I remember going through a major battle in my mind as I ran around
the palace grounds. I was determined to finish this marathon, I
was totally mad at myself for starting out too fast and ending up
in such bad shape by this time and my legs hurt. I was all cramped
up from walking so much, I knew I had to start running again. Finally
I painfully, deliberately shuffled forward, starting with a slow
run– ouch my legs were cramped up. I shuffled forward at a
slow run a hundred meters, walked, shuffled forward and so on, eventually
passing the 35K marker and the service station. I drank a sport
drink, ate a banana, drank a second sports drink all the while looking
for a red cross volunteer or anyone that might be able to message
my legs a little. No one, so I stopped and tried to stretch out
a little. This seemed to help a little. I fought my way forward,
a step at a time!
The palace garden was designed during the reign of Karl Wilhelm
by the decorative and summer garden architect, Christian Throne,
in the French Baroque style between 1731 - 1746. Karl Wilhelm had
acquired his knowledge of flower breeding in Holland and passionately
devoted himself to his hobby in the royal residence. Six thousand
tulips, eight hundred and ninety hyacinths and six hundred varieties
of carnation blossomed amongst many others in his garden; he commissioned
botanically precise and exemplary water-colour paintings of six
thousand of the most beautiful flowers. Also built were fountains,
ponds, huge aviaries, grottoes, greenhouses and pavilions.
His successor, Karl Friedrich, had certain areas of the garden
redesigned by the court gardeners Saul and Müller. Finally,
from 1787 onwards, the garden was redesigned again by the garden
inspector Schweickhardt on the basis of English models. Especially
noteworthy are the numerous rare trees, sculptures from the Baroque
to modern styles, monuments and fountains from various epochs.
The palace garden lake surrounded by rocks from the "Erbprinzengarten"
(Prince Regent Garden) was built 1865 -1873. With its ducks and
coots, the large expanse of water enlivened and accentuated the
green lawns. But this green magnificence was to be short-lived.
In the 19th century, topsoil was removed from some areas of the
park and used in others. This led to the depressions in the landscape
still visible today. The multitude of newly created paths in the
partially overgrown palace garden made it very easy to get lost.
It was not until 1967, when the palace park became the venue for
the Federal Garden Show, that the area was tidied up.
Nowadays, on beautiful summer days, the park can sometimes greatly
resemble a beach on the Adriatic. Hundreds of pleasure-seeking Karlsruhe
residents then romp around on the palace lawn and pass the time
with reading, badminton, softball, juggling, and playing the guitar
etc. There is plenty to keep children occupied, too, such as the
huge adventure playground and a miniature railway that steams into
the depths of the palace garden.
If you look very carefully through the gate you will notice a tower
in the background. In the U.S.A., Maryland's state capitol Annapolis
has an almost identical tower. This is no coincidence, rather the
tower is modeled from the original plans for the tower in Karlsruhe.