Karlsruhe Castle

Built between 1715 and 1718, the Baroque Karlsruhe Castle served as the residence of the electoral princes and grand dukes of Baden for more than two centuries. Designed by Jakob Friedrich von Batzendorf, the palace exterior is especially pleasing—not least because it was planned as the focal point of the city, with streets radiating out from all sides like wheel spokes (which in turn inspired Pierre L’Enfant, planner of Washington, D.C.). The castle also features picturesque pavilions and ornate wings, but for many the real highlight is the Baden State Museum inside. Opened in 1919 and generally regarded as the best in the region, the museum spans pre- and early history, with exhibits on the Ancient Greek and Roman eras as well as sculptures from the Middle Ages, a particularly celebrated art nouveau collection, and an impressive range of 17th-century Ottoman handicrafts.

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