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One of the largest historic residences in Europe

Mannheim Baroque Palace

Deckengemälde in der Schlosskapelle Mannheim; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Representational chapel and burial place

The palace chapel

The palace chapel can be found to the right of the entrance to the main courtyard. Considerably damaged in World War II, it was completely rebuilt, including the choir and music gallery, and now serves the Old Catholic Congregation of Mannheim.

Facade of the palace chapel of Mannheim Palace with a gable relief by Paul Egell, 1728. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The Baroque facade of the palace chapel.

Imposing architecture

After the main building was completed, construction work on the palace chapel was concluded in 1731. The royal library on the other side was constructed later as a counterpart building. Both entrances received gable reliefs by artist and royal architect of Mannheim, Paul Egell (1691–1752). Above the door to the palace church, the gable relief showing the Holy Trinity in Baroque splendor still impresses visitors today.

Palace chapel of Mannheim with ceiling paintings by Cosmas Damian Asam, newly painted by Carolus Vocke in 1955. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Many renowned artists took part.

An important Baroque church

As a palace church, it was simultaneously a representational house of God and a burial place for the Prince-Electors of the Palatinate. Many renowned artists, such as Alessandro Galli da Bibiena, Guillaume d'Hauberat, Nicolas de Pigage, Paul Egell, and Peter Anton von Verschaffelt, contributed to the creation of the Mannheim Palace chapel. With its sumptuous furnishings, the palace chapel was one of the most important Baroque churches in southwest Germany in the 18th century.

Interior of the palace chapel of Mannheim with the "Visitation of Mary" ceiling painting. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The chapel's false cupola makes the space appear larger.

Ornate ceiling paintings

The painter from Munich, Cosmas Damian Asam (1686–1739), was not only responsible for painting the ceilings in the Knights' Hall and on the staircase, but also that in the palace chapel. The ceiling vault in the nave received a huge depiction of the Triumph of the Church and, on the side of the choir, the Visitation of Mary. A false cupola with angles playing music expanded the space of the church through the use of illusionistic painting. Destroyed in World War II, the ceiling paintings in the nave by Carolus Vocke were repainted in 1955.

Crypt of the former palace chapel with the sarcophagus of Carl Philipp's third wife, palace church in Mannheim Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The crypt with Violanta's sarcophagus.

The resting place of the prince-electors

The palace chapel was completed in the first phase of construction, as it was intended to be the burial place of Prince-Elector Carl Philipp, who was already of an advanced age. His embalmed body was placed into the crypt in 1743, nine years after his third wife, Countess Violanta Theresia von Thurn und Taxis. The prince-elector had kept this marriage secret until after Violanta's death in 1734. The last resting place of the builder of Mannheim Palace can be seen on special tours.

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