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Hunting palace and summer residence with glorious views

Solitude Palace

Monogram of Duke Carl Eugen above the south door to the White Hall. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele
The transition from late Rococo to early Classicism

History of design

Sensationally well preserved: Solitude Palace is among a small number of palaces that have survived the centuries almost unchanged. Created during the transition from Rococo to early Classicism, it is a unique witness to both styles.

Front view of Solitude Palace. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Sven Grenzemann

A large perron leads to the main floor.

Different styles

When designing the palace, Duke Carl Eugen decided to build in the style of a pleasure building, a design that was no longer quite contemporary. With its two stories, surrounding terrace, and the perron, Solitude Palace resembles older pleasure buildings, such as Ludwigsburg Favorite Palace, built between 1716 and 1719. The rooms, however, are entirely modern. Their decoration reflects the transition from Rococo to early Classicism taking place in Germany around 1760.

Antechamber in Duke Carl Eugen's apartment in Solitude Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

True Rococo style: the antechamber.

Playful and gallant

Hardly any flat surface is left undecorated. Ceilings, floors, walls always had to be decorated with rich ornamentation, figures, flowers, or shells, and were ideally also gilded. Pastel colors and lacquer tables with chinoiserie that was reminiscent of Chinese landscapes show elements of the late Rococo period as it has been preserved in Solitude Palace.

Palm Room in Duke Carl Eugen's apartment in Solitude Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Like a garden arbor: the Palm Room.

The most modern

New ideas came to Württemberg with French architect Philippe de La Guêpière. In his elegant designs for Solitude Palace, he used the style of the late Rococo, which was oriented towards the French Classic style. The late Rococo occurred almost simultaneously with the straight lines of early Classicism. Architect Reinhard Ferdinand Heinrich Fischer, the successor to La Guêpière, completed the interior decor, such as the Marble Hall, the library and the study, in the style of early Classicism.

Topographical map of Solitude Palace, copper engraving from 1784. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Robert Bothner

An extensive garden once surrounded the palace.

Late Baroque magnificence outdoors

The rulers of the 18th century wanted their palaces, gardens and cities to be designed with strict organization and perfectly straight avenues. Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg was no exception. The system of straight visual axes around Solitude Palace is a good example of this. The detailed arrangement of the garden with hedge theaters, pleasure ponds, and mazes was typical for the Rococo period. Historical maps clearly show this.

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