This attractive historic Rathaus had the foundation stone laid in 1721. Since then, there has been alterations and additions over the years. Originally, the ground floor was an open hall and accessible through the walled arcades from all sides, now these arcades are bricked in. It has a clock tower and is located in the large open square.
The City now has a new Rathaus.
This is another Fountain in the Town Square, a counterpart to Alexiusbrunnen front of City Hall. The Johannes Nepomuk Fountain was originally a deep well. The Holy Nepomuk is Bohemian, the homeland of the Margravine Sibylla Augusta, [who built & lived in Rastatt Palace]. In 1893, the fountain was completely restored and the elaborate wrought-iron grills attached
There are a few fountains located in the Town square of Rastatt.
My first photo is of the Alexiusbrunnen. This one was built because in 1723 and 1728, Rastatt was hit by quite huge earthquake's that destroyed parts of the city. The Fountain and statue of
the "Holy Alexius of Edessa," the patron saint against earthquakes, lightning and storms, was built in the square. The people of Rastatt hoped that his prayers would give Rastatt protection against further earthquakes.
The Military museum was included in the entry price of our visit to Rastatt Palace. The Museum is located in the Southern wing of the Palace, so we came out of the Palace and went straight into the museum. Inside, were displays of weapons which date from medieval times through to the present. I thought the display of uniforms and especially the head-dress was excellent. It was well done, and I think if you like Military history, then you will enjoy it.
PHOTO'S ARE ALLOWED.
The website goes into detail of what you will see in the Museum
Nov to March 10 - 4.30pm Tuesday to Sunday & holidays
April to Oct. 10 - 5.30pm Tuesday to Sunday & holidays
ADMISSION IN 2013....ADULTS 7 euros Reduced 3.5 euros
Across the square from the Rathaus, stood a Catholic church, known as St. Alexander. In 1701 the foundations for the Catholic parish church were laid. The Church wasn't consecrated until 1764.
On a wet day, I didn't get a photo of the outside, which has four statues and is built out of red sandstone. I was able to venture inside, and I feel it is worthwhile spending a few minutes in the Church.
The tall Water Tower looked like it should have been part of a Castle wall. It could be seen from most places in Rastatt. In the 18th century, Rastatt had a well house which fed the fountains of the city via a tube system. As Rastatt grew, the demands on water grew, so in 1901 this 22 metre high water tower was built.
The Einsiedeln Chapel has a story to tell.
The Margrave of Baden had a chapel built in Einsiedeln, Switzerland in 1710. She visited the site on many occasions to pray, as her first born, Crown Prince Ludwig Georg couldn't talk. On one trip, the 6 year old Prince uttered his first words.
Later, the Margrave and family moved to Rastatt, so she had a copy of the Chapel built in Rastatt.
There is no entry to the inside of the Chapel. The outside has a richly decorated facade. The top of the chapel is decorated with statues of Our Lady, St. Benedictine, and St. Moor and above the door is the Margrave of Baden crest.
If you find the Rastatt Palace, then you have found the Information centre, as it is located in part of the Palace that is at street level. This is where we met our guide for our tour of the Castle.
It is also where you buy tickets for visiting the Palace.
We were early so I had a look around the centre, finding quite a number of brochures on different Palaces and Castle's in Baden-Wurttemberg.
The people at the centre, can speak German, English and Italian between them. We asked for accommodation ideas and sure enough, they found a good place for us, rang and booked us in, all we had to do was turn up.
The centre has many guided tours on offer, some are....
A tour of the historic downtown, Casemates guide of the underground casemates, a guided tour around the historic market place and a combined tour of the Royal Palace and the historical inner city.
Check with the info centre when in town or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CENTRE IS OPEN..
1 April to 31 October: Monday to Friday 9 - 4.30 PM
1 November to 31 March monday to Friday 10 - 3PM
Our guide unlocked the Palace door and led us to one of the two decorated staircases that led to the banqueting hall. On either side of the banqueting hall, overlooking the gardens, are the state rooms, which are lavishly decorated.
As mentioned in a previous tip, NO PHOTO'S WERE ALLOWED, so I asked if I could take one of the gardens from the window. To my surprise, the guide said yes, and I could also take photo's of the Ancestral room and in another room it was ok too! This was at the end, so the other gentleman and I quickly took some photo's.
The ancestral hall has many frescoes of the margrave’s ancestors and also captured Ottomans, these commemorating the margrave’s victories in the wars against the Ottoman Empire.
There was plenty of opulence in this Palace!
As there were only three people the guide spoke in German and English for us, this is not always the case though.
1 April to 31 October
TUE – SUN AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 10 am – 5 pm
1 NOVEMBER TO 31 MARCH
TUE – SUN AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 10 am – 4 pm
Residential Palace and Military History Museum
Adults € 7.00
Concessions € 3.50
When the town of Rastatt was planned, so were the palace and gardens, so you will find the Palace in the centre of Rastatt.
Plenty of parking was available at the front of the Palace entrance, we just had to buy a ticket from the parking machine to put in the car window.
Next, was to the Tourist information centre located in part of the Palace, to find out how to use our combination ticket bought at Schloss Favorite.
This Palace is only allowed on GUIDED TOUR, and once again NO PHOTO'S ALLOWED OF THE INSIDE.
So, a group of three people walked with our guide through the expansive grand courtyard, surrounded by an imposing three-wing complex. Looking straight ahead, I could see a statue atop the main roof, this was Jupiter brandishing a thunderbolt. This Residential Palace was painted a unique pink/apricot colour which really stood out against the stormy sky. It's the oldest Baroque residence in the Upper Rhine Valley.
In 1700, a few years after Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden-Baden started building Schloss Favorite, he decided a grand residence should be built, modelled on Versailles. This was the end result.
It is enormous in size and has many sculptures scattered through-out.
1 April to 31 October - TUE – SUN AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 10 am – 5 pm
1 NOVEMBER TO 31 MARCH -TUE – SUN AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 10 am – 4 pm
Last entry 1 hour before applicable closing time
Closed 24, 25 and 31 December
1 January 1 pm – 4 pm
Residential Palace and Military History Museum
Adults € 7.00
Concessions € 3.50
Families € 17.50
Before entering the Schloss, there is an entrance board with the prices. Just inside the door were some exhibition pictures, then a little further on the tiny gift shop where we paid our entrance fee.
I was disappointed when told NO PHOTO'S ALLOWED and that we had to go through the Schloss ON A TOUR Luckily another couple arrived, and a small group of six began a tour in German, we were given sheets in English and our nice guide explained in English as much as she could during the tour.
This Schloss was very different in details, and another difference was, most of the rooms were two of the kind. The answer to this was, one was a display kitchen, bedroom etc that the guests would see, and the other kitchen, bedroom, etc was the actual room which was being used. Cunning! That way, the guests would see a spotless, tidy Schloss all the time.
Please have a look at the website for more details and photos.
In my opinion, if your in the area, make an effort to visit!
I bought postcards from the shop, not a huge selection, and of course, photo's are better than postcards, and postcards are better than nothing!
I have scanned some for you to see the inside of the Schloss.
ADMISSION IN 2013, MUST BE ON GUIDED TOUR - Tours close 1 hour before closing time.
Adults € 8.00
Discounted € 4.00
family € 20.00
This was the combination ticket we bought.
Favorite Castle, residence Schloss Rastatt and Museum of Military History
Adults € 12.00
Discounted € 6.00
16th March to 30 September Tue - Sun and Holidays 10AM - 6PM
1 October to 15 November Tue - Sun and Holidays 10AM - 5PM
16th November to 15 March - CLOSED
Schloss Favorite is the oldest of the German so-called 'Porcelain Palaces,' and the only to survive intact to this day.
All we had to do was find it, as it's located on the outskirts of Rastatt. This was easy as the road to the Schloss was signposted well.
On arrival, we parked at the large FREE CAR-PARK, then followed the signs that led past the Orangerie to the Schloss.
The Schloss was built between 1710 and 1730 as a place for feasts and hunting, and so the Margrave of Baden-Baden and her son Georg Ludwig could relax here.
As we walked closer to the Schloss, we noticed the building was made out of what looked to be shells or some type of gravel. It was the only Schloss we have ever seen built out of this material. We learnt later, this was found on the Schloss grounds.
There was a great expanse of lawn with a fountain in the centre and Orangeries on either side. On the other side of Schloss was a large Lake with Swans.
In 1710 there was a pheasant garden and orchard on both sides of the castle.
The outside of Schloss Favorite is FREE ENTRY.
The once baroque park has in large parts been redesigned as a landscape garden with beautiful old trees, a pond, lawns and waterflows. The wide central alley with the accompanying orangerie wings and the side alleys are remains of the baroque design.
The four little houses along the oblong axis served as accommodation for the court chevaliers (the two in the middle) and housing for the gardener and the caretaker, the latter two are still inhabited. Away from the main paths a side alley leads to the Hermitage and chapel of St Magdalena.
The park can be entered for free. Not sure if opening times are 24/7 or if it closes at night, but definitely longer than the opening hours of the palace.
Baroque life had two sides - the luxurious life at court, the abundance and pleasure on one hand, the fear of death and devote piety on the other. The 'other side' was present in Sibylla Augusta's way of life, too. In a corner of the park she had her spiritual retreat, the Hermitage with the chapel of St Magdalena, built in 1717. The Margravine was a pious Catholic. Now and then she would retreat from luxury for some time of repentance and prayer to atone for her sins.
Nothing wrong with being a pious Catholic, but the good lady would exaggerate her exercises in a way that the average citizen of the 21st century will consider lunatic. She spent some days or weeks secluded in her hermitage, where she resigned from all comfort, prayed and flagellated herself and so on. She took her simple meals seated at a table together with three life-size wax figures of Mary, Joseph and young Jesus.
The interior of the Hermitage is only accessible with special tours that are offered on rare occasions. I once had the chance to see it. Everything, including the figures, is still there. It is really really weird and almost scary. The strange atmosphere can already be felt outside the building. If ever you have the chance to go in, don't miss it.
A small exhibition presents the history and development of the gardens around Favorite palace. One model shows the original baroque garden, the second model shows the landscape garden as it is today, so you can compare how design and fashion have changed.
The exhibition is located in the head pavillon of the eastern (right) orangerie, at the end towards the palace. Entry is free.