Schloss Schwetzingen

For Father’s Day on May 9, I visited the Schloss Schwetzingen garden with my family.
The garden is the creation of Carl Theodor von der Pfalz who lived in Schwetzingen in the 18th century. Today the perfect combination of geometric style and landscape is one of the masterpieces of European garden art.

The story of the castle garden

Elector Carl Philipp laid the foundation stone for today’s palace garden. When he came to the Electoral Palatinate in 1718, he had Schwetzingen expanded into a summer residence and hunting lodge. The garden was much smaller than today and only extended as far as the Arion Fountain. The old orange grove stood here because the elector valued exotic plants.
Carl Philipp’s successor, Elector Carl Theodor, originally had the garden of the summer residence extended in the French Baroque style. In 1753, the court gardener Johann Ludwig Petri designed the ground floor in the middle of a circular space surrounded by circular buildings and arcades. The main axis running west from the castle was richly decorated with flower beds, water features and areas of hedge.
In 50 years, Carl Theodor had the garden expanded by his architect Nicolas de Pigage and equipped with numerous sculptures and sophisticated garden architecture, such as the impressive garden mosque. In addition, the sovereign showed himself in tune with the times: the garden artist Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell, who trained in England at the Elector’s expense, created one of the first English landscape gardens in Germany at Schwetzingen.
As part of the reorganization of Europe under Emperor Napoleon, the Electoral Palatinate on the right bank of the Rhine fell to the House of Baden in 1803. Johann Michael Zeyher became the director of the Schwetzingen garden. He primarily conducted forest botanical research. In the garden itself, Zeyher transformed the large rectangular basin into a pond with natural shores, and the menagerie, Carl Theodor’s private zoo, became the arboretum that still exists today. The seahorse fountain was moved to the grand ducal palace in Karlsruhe and returned as a copy only in the 20th century. Otherwise, the garden was hardly changed in the 19th century.
I have also attached to the blog a set of photos as well as a film created from the sequences filmed by me in the garden.

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