New Palace (Stuttgart)

New Palace of Stuttgart
(German: Neue Schloss)

Coat of arms of the State of Baden-Württemberg

Baden-Württemberg's Coat of Arms

Picture of the New Palace of Stuttgart

From the Garden
Location in Baden-Wurttemberg
Stuttgart, Germany
Location in Baden-Wurttemberg
Etymology Second (Newer) Palace of the Kings of Württemberg
General information
Status Complete
Type Palace
Architectural style Baroque
Classification Schloss
Location Stuttgart-Center, Baden-Württemberg
Address Stuttgart Schlossplatz 4, 70173 Stuttgart
Town or city Stuttgart
Country Germany
Coordinates 48°46′41″N 9°10′55″E / 48.77806°N 9.18194°E / 48.77806; 9.18194Coordinates: 48°46′41″N 9°10′55″E / 48.77806°N 9.18194°E / 48.77806; 9.18194
Current tenants Baden-Württemberg Ministries of Finance and Economy
Groundbreaking 1746[1]
Construction started 1746
Completed 1807
Renovated 1958 to 1964
Demolished 1945
Client Duke Charles Eugene of Württemberg
Owner Baden-Württemberg
Design and construction
Architect Nikolaus Friedrich Thouret, Leopold Retti, Philippe da la Guepière, Reinhard Heinrich Ferdinand Fischer[2]
Known for Residence of the Dukes and Kings of Württemberg

The New Palace (German: Neus Schloss), one of the last large city palaces to be built in Southern Germany, is the magnificent 18th Century Baroque residence of the Kings of Württemberg from 1746 to 1797 and from 1805 to 1807 (often exchanging this honor with the nearby Ludwigsburg Palace). It was commissioned by the young Duke Carl Eugen of Württemberg, was built and modified by Nikolaus Friedrich Thouret, Leopold Retti, Philippe da la Guepière, Reinhard Heinrich Ferdinand Fischer.[2] The palace is located on the southern edge of the Stuttgart Schlossplatz in the center of the city adjacent from the Old Castle on the Schillerplatz in front of the colossal Jubiläumssäule at the center of the Schlossplatz.[3] Public tours of the building are only permitted by special arrangement, as the building contains some government offices.[3]



In 1737, the nine year old Charles Eugene became Duke of Württemberg upon the death of his father Karl Alexander, Duke of Wurttemberg. Because he was still a minor, he was sent to study at the court of King Frederick the Great, King of Prussia while administrators ran affairs in Württemberg. A now 16 year old Charles returned to Stuttgart in 1744 and decided he wanted a residence "befitting his royal dignity and extent of his household" than the Old Palace that Duke Eberhard Louis established in Ludwigsburg 12 kilometers away 12 kilometres (7.5 mi).[4] On the insistence of the Württemberg Diet (The presence of the Duke's residence would mean more political and economic power located in Stuttgart), Charles moved the seat of his power to Stuttgart and decided to replace the Old Palace with a new palace to be constructed on the Schlossplatz.[5] This was not entirely met with agreement, however; some, like Württemberg's Oberbaudirektor Johann Christoph David Leger argued that an expansionist to the Old Castle would have sufficed.[5] Architects across Europe jumped at the chance to design the Duke's palace and submitted drafts directly to Charles, including renowned architects Alessandro Galli da Bibiena and Maurizio Pedetti.[6] Balthasar Neumann also submitted a draft, but was rejected. Today, architectural historians argue that had Neumann's dream been realized, he would have produced the most magnificent palace of the entire 18th Century.

On May 6, Charles Eugen selected 1746 Baudirektor Leopoldo Retti (whose uncle Donato Giuseppe Frisoni had built Eberhard's palace at Ludwigsburg) was selected to build the palace. He chose the grounds of an old Crossbow shop in Lustgarten to be the site of the new schloss.[7] His plan saw a courtyard to face the nearby Karlsschule Stuttgart and New Lusthaus south of the palace.[8] His design also had the Garden Wing facing the Apartments of the Ducal family that would be housed in the Corps de logis and the City Wing would contain the guest and state rooms.[9]

First phase under Leopold Retti

Construction began with the foundation of the Garden Wing on September 3, 1746 under the direction of Johann Christoph David Leger as Retti was to be employed in Ansbach until 1748.[10] In 1749, the Corps de Logis and Garden Wing facades were completed, leaving the interiors that would be completed in 1750.[11] When Retti began work on the foundation of the City Wing taking ideas and suggestions from other architects at this time but died of an unknown illness on September 18, 1751.

Second phase under Philippe de La Guêpière

After Retti's death, construction of the palace fell to a friend of his, Parisian architect Philippe de La Guêpière who finished the shell of the City Wing in 1752. A connoisseur of modern architectural theory, Philippe was inspired by his time in his native France and especially the magnificent Palace of Versailles and took the palace in this direction. Under the Philippe de La Guêpière period, the interior of the garden wing and the totality was designed and the Corps de Logis was completed. Work on Retti's porticulo and the dome on the Marble Hall from 1758 to 1760 saw both features completed.[6]

Construction stops until 1775

During the night of November 13 to November 14, 1762, a fire broke out in the Garden Wing, resulting in a conflagration that destroyed the interior to the Garden Wing that Philippe de La Guêpière had finally finished.[7] An annoyed Duke Charles Eugene transferred de La Guêpière the construction of the City Wing's interior. February 11, 1763 saw the first major event in the New Palace: Duke Charles Eugene celebrated his birthday in the nearly completed City Wing. The celebrations did not last, for that same year de La Guêpière attempted to repair the damage but failed due to finance issues and the failing interest of the Duke.[6] Disputes between the Duke, the Vienna Reichshof, and the estates saw construction halted in 1764, and the Duke moved his residence back to Ludwigsburg Palace. In 1768, de La Guêpière left the Duke's court and returned to Paris.

In 1775, the Duke returned to Stuttgart and hired Reinhard Heinrich Ferdinand Fischer to repair the Palace. 1775 also saw the arrival of Czar Paul I of Russia and his wife Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg, one of Carl Eugen's nieces. The central pavilion of the Marble Hall in the Corps de Logis decorated with a fresco by Nicolas Guibal.

Third phase under Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret

When Charles Eugene died in 1793, New Palace was given some much needed repairs. 1789 saw the completion of the City Wing and the Garden Wing in 1791 during the rule of Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg (construction elsewhere could continue into the 19th Century).[12] In 1806, as the palace was finally nearing completion, Napoleon Bonaparte visited the New Palace.[13] Eleven years later, von Thouret redecorated some of the rooms of the Red Marble Hall during the visit of Czar Alexander I.

Changes after 1816

When Duke and then King Frederick I died, William I moved the seat of his power back to the New Palace and hired Giovanni Salucci and later his pupil Ferdinand Gabriel and charged them with renovating the palace's Grey and Yellow Marble Halls in 1836.[13] In 1840 and 1841 and from 1852 to 1854, the court painter Josef Anton Gegenbauer painted three frescoes rooms created next to the staircase on the ground floor with scenes from the history of the Duchy and the Kingdom of Württemberg.[14] Under Duke Charles I and his wife Olga only minor changes were made to the castle, mainly made in the royal living area and by Joseph von Egle were executed. William II renounced the residency of the Dukes in the New Palace, and the palace was somewhat opened to the public for the first time.[15]

Use after 1918

After Wilhelm II abdicated his throne on November 30, 1918, the palace passed into state ownership. In 1919, the German Foreign Institute used the ground floor and some of the garden wing to house their offices and showrooms and some of the first and second floors became the headquarters for the local police.[16] In the early 1920s, nearly the entire first floor became a museum displaying the royal Kunstkammer, majolica collection, and former living places of the kings of Württemberg. When the German Foreign Institute moved out in 1928, the remaining unused portions of the palace were converted into German military and ancient antiquity museums. When the police headquarters moved out in 1926, the second floor housed the offices of the antiquities collection and historic preservation authorities.[17]

The World War II air raids on February 21, 1944, Neue Schloss was almost completely burned to the ground by Allied bombs, leaving only the facade standing.[18] For many years, preservationists fought rebuild Neue Schloss (once, it was nearly demolished in favor of a hotel) until 1957 when finally it was agreed in the Baden-Württemberg Landtag that the castle would be rebuilt - by one vote. Since the reconstruction that began in 1958 under the careful direction of Horst Linde, the castle has been used by the State's government, starting with the Corps de logis (Now used for representation by the State Ministry) and the two wings of the castle. The only part of the castle that was not fully restored was an air raid shelter under the building that was demolished in 1958.[19] Today it is used by the State Ministries of Finance and Education and is now open to the public via regular guided tours.[20]


See also



  1. "Neues Schloss Stuttgart". Schlösser & Burgen in Baden-Württemberg.
  2. 1 2
  3. 1 2 Henk Bekker (2005). Adventure Guide Germany. Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. 445. ISBN 978-1-58843-503-3.
  5. 1 2 Wenger, p. 10
  6. 1 2 3 Zimdars, p .753
  7. 1 2 Beschreibung des Stadtdirections-Bezirkes Stuttgart. Magstadt: Statistical-Topographical Bureau. 1964. p. 142.
  8. Wenger, p. 16
  9. Stephan, p. 37
  10. Wenger, p. 17
  11. Regina, p. 37
  12. Wenger, p. 52
  13. 1 2 Wiederaufbau des Neuen Schlosses in Stuttgart 1958-1964. p. 20.
  14. Stephan, p. 41
  15. Stephan, p. 42
  16. Fleck, p. 103
  17. Fleck, p. 104
  18. Wiederaufbau des Neuen Schlosses in Stuttgart 1958-1964. p. 8.
  19. Stephan, p. 43
  20. 1 2 "Neues Schloss: Kultusministerium zieht um". Stuttgarter-Zeitung. Retrieved September 20, 2011.


Note: The titles of books below have been translated into English. See below "Notes" section for their original German names.

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