Their last most destructive visit was in 1689 during the Nine-Years' War (also known as the War of the Palatine Succession, amongst others). Unfortunately for Badeners, the Palatine (Pfalz) is only just across the Rhine River. In those days, some Palatine territory was in present-day northern Baden-Württemberg. Rulers of the Palatine were known as electors and much of their territory was intricately woven through that of the Baden margraves as well. The ruling Elector of Palatine's residence was the castle of Heidelberg. (See upcoming post on Heidelberg Castle).
In 1688, the French king, Louis XIV, supported the claim to the electorship of the Palatine by his sister-in-law the Duchess of Orléans, who was also the sister of the recently deceased elector, Karl. In the end, it was not only a bad war for Louis, but even more disastrous for the people of the Palatine. As he retreated back across the Rhine into France, Louis XIV directed a scorched-earth policy which left not only Durlach, but also other cities such as Heidelberg, Mannheim, Worms and Kaiserslautern utterly destroyed. Baden lands were simply too close to the Palatine and Louis could risk no chance in the margrave's supporting his German cousins in defeating him. Therefore, the burning of Durlach.
|Notice the date. This home somehow survived the fire of 1689.|
A piece of history trivia: the first English child, Virginia Dare,
to be born in North America was born just one year before in 1587
in what is today North Carolina.
S H U T T E R S
|Look at the shutters!!!|
|Can you find the shutters? Might be hard to see.|
|This portal is the "Basler Tor", or Basel Gate. It is the only such tower gate left|
in Durlach and was the south exit leading in the direction of Basel, Switzerland,
which is where the Margraves of Baden-Durlach also had a residence.
Check it out...
From Karlsruhe main station: there are several trains and S-bahns that run through Durlach station. The trip is only about 5 minutes if you take the larger trains.
Cycling: from the center of Karlsruhe eastward along Kaiserstrasse which becomes Durlacher Allee is also an option, using the bike path that runs beside this route. I can bike it in 15 to 20 minutes as well. There are other designated bike paths to get there as well. Check Google Maps for bike paths in the greater Karlsruhe area
By car, it is off exit 44 (Karlsruhe-Durlach exit) from the A5. Just follow the signs.