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Hunting palace and summer residence with glorious views

Solitude Palace

Inscription on the south side of the palace passageway at Solitude Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Petra Schaffrodt
Written testimonies in stone and bronze

The inscriptions

Written in Latin, several building inscriptions on Solitude Palace inform viewers of the motivation of its builder, Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg. A newer tablet of inscriptions made of bronze can also be viewed at Solitude Palace.

Inscription on the south side of the palace passageway at Solitude Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Carl Eugen praised himself.

Building inscription on the south portal

On the courtyard portal of the palace passageway, a sandstone cartouche is crowned with laurel leaves. Above the finely carved Latin numerals for the year, the following inscription can be read: MODERATORE CAROLO DESERTAM SOLITUDINEM LABOR IMPROBUS QUADRIENNIO VICIT MDCCLXIII – MDCCLXVII. In translation, that means: "Under the leadership of Carl, untiring work conquered the lonely desert in four years 1763–1767."

Inscription on the north side of the palace passageway at Solitude Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Carl Eugen dedicated the palace to "holy peace."

Building inscription on the north portal

There is also a sandstone cartouche crowned with laurel leaves on the north side of the palace passageway. Here, too, is another finely carved inscription in Latin. It reads: LOCA HAEC TRANQUILLITATI SACRA VOLUIT CAROLUS. In translation, that means: "The place that Carl Eugen dedicated to holy peace."

Duke Carl Eugen as a rider in front of Hohenheim Palace, copper engraving, circa 1790. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger

The duke gave orders.

What was Duke Carl Eugen trying to say?

Both inscriptions emphasize the decisive role of the duke. He commissioned the project in 1763. And it was he who pressed for the quick implementation of the construction project in only four years—he visited the construction site regularly. Indeed, construction work on the palace and garden was likely first completed in 1769. Nonetheless, the duke himself was the mastermind behind the planning of Solitude Palace. Only once his own knowledge would take him no further did he draw on his court architect, Philippe de La Guêpière.

In remembrance of the 19th-century national land survey

"National Land Survey of Württemberg / 1820 / Starting point of the baseline / Solitude – Ludwigsburg / Length: 40,118.718 Parisian feet / = 13,032.14 meters."

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