Palace forecourt and the palace garden

Schlossbezirk
76131 Karlsruhe

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A trip on the Schlossgarten train takes you along a route of some two and a half kilometres across extensive lawns and between the gardens' impressive trees. (only in summer)

Palace forecourt (Schlossplatz) and the palace gardens (Schlossgarten) are an unequal pair. Whilst the first exudes a wholly baroque spirit in its regularity and symmetry, the palace gardens are in the style of a spacious landscaped English garden.

Palace forecourt (Schlossplatz)
The grounds in front of the palace have had an eventful history. They served the city's founder, Karl Wilhelm (1679-1738), as a botanical garden. The margrave was a keen tulip grower and plant lover, and sent expeditions all over the world to collect new, unknown plants. There was no direct access from the palace to the town. After 1774, the central section of the grounds became a thoroughfare for traffic. The Schlossplatz later served as a parade ground, last used as such by the margrave's grenadier guards. It was a vegetable garden in times of hardship, a dump for rubble after the war, and then a car park. It wasn't until the National Garden Show in 1967 that it was turned into a public green and lawns. The 1988 remodelling restored the grounds to the baroque original to some degree but the latest renovation in 2011 came even closer. The lawns are flanked by "mythological figures" crafted in 1760 by the sculptor Ignaz Lengelacker. Beyond these, to the right and left, are rows of lime trees, adding to the appeal of the beauty spot that the Schlossplatz is today, and in particular the gardens laid out around the naiades fountains with numerous rare trees from all over the world.

Looking towards the palace from the opposite end of "Schlossplatz", the boundaries are marked by the Federal Constitutional Court and botanical gardens on the left and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology on the right. On the central axis at the southern end of "Schlossplatz" stands the Karl-Friedrich monument. The margrave holds in his right hand the 1783 charter for the abolition of serfdom in Baden.

The palace gardens (Schlossgarten)
Behind the palace towards the Hardt Forest lie the palace gardens with the botanical gardens to the west and the "Fasanengarten" (pheasant garden) to the east.

The palace gardens were laid out in the French baroque style by the court gardener Christian Thran from 1731 to 1746 under Margrave Karl Wilhelm. His successor, Grand Duke Karl Friedrich had sections of the gardens redesigned by the court gardeners Saul and Müller and then, starting in 1787, modelled on examples from England by the appointed garden inspector from England Friedrich Schweickardt. The Schlossgarten was renovated and refined in the style of an English landscape garden for the National Garden Show in 1967. The green expanses are enlivened and accentuated by sculptures from the baroque period to modern times, monuments, fountains from the different eras, and a lake.

Next public transport stop
Karlsruhe Marktplatz (Kaiserstr.)
Line R49 , R5 , S2, S4 , S41, S5, Tram 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Next parking
Universität Kollegiengebäude
Distance: approx. 30 m air distance

Accessibility
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How to get there
Getting there with Google maps

Nearby sights