Mannheim Palace

The Palatinate, which is rich in cultural artifacts, fascinates everyone with its beauty and magnificent again and again. One of such fascinating cultural heritages is the Mannheim Palace. This Baroque palace is the second biggest palace in Europe. The architectural style of the Mannheim Palace is reminiscent of the well-known French Palace of Versailles. This is not actually surprising as the palace of the Sun King was the model for imitation when the palace was built. Visiting the Mannheim Palace one will certainly notice the similarity between the two gorgeous buildings. The front of the Palace, which is 450 meters long and which consists of several components, is reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles, too.

Built in the 18th century, totally destroyed in WW II. Reconstructed and today used as central building complex of the University of Mannheim. Source: Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY 3.0 Lizenz, by Pekuemi.

Built in the 18th century, totally destroyed in WW II. Reconstructed and today used as central building complex of the University of Mannheim. Source: Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY 3.0 Lizenz, by Pekuemi.

It took 40 years to finish the palace. The structure of the Mannheim gem was interrupted several times; this is why it took so long for structure. Initially the Mannheim Palace was built for the Elector Karl III Philip as he wanted to show his political strength and power.  Thus, the palace was meant to be very splendid. Karl III. Philip had the palace built with exactly one more window than there are in the Palace of Versailles to show his superiority. The construction began in 1720 and in 1731 the royals could move into the main part of the palace.

After the handover of power of Karl Philip to his son Karl Theodor the palace experienced some innovations. Under the leadership of Karl Theodor they extended the palace. It did not only become bigger but also recieved different influences of new architectural styles. While the palace remained in the Baroque style from the outside, the interiors were furnished in the rococo and early classicism style.

In the beginning of the 19th century the Mannheim Palace again underwent innovations. From 1806 to 1811 the Mannheim Palace was inhabited by a new ruling couple. The couple, consisting of the Grand Duke Carl of Baden and his wife Stéphanie de Beauharnais, became ruler when Baden took power over Palatinate. Stéphanie de Beauharnais became a widow and so from 1818 she lived in the palace without her husband.  Under her influence the Mannheim Palace was again modernized and furnished in the so called Empire style.  Furthermore, because of Stéphanie de Beauharnais’ social events in the Mannheim Palace the place earned again some measure of fame.

In the World War II the palace was almost completely destroyed. However, the Mannheim city rebuilt the beautiful building. It took 60 years to bring the building to its current shape.  Moreover, in 2007 they founded a palace museum which makes it possible for visitors to witness the Mannheim Palace’s history. Today one part of the building is used by the Mannheim University. Some of the classrooms, a part of the university library and university administration are located here.

This cultural heritage is absolutely worth seeing. Visiting it will be highly interesting not only for history fans. By the way, the historical city Hockenheim is also not far away from Mannheim. Here you will also be able to see and marvel at amazing buildings and places. So, go for it and visit the gorgeous Pfalz region!

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