Baden Marathon 2005: Kilometer 35

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.

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