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Hunting palace and summer residence with glorious views

Solitude Palace

Luftansicht von Schloss Solitude, Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende
Retreat and hunting destination

The summer palace

Like many of his contemporaries, Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg desired seclusion and comfort. At Solitude Palace, the duke could relax far from the residence and its politics demands. Yet the design of Solitude Palace also made it a destination for official receptions with great stateliness.

Portrait of Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger

Carl Eugen enjoyed himself at Solitude Palace.

A retreat for enjoyable hours

Carl Eugen often retreated to Solitude Palace with a small circle of companions. The duke dedicated himself to supervising the construction of the palace, while the ladies and cavaliers walked in the garden and took small trips around the neighboring area. In the evening, they met for games, dancing, or concerts. The duke and his entourage lived in the two side wings, which were completed first and served to house and care for court society. The main palace was intended for large receptions.

Copper engraving of the red deer park at the little Bear Palace in Stuttgart from 1840. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger

Red deer parks facilitated easy hunting.

A duke with a passion for shooting

The hunting grounds in Leonberg forest were expanded with the construction of Solitude Palace. Straight axes served as fields of fire and areas for the hunters to maneuver. Expansive zoos completed the hunting park. Wild boar, red deer, fallow deer, and pheasants were both attractions and game. Pavilions in the hunting park served as destinations for day trips and picnic areas. Carl Eugen often went deerstalking, accompanied only by an adjunct. Large hunts were held in the fall and for royal visitors, where the game was driven before the guests' guns.

All on board the "sausage"

"sausage" wasn't a hearty snack to eat on the go. It was actually a flexible hunting wagon that was used to transport parties through the garden or to nearby destinations such as Bärensee Lake. Instead of sitting across from each other on bench seats, everyone had to perch on a long beam along the center axis, their feet wide apart for balance. A typical trip might have looked like this: "After the meal, games were played" […], in the evenings, we went promenading in two "sausages"; after which, we went to the opera" (June 24, 1768).

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