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Palace du jour: Bruchsal Palace

Yesterday was European Palace Day, something that I wish I had known earlier so that I could have shared this post. I have been inspired by my friend Svenja from Castleholic.com to do a CastleMemory series which I shall call Palace/Castle du jour (of the day). Basically, this series will be mainly photos with a short description on the palace/castle. In other words, I won’t have to write an essay and you can go and learn about the history and architecture when you visit. 😉 Today’s palace is (Schloss) Bruchsal Palace in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Schloss Bruchsal - courtyard
The entrance to Schloss Bruchsal. Photo taken in winter 2009.
Entrance of Schloss Bruchsal
Entrance of Schloss Bruchsal

I first visited Bruchsal Palace in 2009 as part of my Baden-Württemberg. As it was a week day in winter, I was the only tourist wandering freely around the renovated part of the palace. It is one of the most beautiful palaces in Germany, in my opinion.

Schloss Bruchsal - arch

Schloss Bruchsal was the ecclesiastical palace complex of the Prince-Bishop Damian Hugo von Schönborn (1676-1743). The three wing Baroque palace was constructed in 1720 and took decades to compete, as usual. Unfortunately, the majority of the palace was destroyed during WWII.

Model of Schloss Bruchsal
Model of Schloss Bruchsal
The destroyed palace and a bomb
The destroyed palace and a bomb

Thankfully, reconstruction of the palace began in the 1950’s and finally opened in 1975. Some of the rooms and the surviving winding staircase have been restored to its former glory. The rest of the palace houses the Städtische Museum (Town Museum) and the Deutsche Musikautomatenmuseum (German Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments). Sadly, I did not have enough time to see all the mechanical musical instruments but I heard the collection is the best of its kind! Think music boxes, musical clocks, and orchestrions (I tried cranking one of the orchestrions – turned out to be harder than I’d thought)!

Examples of German mechanical musical instruments
Musical clock and musical bird cages

Bruchsal - 1

Bruchsal -2
The view from the ‘back’ of the staircase.
I was looking up and clearly unimpressed with the amazing winding staircase. Completely regret not taking more photos...
I was looking up and clearly unimpressed with the amazing winding staircase. Completely regret not taking more photos…
Entrance from the staircase into the Marble Hall
The Rococo Marble Hall
The Rococo Marmorsaal (Marble Hall)
The Baroque Prince's Hall
The Baroque Fürstensaal (Princes’ Hall)

If you would like to visit Bruchsal, consider visiting other palaces in Baden-Wurttemberg with the Schlosscard (castle pass).

Back of Schloss Bruchsal
Back of Schloss Bruchsal