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Schwetzingen Castle (or Schwetzingen Palace in another way) is located in the German town of the same name, surrounded by a large beautiful park. The Baroque building served as the residence of the Kurpfalz rulers.
The first written records of Schwetzingen Castle as a fortress can be found at the end of the 14th century. This building was rebuilt several times, at one time it was a hunting castle, and during the famous Thirty Years War it was almost completely destroyed. Subsequently, it was rebuilt again by Elector Karl I Ludwig and was again destroyed.
Only at the end of the 17th century the castle took on a more or less modern look. It became the summer residence of Elector Karl Theodor, and, although the palace was rarely visited, its expansion continued, in particular, a vast park was planned and created around the castle.
Schwetzingen's palace complex is sometimes called the `` little Versailles ''; for the grace and uniqueness of architecture. An element called Zirkel – low semicircular buildings, placed in a semicircle on both sides of the palace. The northern part of the Zirkel is decorated with a Rococo theater, built by the order of the same Karl Theodor, for 500 spectators. This court theater is one of the few that has survived almost in its original form of the 18th century to the present day. Even today, musical performances and operas are performed on its stage.
The spaces around the castle that are not filled with Zirkel are complemented by picturesque green pavilions, thus, the circle becomes closed. On the sides of the palace gates, there are houses for guards, where souvenir shops and cafes are located today. The courtyard is occupied by outbuildings, and the middle of the building is occupied by living quarters, which were designed by restorers in the style of the 18th century.
There is a palace museum in the mezzanine, where you can admire the living rooms, private quarters that belonged to the elector and his wife. On the third floor, you can visit the chambers of Reichsgrass Louise Caroline von Hochberg from the Baden era, which are decorated with unique wallpaper from 1804.
The park surrounding the palace is also worth a visit, which is an example of Baroque landscape architecture. with strictly observed symmetry, with a large number of terraces, hedges of various geometric shapes, green arbors and fountains. There is also a picturesque greenhouse here.
The palace was once visited by world-famous personalities. So, Voltaire visited him twice, in 1753 he even lived for two weeks and sincerely admired the beauty and grace of the architectural ensemble he saw. In the same year, 1753, the castle became the venue for W.A.Mozart's performance at a court concert. And in 1774, the composer H. V. Gluck became a guest of the palace.
The Schwetzingen Palace also visited F. Schiller, who drew inspiration here for creating the first act of his drama Don Carlos. Even the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, Joseph II, was here under the guise of a certain Count von Falkenstein. Today Schwetzingen is an essential element of many tourist routes in Baden-Wurttemberg. In 2007, the Schwetzingen Palace with all its parks was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Topic: Schwetzingen Castle in Germany.