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One of the largest historic residences in Europe

Mannheim Baroque Palace

Visitors in Mannheim Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert
Reconstruction with a sense of proportion

The refurbishment

Architects, art historians, and restorers worked on the refurbishment of Mannheim Palace for more than ten years. Today, the former residence of the Prince-Electors of the Palatinate shines with new splendor.

The Knights' Hall, destroyed in an air raid in World War II, Mannheim Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

After 1945, little of its former magnificence was left.

Breathing new life into Mannheim

In 1990, the State Palaces of Baden-Württemberg was tasked with bringing new life to Mannheim Palace. Furnished palace rooms were intended to explain their history and function simply and vividly, like works of art. However, after the destruction of the war, hardly any of the palace's former magnificence remained. Instead, of the court of the prince-electors, only the University of Mannheim resided here. Only the magnificent staircase, Knights' Hall, Court Hall, and Guard Hall were reconstructed in the 1950s.

A wash basin from Sèvres, circa 1806 in Mannheim Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Distributed among many places: original furniture from Mannheim Palace.

Looking for originals

Using old inventories, it was possible to find some of the original furnishings from Mannheim Palace. They had found new homes in Schwetzingen Palace or Bruchsal Palace or were stored in the general warehouse in Karlsruhe. Luckily, there was a simultaneous increase in works of art from the collection of the Margraviate of Baden. Objects that had long been thought to be lost were rediscovered and repurchased for display in Mannheim Palace.

Detail of the "Kirmes" (carnival) tapestry by Caspar van der Borght, Brussels. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Valuable tapestries have returned.

The staterooms restored

The University of Mannheim was able to house its libraries in the restored mansard roof building. This left the former palace rooms in the representational main building free. Architects created construction plans with the old layouts and wall arrangements. Construction work began in 2003. In more cases, the historical room divisions were recreated. Cautiously, the rooms received new wall decor. In the processed, the distinction between original findings and abstract reconstruction was preserved.

Blue Drawing Room of Mannheim Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Dirk Altenkirch

Mannheim Palace shines with new splendor.

"Woken with a kiss!"

With the help of palace inventories and old photographs, 800 furnishings were returned to their old places. The valuable tapestries that had been believed lost for 80 years returned to Mannheim after detailed restorations. Magnificent crystal chandeliers, reconstructed according to a drawing from 1810, now made the staterooms shine. In 2007, for the 400 year anniversary of the city, the slogan was "Woken with a kiss!" and the reopening of Mannheim Palace was celebrated.