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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe

Rastatt Favorite Palace

View of the Rastatt Favorite Palace garden. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele
History surrounded by green space

The garden

The perfect Sunday outing: Rastatt Favorite Palace is situated in the middle of an idyllic palace garden. The clean design of the Baroque pleasure garden took on the appearance of a naturalistic landscape in the late 18th century, giving way to the landscape garden.

Aerial view of Rastatt Favorite Palace and palace garden. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The Baroque parterre, framed by long orangery buildings.

A Baroque pleasure garden

In 1710, a pheasant garden and pleasure garden were installed on either side of the palace. Michael Ludwig Rohrer and Franz Pfleger drew up the plans. The orangery was established into the 1720s, along with two long pools with parterre borders and ornamental beds. Rohrer also built the hermitage. An embankment and moat with bastion-like swells separated the garden from the surrounding landscape, similarly to the palace in Schlackenwerth, Sibylla Augusta's native Bohemia.

Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Christoph Hermann

View of the symmetrically structured palace.

Landscape architect Johann Michael Schweyckert

During and after the reign of Margrave Ludwig Georg, the garden was neglected. Not until 1788 was royal gardener Johann Michael Schweyckert (1754–1806) of Karlsruhe brought in to reshape the Favorite garden in the English style. He had dealt extensively with botany, fruit tree cultivation and garden design in France and England, including at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Margrave Karl Friedrich von Baden-Durlach, sovereign of the Baden-Baden lands since 1771, was his employer.

Von Schweyckert's English landscape garden

Schweyckert's redesign of the grounds into an English landscape garden was not completed until 1806. The pools in front of and behind the palace were removed. He “composed” the garden's naturalistic shape using curving paths, bushes, groves of trees and a romantic pond. The garden director, Carl Christian Gmelin, from Karlsruhe praised Schweyckert in 1809: “Those who know Schweyckert… will surely proclaim: There are many gardeners, garden inspectors and directors, but in Baden and all of Germany, there is only one Schweyckert!”

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The cleverly design garden layout, with paths and ponds, provides countless romantic spots.

Costume wearers in the Favorite Palace garden. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert

The palace garden is perfect for taking a stroll.

Maintaining the garden today

The garden is an example of the historic treasures that are part of the Favorite Palace. A maintenance plan was developed in 1979 to ensure the proper treatment of these monument-worthy historic grounds. The goal: to preserve and care for the space with consideration for its historic character. The linden avenue in front of the palace has already been replaced several times. Once they've reached the right size, they are pruned into berceaux, or green pergola arcades.

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