Friday, October 1, 2010

Rastatt, Germany

I arrive in Rastatt, Germany (population 47,000) late afternoon and wasn't expecting much in the way of sights to see. However, checking into my hotel I eye several brochures with pictures of impressive looking palaces. Wow, turns out both these palaces are in Rastatt but, today is Sunday with visiting times already over (it's 5PM) and worse yet---the brochure says both will be closed tommorrow (Monday). I decide they would still be worth cycling to and snapping pictures of the buildings and grounds.
Rastatt Palace stands smack dab in Rastatt's city center. This a view from the backside with its well tended gardens and grounds.
These statues greet visitors to the front entrance,
The palace is so massive I can't get all of it in with one photo.

This is the front section with building wings on each side. Built in the beginning of the 1700's it's undergoing renovations.

This a close-up of the gold statue atop the building. Could be Zeus but then again, I don't have a beard but those could be my abs as I've been working out quite a bit.

Picture of palace entrance taken from down the block.

Lined up in Rastatt's city center are a half-dozen spiffy fountains all spewing water.

It's drinking water--great for filling up my water bottle!

This sun house and tower sits in a city park.

I like the animals in this fountain.

Here's a close-up.

Another fountain.
So, I leave Rastatt and cycle to the countryside in search of Palace Favorite. Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden-Baden (yep that's his title and name) had Rastatt Palace built. But, it evidently wasn't enough for his wife Margravine Sibylla Augusta of Baden-Baden (yep that's her title and name). Evidently she kept nagging and nagging him about her needing a getaway and a place to display her porcelain collection (as if the massive Rastatt Palace didn't have enough room). The Margrave finally relented (no big surprise there) and Favorite Palace was built in 1710. I show up at 8:30 PM and plenty of people are using the grounds for picnics, walking and just hanging out on a hot summer evening. This is the front side of the palace

This is a close-up of the front side.

This is a backside view showing a small portion of the huge grounds with plenty of room to let your dog run free. I mention this because quite a few dogs were running around and one pooped right next to me and I got into a heated argument with the owner who didn't seem to think he was required to pick up said poop. So, getting back to the stressed out Margravine who so desperately needed a "getaway" place. How often did she use this beautiful palace--located ONLY six miles from Rastatt Palace? Two weeks a year.

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