Ludwigsburg Residential Palace (Schloss Ludwigsburg in German) is one of the top castle tours in Germany! And for so many reasons.
It’s a 90-minute tour that gives you an insight into what life in Ludwigsburg residential palace was really like. This tour includes some great little details about the royalty that once lived here. I think this is a tour that everyone can enjoy, even if you are a skeptic about castle tours. 52
The History of Ludwigsburg Residential Palace
The palace was built in 1707 and was the residential palace of the Dukes and Kings of Württemberg. Once you see it you’ll understand why I say that it is one of the most impressive Baroque buildings in Europe. The impressive artistic achievements are evident all over the palace, especially on the breathtakingly detailed ceilings.
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There’s no doubt that Schloss Ludwigsburg is impressive, but lots of castles are impressive: Heidelberg Castle, Hohenzollern Castle, the diminutive (by castle standards) Lichtenstein Castle, Burghausen, the longest castle in Europe, and the Munich Residenz, to name a few.
Why Take the Ludwigsburg Residential Palace Tour?
This tour is different in so many ways. For one the tour gives you a close up into the secret lives of the royals and servants that once lived here. Can you imagine what it was like for the servants? Surrounded by such opulence, yet having to dine in a windowless unheated room? It really puts into perspective what working conditions must have been like.
One of my favourite parts of the tour is the bedroom below. It looks like a normal, albeit a rather lavish bedroom. Until the guide takes the group through a secret panel hiding the secret stairway to Duke Eberhard Ludwig’s mistress’ bedroom and the servant’s stairway. It’s all very dramatic and scandalous.
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I’m not sure why Duke Eberhard Ludwig felt the need for secrecy though. His wife lived in the much more modest Old Palace in Stuttgart, over 20km away from Ludwigsburg. I suppose maybe he tried to “hide” his indiscretions from the public. Although, I’m pretty sure that everyone knew everything that was going on in the castle.
The Ludwigsburg Palace Affairs
Quite literally, we’re talking an affair here. Not far from Stuttgart’s only castle ruins. Wilhelmine von Grävenitz may have only been a mistress, 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. As a result, he was the subject of gossip and ridicule for years.
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Then we have poor Elisabeth Friederike von Brandenburg-Bayreuth. She was unfortunately married to Duke Carl Eugen. It wasn’t likely that she used the secret staircase to her husband’s bedroom.
He was so busy carrying on the same amorous life he led before his marriage. All while under the same roof as his wife! Just imagine how often the secret staircase to his bedroom was used – and not by his wife!
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After a few years of her husband’s extra-marital affairs, humiliation, and political failings, Elisabeth Friederike von Brandenburg-Bayreuth had enough and left Ludwigsburg for good. Duke Carl Eugen was left without an heir. Well, not a legitimate one at least.
Ludwigsburg Residential Palace Parties
Although Duke Carl Eugen had many shortcomings, throwing a good party was not one of them. He was famous for his court festivities, operas and theater performances at the Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. You can’t help imagining all of the opulence as you take the tour. I felt like I was watching a period film in my head as the tour was being given.
The great thing is that the tradition of performances still continues and many of them are still held here.
Outside on the castle grounds, you’ll find the whimsical fairy garden which children love. And every year the palace is also home to the world’s largest pumpkin festival. This is your chance to see 450,000 pumpkins on display.
Know Before You go to Ludwigsburg Residential Palace
- If you’re doing some other sightseeing in and around Stuttgart, consider the StuttCard, which gives you free entrance to the castle, which normally costs €13.30.
- Guided tours are available March 15th to November 15th each year in English at 1:30 and 3:15.
- Schloss Ludwigsburg is 15 km north from Stuttgart.
- You can reach Ludwigsburg by taking the S5 train from Stuttgart. From the Ludwigsburg station, it’s a 4 minute (800 meters) walk to the Palace.
- See the Schloss Ludwigsburg homepage for more info and check out these other places to visit in Germany.
Where to Stay in Ludwigsburg:
Top Pick: Schlosshotel Monrepos
If you’re traveling by car, I recommend Schlosshotel Monrepos, a 4-star castle hotel situated on the lakeshore of Monrepos See, with its own golf course, riding stable and wine estate. It’s a 10-minute drive to the center of Ludwigsburg.
Top Pick: nestor Hotel Stuttgart-Ludwigsburg
If you don’t have access to a car, nestor Hotel Stuttgart-Ludwigsburg is a better choice. This 4-star hotel is just 400 meters from Ludwigsburg Palace, features 19th-century brickwork design, elegant rooms, and a traditional German bakery.
See the Schloss Ludwigsburg homepage for more info and check out these other places to visit in Germany.