December 3, 2015

2096 GERMANY (Baden-Württemberg) - The Gardens and Palace of Schwetzingen

Situated in Schwetzingen, roughly equidistant from the electors' seats at Heidelberg and Mannheim, Schwetzingen Palace was the summer residence of the Electors Palatine Charles III Philip and Charles IV Theodore (of the House of Wittelsbach), and is most notable for its spacious and ornate gardens. In the gardens complex is also a mosque-style building, erected in 1779-1791 by a French architect. After many years of restoration, now is fully restored and open to the public.

The main building replaces a 17th-century hunting lodge built on the foundations of an older moated castle of which it also retains some foundations and walling. It was built in its current form in several building campaigns between 1700 and 1750, in part to plans of the Heidelberg architect, Johann Adam Breunig. The modest building as it stands today is completely overwhelmed by the garden's sheer size and magnificence. It would, therefore, be more appropriate to call it "the gardens and palace of Schwetzingen", and not the reverse.

During the second half of the 18th century, when the current Schwetzingen garden was created, the "French" formal garden was gradually being supplanted by the "English" landscape garden as the prevalent style of gardening. Schwetzingen is sometimes described as the principal surviving example of an intermediary style, the "anglo-chinese" garden. Under the auspices of Nicolas de Pigage, the garden's plan was thoroughly updated and substantially expanded.

The sculpture throughout the garden is of varied quality, with a few mediocre decorative pieces, salvaged from the earlier garden and various other locations, as well as some impressive works by Gabriël Grupello and Peter Anton von Verschaffelt, among others. Most of the sculpture within the parterre, and some of the works scattered elsewhere, was acquired at auction in the 1760s. Most of it is the work of then-celebrated French artist Barthélemy Guibal and had previously adorned the Lunéville palace of the deposed Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński.

About the stamp
The stamp, depicting a Kugel-Primel, belong to the set Blumen, about which I wrote here.

Schwetzingen Palace - Wikipedia

Sender: Tala
Sent from Speyer (Rhineland-Palatinate / Germany), on 10.11.2015
Photo: Holger Pfiffi

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