Schwetzingen Castle is a glorious moated castle with a rich history and wonderfully landscaped gardens.
About The Schwetzingen Castle And Its History
Schwetzingen’s beginnings go back to at least 766 A.D, when it was mentioned in the historical Lor Codex. However, the first mention of the castle doesn’t come until almost 600 years later, with a passing reference to Schwetzingen’s “water castle” in 1350. This structure was destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War.
Most of the current construction can be traced to the 17th century hunting lodge that was built atop the ancient castle’s foundations. Schwetzingen Castle has served as a summer home for the Electors of the Palatinate.
The castle has been home to many famous personages throughout history. Karl Theodore was one of the palace’s founders and spent much of his time here with his wife (and cousin) Elisabeth Augusta. The great French emperor’s niece, Stephanie de Beauharnais-Napoleon, also called Schwetzingen Castle home for a while. And even Leopold Mozart, father of the classical composer, was a visitor at Schwetzingen.
Schwetzingen Castle Highlights And Features
One of the highlights of Schwetzingen Castle is undoubtedly its wonderfully manicured garden. The garden has an interesting mix of styles, from its beginnings as a French formal garden to its reworking as an English landscape garden. Today, it is regarded as a unique example of “Anglo-Chinese.”
There are many not-to-miss sights within the garden as well. The Mosque is among the more unusual ones. This beautiful building stands tall, flanked by two elegant minarets within the landscape garden. The Bath House is another stunning example of fine architecture and luxury. There are many fine and artistic sculptures found within too, including some by the famous Peter Anton von Verschaffelt.
To learn more about the garden’s history, you can take a guided tour of the park on weekends and holidays.
The Castle Theater is another smorgasbord of architectural styles. It was built in 1753 and intended as a rococo building, but had many elements of neoclassicism of French and Italian courts.
Over the years, it has been reworked and refinished numerous times. Box seats were added shortly after construction. Then there have been two expansions in the 20th century.
The result today is an exquisite piece of Germany’s cultural history.
Schwetzingen Castle Location and Opening Hours
The posh city of Schwetzingen is (unsurprisingly) the setting for the Schwetzingen Castle. It is located in the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis in the north of Baden-Württemberg, about halfway between Heidelberg and Mannheim in the Rhine River plains.
The street address for Schwetzingen Castle is Karlsruher Straße. Hint for GPS users — just plug this address into your device and get step by step directions to the palace.
The highways that surround the castle are the Autobahn A5 and A6, as well as the Bundesstraße B45. Follow the exits and signs to Schwetzingen Castle and you’re sure to find it without much difficulty.
If you’re the adventurous traveler who prefers public transportation, you will also have an easy time getting to the castle via Germany’s excellent transportation infrastructure. Schwetzingen train station is just a five minute walk from the palace grounds. (Stepping out the train, walk towards the right, then the next big street left and you’ll see the grand building already showing itself off to you.)
Schwetzingen Castle Opening Hours
You can visit this exquisite castle and its gardens all year round, but you must take one of the guided tours to view the inside.
In the summer, Schwetzingen Castle is open from Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., as well as on weekends and public holidays, from 11:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. The gardens are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. In the winter, the castle is only open from Friday to Sunday and on public holidays with limited daily tours. The garden may still be visited daily, but only from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.