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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe

Rastatt Favorite Palace

Ceiling in the hall of mirrors, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown
One of the most luxurious rooms in the palace

The hall of mirrors

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the most beautiful cabinet of them all? With the hall of mirrors and the Florentine cabinet, the pleasure palace of the Margravine of Baden-Baden is certainly one of the largest Favorite palaces.

Hall of mirrors, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Martine Beck-Coppola

Valuable mirrors in the hall of mirrors.

Why mirrors?

Why create an entire room full of mirrors? Cabinets were used for intimate conversations and were usually lavishly decorated. From the early 18th century, individual mirrors were installed in porcelain cabinets, such as the one at the Rastatt Residential Palace. They served to visually magnify valuable ceramics collections. Flickering candlelight would produce particularly impressive effects. Over time, the hall of mirrors became a specific type of room.

Hall of mirrors, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The hall of mirrors.

Sibylla Augusta's cabinet

The hall of mirrors, completed in 1725, is the glimmering height of Sibylla Augusta's apartment. What sets it apart is that many of the variously sized mirrors are assembled to create concave or convex elements, meaning they literally protrude from the walls. Two Venetian mirrors with polished glass frames are also part of the decor. Even the ceiling is decorated with reflective surfaces that mirror the motifs on the valuable stucco marble floor.

Costume portrait in the hall of mirrors, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Steffen Hauswirth

Costume portrait in the hall of mirrors.

The hall of mirrors decor

The small wall consoles were and continue to be used to display blue and white porcelain. The idea to integrate small costume portraits in the cabinet was unusual, and typical Sibylla Augusta. They depict herself, her husband, and a prince in a wide variety of costumes. The pictures are an example of the masquerades that were so popular in the 18th century and which also took place at the Rastatt court. The portraits on display in the cabinet today are replicas; the originals are now located on the third floor.

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Rose motif Chinese porcelain in the hall of mirrors.

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