Built on a superb vantage point at the edge of Stuttgart, Solitude Palace offers a magnificent view across the Württemberg lowlands toward Ludwigsburg in the north.
Stately and majestic
Planning for the hunting lodge and summer residence commenced in 1763. It was conceived as a lavish palace complex with extensive, almost endless gardens, a game park and woodland. Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg commissioned a team led by architect Philippe de la Guêpière with the design of the entire site and the interiors. The Duke himself played a very active role. The principal building, the opulent centrepiece, was constructed largely for show. The Duke and his entourage occupied a slightly more modest building on the south side. From 1755, the Duke turned his attention to other projects, such as Hohenheim Palace.
Luxury, lustre and learning
The interior of the palace radiates splendour and is designed in the late Rococo and early Neoclassical styles. The main building, an exceptionally charming pavilion at the centre of the complex, with decorative and intricate rooms, has been well preserved. Its highlight is the White Hall (Weisse Saal) beneath the domed roof. Baden-Württemberg’s local government financed the renovation of the building, including its frescoes and ceiling murals, between 1972 and 1983. Solitude Palace was also home to Hohe Karlsschule, a prestigious school for sons of prominent families from Württemberg. Its most famous pupil was Friedrich Schiller. Since 1990, Akademie Schloss Solitude (Solitude Palace Academy), an institution that supports young artists, has been located in one of the site’s buildings. A further annex houses the Fritz Graevenitz Museum, displaying works by this Stuttgart sculptor.
Between 1764 and 1768, Duke Carl Eugen commissioned the construction of Solitude Allee, an avenue that connects Solitude to Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. The route stretches in a straight line for over 13 kilometres from the north gate of Solitude to Ludwigsburg. It remains almost entirely intact and parts of it are now a tarmaced public footpath.