But, I am so glad I gave it a second chance because despite my personal requisites for what makes a city livable for me, it sure as heck doesn't mean it can't be enjoyed by someone else. Following this recent visit I find myself so impressed that I humbly bow in apology for having spoken ill of the place since that first visit several years ago. (Of course, I have to throw in here that the spectacular weather probably didn't hurt.) So, if historical architecture and exquisite ceiling murals are on your lists of interests, then this former residence town of 18th century prince-bishops of Speyer is a must.
Cherry orchard behind the garden wall of one of the several
Bruchsal Palace dependencies. Today, several of these
dependencies are apartments.
|A view of the major dependencies which are located at the garden entrance of Schloß Bruchsal.|
(The train tracks - not station - is directly across the road from here. If you know when to look,
you can see it zoom past your train window.)
|Entrance through the garden.|
Few enter through these gates, however, as the other side of the palace
is on the town side where a main road goes through.
But, I came back last weekend which was warm and very sunny. My experience in Bruchsal is worth posting here and telling you that if you should be in the area, the baroque Schloß Bruchsal is absolutely worth your time. But, be sure to walk all around the grounds. Pay attention to everything. Read all the little plaques on the outside of doors. Further down here, you will see an aerial view of the palace and its dependencies. Everything that was destroyed in the Second World War has been meticulously and correctly rebuilt based on original designs by Anselm Franz von Ritter zu Groenesteyn as well as Balthasar Neumann.
|Inside the walls of the cherry orchard.|
|The closer one gets, the more the unsuspecting eye begins to register the amount of |
colorful artistry on the walls of the buildings.
|To the left can be seen a yellow-and-green-colored structure whose twin is on the|
opposite side of the main building.
History of the Prince-bishop's palace at Bruchsal
|Every time I look at this arrangement of buildings, I always think of a |
Russian Tsarist Palace. Tsarskoye Selo?
|Note that just about everything you can see in the form of decorations on the building in the|
foreground is painted on. Nothing, except the half-columns, is actually three-dimensional.
|Direct shot of the same building in the photo above this one. You can see that the figures |
above the windows are in fact painted on, as is everything else.
|The largest of the simple fountains at Schloß Bruchsal. The intricately painted façades |
of the palace itself make too much extra in the park unnecessary and potentialy
|This large building can be found across the street directly outside the main gate |
of the palace. It was damaged in the war, but the main structure and interiors
of the building were left standing. Today, it is used as a government building.
|Direct view of the building. The red bricks on the facade are actually all painted on.|
|Fortunately, this gate-like building found outside of the gates of the|
palace complex is original, as it survived the war relatively unscathed.
|The tower steeple of the palace chapel lost its cupola in the bombing and was burned out; |
however, the rest remained and was restored in detail.
|I found this fountain across the street from the palace a real delight. |
The snails with water spouting from their antennae beneath the face
of what looks like a little child spewing water out of its mouth as well
were too good to pass up.
|The original buildings here were constructed to house a hospital, built and patronized by the|
prince-bishop at the time and the Duchess of Orléans in the 18th C. It is located along the
street next to the palace and is part of the entire complex.
I passed the houses in the photo to the left and kept on walking, enjoying the buildings I was finding. It was becoming clear to me at that point that although the inner city had been badly damaged by the bombing, its circumference had not. It was also up here that I came across one of Germany's many beautifully manicured cemeteries with its perfectly laid-out flowers and shrubs planted directly on top of and around the graves themselves - very different from North American cemeteries and such a visual pleasure to walk through.
|St. Peter's Catholic church - built by Prince-Bishop Hugo |
von Schönborn of Speyer around the same time as Bruchsal Palace
in the first half of the 18th century.
How to get to Bruchsal from Karlsruhe main train station: the trip is anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes depending on whether you choose a local tram or a regional train. Many people who live in Bruchsal work in Karlsruhe so a number of options are available every hour.
Via Autobahn from Karlsruhe: take the A5. Signs are everywhere for Bruchsal.
How to get there from Stuttgart main train station: there are two or three trains each hour ranging from around 25 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes depending whether you choose a regional (RE) or inter-City (IC).