After the transformation of the Rastatt Hunting Palace into a residence, an appropriate garden became necessary as well. The relatively small decorative garden planned by Rossi in 1697 had already seen its first changes in 1699/1700. A draft by Le Maire could however not be realized by the margrave’s death in 1707. Other than the construction of a new orangery in the year 1738, no significant changes were made to the Court garden for a long time.
Not until 1772 – after several aborted attempts at renewal of the garden – could a new plan be completely realized. But because of excessive subventions, the garden operation had to be put on hold in 1783. From that point on, the garden served as arable farmland until it was finally transformed into a parade ground in 1843.
Between 1920 and 1926, after the First World War, a “People’s Park” was created according to plans of the reformation architect Max Laeuger, with different levels of garden elevation, box hedges, enlivening flower beds and two water fountains in front of the Palace façade. Laeuger included the existing lateral promenades into his facility.
The Palace Garden today is according to the 1989 finished plan of the Swedish landscape gardener and prior Professor at the Technical University Karlsruhe Gunnar Martinsson. The facility includes elements of the baroque garden as well as elements of the Laeuger People’s Park. Next to the Palace terrace with the water fountain is a firmly structured part with a lawn and hedges on the sides, between which is a “Rose Museum“. An octagonal pond extends to the last wooded section of the park that once extended as far as the railroad yard. The Palace terrace has been open to the public since May 2014. The severely damaged pivet hedges were removed; the two fountains were restored and expanded with a still water zone. The Rastatt Palace facility is serviced and maintained by the State of Baden-Württemberg at great expense.
Children discover Rastatt:
With its size and furnishings, the Rastatt Palace garden was to display the margrave’s wealth and importance. Rossi, the architect, also planned the Palace garden.
He wanted to show that nature is not allowed to grow the way it wants, but that the Prince has as much power over nature as he has over the people.
The garden architecture with its hedges, arcades, grottos, fountains and water games was also the ideal playground for children. But only children of “important” people were allowed to set foot in the garden. Games like “Blind Man’s Bluff“, horseshoes and tug-of-war were their favorites.
The Palace garden was to reflect the interior of the Palace on the outside. And the interior of the Palace was to present the look of the garden. But the Palace garden was mostly twice as wide as the palace itself and much longer. How often do you think that Siri and Bonnie invited all of their friends to play in the park? They only had to watch out for Ferdinand, the fat Palace cat!