir. He was buried in the collegiate church in Baden-Baden. His brother, August Georg, continued ruling for another ten years. After his death, in 1771, the House of Baden-Baden died out and the margraviate passed to the Baden-Durlach line.