FolkestoneJack's Tracks

A perfect princely garden

Posted in Germany, Schwetzingen by folkestonejack on May 28, 2014

An afternoon visit to the gardens of Schwetzingen Palace proved to be something of an eye opener, having no real concept of just how extensive the grounds were nor the delights that they contained. In fact it took us a good three hours of walking to do the gardens anywhere close to justice, yet we probably still gave some sights far too cursory a glance.

The history of the site goes back to the fourteenth century, when a moated castle was first built, but the gardens that we see today are primarily the creation of Prince Elector Carl Theodor (1724-1799) who determined that the gardens should be the central attraction of his newly enlarged summer residence. Amongst the remarkable structures commissioned for the gardens are a mosque, a bathhouse and an assortment of temples.

The mosque was constructed around 1779-1795 and is surrounded by a Turkish garden. The arrangement of the colonnaded walkway is quite delightful, but it is the stunning interior that takes your breath away. It is a reaction we soon found ourselves repeating on a visit to the bathhouse and in front of an astonishing fountain with water-spouting birds that is located nearby.

The gardens are truly marvellous and complemented by a quite superb restaurant/micro-brewery in front of the castle, the Schwetzinger Brauhaus zum Ritter, which served us up some stunning beer as a reward for our labours!

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