Blue Drawing Room in Mannheim Palace

An apartment in the Empire styleThe grand duchess' apartment

The electress' apartment was originally in the western wing of the main building. After the Electoral Palatinate transitioned to the House of Baden in 1803, Grand Duchess Stéphanie used these rooms. In 1819, she made Mannheim her dower house and had four halls furnished in the style of the late Empire.

Stucco image of Flora in the Guard Hall of Mannheim Palace, circa 1722

Stucco image in the antechamber of the apartment.

The Guard Hall

In the 18th century, the Guard Hall served as the first antechamber and was named for the guards who watched over the ruler. Grand Duchess Stéphanie von Baden also used the hall as an antechamber. The tapestries on the walls were replaced with wood paneling. The impressive stucco ceiling, designed in the newest French fashion by Carlo Pozzi in 1725, was reconstructed from castings between 1969 and 1970. The reproduction of a large table from the royal library is now the central exhibition piece, surrounded by original instruments from the famous court chapel of Mannheim.

Blue Drawing Room: the dining room

The second antechamber was used as the prince-elector's dining room. At this time, tapestries showing the creation of the world hung on the walls. Grand Duchess Stéphanie also set up a dining hall here, but she had the Baroque ceiling stucco removed and the walls covered with blue damask. The reconstruction of the room now follows this color palette and the furnishings from 1814 and 1820. At this time, black furniture like the table and chairs displayed here was very modern. Today, the walls are decorated with paintings of family members of the House of Bonaparte. Emperor Napoleon I adopted Stéphanie.

Cherub with grapevines and grapes. Relief on a console table from the workshop of Peter Schmuckert, Mannheim, circa 1815, in the Blue Drawing Room of Mannheim Palace
Hunting scene. Relief on a console table from the workshop of Peter Schmuckert, Mannheim, circa 1815, in the Blue Drawing Room of Mannheim Palace

The Blue Drawing Room presented black furniture in the Viennese Biedermeier style with gilded reliefs.

Yellow Drawing Room in Mannheim Palace

Black chairs formed a contrast to the yellow.

Yellow Drawing Room: the living room

At the time of the prince-electors, the Yellow Drawing Room was the audience chamber, decorated with the famous tapestry series of the deeds of Alexander the Great, a topic that was naturally popular with the ruler of the Palatinate. Stéphanie von Baden set up a living room for representational occasions and private business here. Basket chairs made of mahogany with purple cushions from 1815 form an exciting contrast to the light-colored walls, which are once again covered with lemon-yellow damask. Portraits of the children and grandchildren of the widowed grand duchess can be seen.

Visitors in the Music Room of Mannheim Palace

The grand duchess loved to make music.

The Music Room

Stéphanie von Baden's apartment concludes on the west end with the Music Room. In the 18th century, the Council of Ministers met here, and the walls were covered with tapestries showing the battles of Alexander the Great. Stéphanie had the room furnished in the style of the late Empire. Today, a frieze in the style of antiquity once again runs under the simple ceiling. The widowed grand duchess was very musical and loved to play music in company. A watercolor by Pieter F. Peters from 1842 served as the model for the reconstruction of this fascinating room.

Concert grand piano in the Music Room of Mannheim Palace
Sofa made of cherry wood circa 1812 in the Music Room of Mannheim Palace

A Music Room for the musical grand duchess.

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