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Hunting palace and summer residence with glorious views

Solitude Palace

An elegant hall for prayer

The palace chapel

Hardly visible from the outside: The palace chapel in the cavalier building, the east wing of the building, is a truly special treasure. The elegant early Classic room with its oval ceiling painting by Nicolas Guibal is now used as a Protestant church.

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

Hardly visible from the outside: the palace chapel.

Inconspicuous and yet magnificent

In the strictly Protestant Duchy of Württemberg, the Catholic Duke Carl Eugen was not permitted to design extravagant church exteriors. From the outside, the once Catholic palace chapel therefore hardly recognizable as a church, yet it is truly magnificent on the inside. The Protestant church, north of Solitude Palace, was clearly designed to look like a church. It was moved to the Stuttgart city center in the 19th century.

Inside the chapel of Solitude Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

The palace chapel: a bright and elegant hall.

The interior

The walls of the rectangular chapel are divided by pairs of columns. Between them, large arched windows lighten the space, kept entirely in white. Early Classic stucco decorations and late Baroque cherubs with the Instruments of the Passion decorate the cornice at the transition to the flat ceiling. The discrete architecture of this elegant hall is only interrupted by the ducal box at the entrance. Carl Eugen could enter the box from his apartment and take part in the service.

Detail of the ceiling painting depicting the Resurrection of Christ from the chapel of Solitude Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

The resurrected Christ in the ceiling painting.

The ceiling painting

In the center of the white stucco ceiling is a large oval ceiling painting with a golden frame. It depicts the resurrection of Christ, who rises from the dark Earth at the edge of the image to the shining sphere of the heavens. Nicolas Guibal created the oil painting in 1766.

Sketch of the wall decor of the Military Academy's great hall by Nicolas Guibal. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Robert Bothner

Guibal's sketch of the decorations he designed.

First painter at the court of Württemberg

"Premier Peintre du Duc de Wurtemberg": the French Nicolas Guibal (1725–1784) was granted this title by Duke Carl Eugen in 1755. In the position of the "first painter of the court," he and the architect Philippe de La Guêpière created the interior decor of Solitude Palace: countless designs, wall sketches, wall and door pieces are his. His masterpiece in Solitude Palace is the large ceiling painting in the White Hall.

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