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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe

Rastatt Favorite Palace

Delft-style tiles in the sala terrena, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele
Delft-style glazed earthenware tiles

The sala terrena

A sala terrena, or garden hall, is included in almost every Baroque palace, but the one at Rastatt Favorite Palace has an usual shape: part grotto hall, part ceremonial hall. This is why the octagonal hall's optics change visibly from bottom to top.

Sala terrena, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Tiled walls in the Delft fashion.

A hall spanning several stories

On the ground floor, alcoves, water basins and the cool blue and white tiles are reminiscent of a grotto, while the warm stucco marble and the mythological ceiling paintings on the top floor highlight the ceremonial hall. The walls are covered in blue and white tiles, which are repeated throughout the entire palace. The simple, lovingly painted animal and landscape motifs were created to imitate the famous Delft glazed earthenware. These Dutch ceramics copied the popular blue and white porcelain imported from China, which could not be produced in Europe until 1710.

Water basin niche in the sala terrena, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

Niche for a water basin with a personification of fall.

The figures in the sala terrena

The crescent alcoves house large sculptures. Caritas (charity) and Justice face each other, virtues that were of great importance to the pious Catholic sovereign Sibylla Augusta. The other female figures, accompanied by cherubs, symbolize the four seasons, as well as daytimes and temperaments. They were once part of an indoor fountain designed to cool the palace in the summer months.

Visitors in the sala terrena, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert

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