Destinations Magazine

Schloss Ludwigsburg: My Favorite Castle Tour in Germany

By Monkeys And Mountains Adventure @Laurel_Robbins

schloss ludwigsburgSchloss Ludwigsburg (Ludwigsburg Palace) is my favorite castle tour in Germany.  The 90 minute tour gives you insights into what life in a castle was really like, and how royalty behaved behind closed doors.  Even my German husband enjoyed the castle tour and he’s not a fan of castle tours in general.

schloss ludwigsburg courtyard

The courtyard of Schoss Ludwigsburg.

Schloss Ludwigsburg was built in 1707 and was the residential palace of the Dukes and Kings of Württemberg.  It is one of Europe’s most impressive Baroque buildings and is renowned for its artistic achievements, many of which are displayed on the ceilings of the palace.

schloss ludwigsburg ornate hallway

One of the most ornate hallways I've even seen is found in Schloss Ludwigsburg.

There’s no doubt that Schloss Ludwigsburg is impressive, but it’s the glimpse into the secret lives of the royals and servants who lived here that I found fascinating.  Can you imagine being surrounded by opulence, yet having to dine in a windowless unheated room as the servants did?

Schloss Ludwigsburg:  My Favorite Castle Tour in Germany

The windowless servant's quarters at Schloss Ludwigsburg.

The bedroom below may look like a rather lavish, but typical royal bedroom until our guide takes us through the secret panel hiding the secret stairway to Duke Eberhard Ludwig’s mistress’ bedroom and the servant’s stairway.

schloss ludwigsburg duke's bedroom

Can you spot the secret panel hiding the secret stairway for the Duke's mistress?

I’m not sure why Duke Eberhard Ludwig felt the need for secrecy though, as his wife lived in the much more modest Old Palace in Stuttart, over 20km away from Ludwigsburg.  Wilhelmine von Grävenitz may have only been a misstress, but she was very powerful.  Duke Eberhard Ludwig was so love sick that he essentially let her rule over the state of Württemberg for 20 years making him the subject of gossip.

schloss ludwigsburg pink bedroom
Then we have poor Elisabeth Friederike von Brandenburg-Bayreuth who had the unfortunate marriage to Duke Carl Eugen and likely didn’t use her secret staircase to her husband’s bedroom,  since he was so busy carrying on the same amorous life he lead before his marriage, while under the same roof as his wife.  One can only imagine how often the secret staircase to his bedroom was used – and not by his wife!

schloss ludwigsburg hallway

Despite living in opulence at Schloss Ludwigsburg, life was miserable for Elisabeth Friedenke von Brandenburg-Bayreuth due to her husband's wandering eye.

After a few years of her husband’s extra-marital affairs, humiliation and political failings, Elisabeth Friederike von Brandenburg-Bayreuth had enough and left Schloss Ludwigsburg for good, perhaps on one of those flights to Berlin leaving Duke Carl Eugen without an heir.

schloss ludwigsburg grounds

The Ludwigsburg Palace gardens were often used as a banquet hall, thanks to Duke Carl Eugen.

The one thing that Duke Carl Eugen had going for him was that he knew how to throw a good party.  He was in fact famous for his court festivities, operas and theater performances at Schloss Ludwigsburg, which still holds performances today.

Schoss Ludwigsburg’s walls may not talk, but by the end of the 90 minute tour, I could have sworn they were whispering secrets in my ear, warning me living in a castle is not always a fairytale.

See the Schloss Ludwigsburg homepage for more info.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog