DescriptionSchwetzingen Palace, near Heidelberg, dates back to the 14th century. Built as a moated castle, it was subsequently used as a hunting lodge two centuries later.
Today, the castle and its gardens that we now experience, owe a great deal to the ambitious Elector Carl Theodor who converted them into his summer residence in the 18th century.
The formal part of the gardens with their central parterre and variety of water features, pavilions, sculptures and eye catching flower beds, provided an impressive stage for his court events and were largely the work of the architect and landscape designer Nicolas de Pigage. Observing good manners was not just for the nobility, though.
After a concert at Schwetzingen given by young Wolfgang, Mozart’s father, Leopold, commented benevolently, that "….without doubt, this is the best orchestra in Germany, all young folk and of good disposition; neither drunkards nor gamblers or despicable rascals."
In 1777, an English style garden, complete with meandering paths and tree lined meadows was added. Designed by Sckell, this offers plenty of scope for poetic soul-searching.
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