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Hunting palace and summer residence with glorious views

Solitude Palace

Ansicht von Schloss Solitude, Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Joachim Feist
Close to the sky

The cupola

The oval viewing platform on the cupola of Solitude Palace is truly a crowning conclusion. It offered the builder, Duke Carl Eugen, and his court an extraordinary view across the Strohgäu, the city of Ludwigsburg, and the forested hills of Stuttgart.

Ludwigsburg Favorite Palace, aerial view. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

Ludwigsburg Favorite Palace with its viewing platform.

A change of plans

As in other pleasure palaces and hunting lodges, the viewing platform at the highest point of Solitude Palace was planned from the very beginning. Yet in contrast to the present structure, there was apparently a higher, tower-like round building on the cupola in the 18th century, which is now known only through several drawings. A similar viewing platform, though carried out as a flat roofed structure, can be visited on the roof of Favorite Palace in Ludwigsburg.

A spiral staircase leads upwards

While the main floor of Solitude Palace can be reached comfortably and effortlessly by the four broad stairs, the one and a half stories to the viewing platform on the cupola can only be reached using a hidden spiral staircase on the north side. This sole path to the roof is dark, narrow, and dusty, yet also mysterious and adventurous. Even their majesties themselves had to take these stairs if they wanted to enjoy the magical view.

Aerial view of Solitude Palace with administrative building and cavalier building. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

Solitude Palace offers a 360-degree view.

Lovely views

It is only from the viewing platform that the size of the palace complex and the extent of the former gardens can truly be understood. From here, an observer could monitor the progress of work in the palace garden and on the buildings and could observe the pastimes of court society in the maze or in the hedge theater.

Detail of the cavetto in the White Hall of Solitude Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Decorations along the ceiling in the White Hall.

Rare glimpses

In contrast to the sumptuous wall and ceiling decorations in the ducal living areas and representational rooms, no such design was chosen for the top floor and in the passageways and stairwells of the cupola. The elaborate structure of the roof can be studied here. The oval window of the White Hall also offers an unusual view of the ceiling painting and the magnificent stucco decoration.

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