So on through the town we wound finally entering the castle (or
palace) grounds in front of the Karlsruhe Palace (Schloss Karlsruhe).
By the 34K marker my legs hurt so bad that I had to walk, I just
couldn't seem to get the legs to work right. Here the route wound
its way around the palace gardens to the back of the palace, I was
in the back, almost no one around and I felt like crap. So I walked,
maybe for a ½ kilometer or a kilometer, I don't know, just
trying to get my head together. I was battling with thoughts about
why I was doing this to myself. But on the other hand I knew I wouldn't
quit, I had to finish this!
The central area of the palace forecourt gives you a clear view
of the palace, enlivened, rather than obstructed, since 1988 by
the small fountain at its centre. To the left and right, along the
perimeter of this garden are statues of mythological, Baroque figures
dating back to 1760, who, when viewed from the front, present just
as delightful a picture as from the back. Next, behind these, and
to the right and left of the extensive layout of the central axis
are rows of lime trees. They encompass the real jewels of the palace
forecourt, the gardens around the Najaden fountains (designed by
Friedrich Dyckerhoff 1814 - 1816, built by Alois Raufer) in the
English style with a multitude of rare trees from all over the world.
The large sandstone figures, set in rows, depict the ancient gods
Silus, Bacchus, Hygieia, Aesculapius, Heb or Hercules, Pan, Venus,
Orpheus and Diana and were made between 1758 - 1764 by Ignaz Lengelacher,
the court sculptor.
The two former sentry boxes still stand in front of the palace
building. The objection that the palace courtyard is inconsistent
in its design is certainly justified but this is its special attraction.
Where else can you find another of its kind that holds so many surprises
in such a small area?
The Karl Friedrich monument at the southern end of the palace courtyard
is certainly worth mentioning. In his right hand, the margrave holds
the document of the abolition of serfdom in Baden in 1782. This
was six years before the French revolution and established Baden's
reputation as a liberal state.
The four female figures around the plinth represent the major regions
in Baden such as "Altbaden", the land on the Maine and
Neckar rivers, the Black Forest and the Lake Constance region. The
monument was created by the hands of the famous Bavarian sculptor
Ludwig Schwantaler who erected it in 1844.
The palace was built by margrave Karl Wilhelm in 1715 in the middle
of a forest and was the starting point of the city of Karlsruhe.
First it was meant as a manor for rest and relaxation for the margrave,
but later it became his residence and the political center of the
state of Baden. All streets of the early Karlsruhe radiated from
the palace into all directions like sunbeams and the tower of the
palace was in the center. It is supposed that it was used as a sundial,
because the spire casts its shadow every full hour onto another
path. Nowadays the palace is home of the Badische Landesmuseum (Baden
Land Museum) which exhibits collections about local history, greek
and roman art, the treasure chamber of the margraves of Baden and