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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe
Rastatt Favorite Palace
Aerial view of Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

Baroque apartments at their bestThe structure

Rastatt Favorite Palace and garden were places for celebrating and hunting. Margravine Sibylla Augusta and her son, Ludwig Georg, came here to recuperate. The decor disguises an extravagant abundance of late Baroque decor and many unusual details.

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

The sala terrena was several stories high.

Palace design

The sala terrena, or garden hall, is the heart of the pleasure palace, and was used for celebrations. What sets it apart is that it opens upward, extending through the entire palace. In the second floor bel étage, there were four apartments: two for Margravine Sibylla Augusta and two for her son, as the margrave was already dead and Ludwig Georg was the future ruler. The sweeping perron on the side of the palace that faces the lake once offered direct access to the bel étage from outside.

The apartments

Even if Favorite Palace was a pleasure palace for intimate social gatherings, it still had representational and respectively lavishly decorated rooms for official occasions. A versatile antechamber was followed by a bedroom with a majestic state bed. Small but excellent cabinets followed these: the hall of mirrors and the Florentine cabinet. Private rooms were located in the second apartment. The historic decor has been preserved in its original state throughout most of the structure.

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Ludwig Georg's bedroom.

Florentine cabinet, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Lutz Hecker

The Florentine cabinet.

The decor

The living and representational rooms were decorated between 1716 and 1729. They are an example of period tastes and simultaneously an expression of Margravine Sibylla Augusta's specific artistic eye. Valuable original textiles still exude an authentic royal atmosphere. In the Florentine cabinet, landscapes and still lifes on the walls reveal themselves as elaborate stone inlay.

Green bedroom, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Rastatt local administration

Green bedroom with decorative mantelpiece and Japanese female figures in framed hard-coated stucco cartouches.

Chinese vogue at Favorite Palace

Anything from East Asia was incorporated with enthusiasm: tea, porcelain, lacquer ware and silks with flower and bird motifs. These were imported from Asia or imitated in Europe. Ludwig Georg's private apartment is the height of Chinese vogue at Favorite Palace. Walls, ceilings and furniture depict painted Chinese figures, but there is also original Asian decor, such as some well-preserved Chinese wallpaper.

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