|View of Bebenhausen and the Schönbuch Forests|
King Wilhelm II and Queen Charlotte
at the front door of their hunting lodge at
How it happened:
From Stuttgart to Bebenhausen
On that fateful, though otherwise quiet, Saturday morning in Stuttgart, King Wilhelm was holding a cabinet meeting in the small Wilhemspalais (Wilhelm Palace), located directly behind the large, opulent city palace, or Stadtschloß, which was much too grand a residence for his taste. On that same morning, a labor demonstration had been planned to march through the city at about the same time. This demonstration boasted nothing about overthrowing the government, and certainly not the monarchy itself (although its demise was inevitable at some point as greater Germany was already in the throws of becoming republican in the post-war upheaval that was rapidly engulfing Germany overall. The Kaiser himself had already fled into exile in the Netherlands). As the demonstration made its way through the streets around to the front of the large square in front of the Stadtschloß in the city center, a rumor was spread that the king had weapons hidden in his smaller palace, as well as extra food.
King of Württemberg
Born 25 February 1848
Died 3 October 1921
|Queen Charlotte's simple gravestone in Ludwigsburg|
born Princess of Schaumburg-Lippe
Born 10 October 1864
Died 16 July 1946
She remembered fondly of sometimes seeing the queen about the garden and grounds into which the local children of the little village would often sneak in order to play hide-and-seek and other games. The ladies-in-waiting were friendly but always reminded the children to play quietly. When she encountered the queen, Her Majesty would ask the little girl about her brothers, "Ach, die Knaben mit den himmelblauen Augen!" ("Oh, the boys with the heavenly blue eyes!"). Apparently, the queen, who was childless, was quite fond of children. She had met the little boys and was quite taken with their blue eyes, and would often enquire about them.
Queen Charlotte would also make visits on her birthday or Christmas to the little schoolhouse and bring fruits and other gifts of food for the children. It was a big thing during the times of austerity during the Weimar Republic and World War II. What a pleasure it was to meet someone who had known the last German queen and was able to relate these and other lovely anecdotes about her.
|Graves of the immediate members of King Wilhelm II's|
family at rest in Ludwigsburg, just north of Stuttgart.
Bebenhausen Abbey and Royal Hunting Lodge
|View of the Abbey / Hunting Palace, |
located in the Schönbuch Forest between the ancient university town of Tübingen and the city of Stuttgart, capital of the present-day federal state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany.
|A large segment of the wall remains around the abbey as seen|
in these two photographs.
|The cloister of the abbey as seen today|
|Ceiling of the former Refectory|
|Part of the wall that once completely surrounded the Abbey|
After the Abbey was disbanded, it later became a school for boys. Rooms where the monks once lived became a dormitory for the students. One can only imagine winters here as there was no heating.
as seen from a kitchen window
|To the memory of|
Württembergs beloved King
(Born) Stuttgart, 25 Feb. 1848 - 2 Oct. 1921 (at Bebenhausen)
and QUEEN CHARLOTTE
(Born) Ratiboritz, 10 Oct. 1864 - 16 July 1946, (at Bebenhausen)
The village surrounding the Royal Hunting Lodge and former abbey of Bebenhausen
How to get to Bebenhausen from Stuttgart