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Bruchsal, Schlosslocked

  • Christian F. Otto


German palace in the town of Bruchsal, situated c. 25 km south of Speyer between Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg. When Damian Hugo Schönborn was elected Prince–Bishop of Speyer in 1719, he initially intended to rebuild the destroyed bishop’s palace that was attached to the north flank of Speyer Cathedral, but the project brought him into conflict with the Protestant municipal authorities. He then decided to construct a new Residenz on the northern edge of Bruchsal, which had been part of the bishopric of Speyer since the 11th century. As war could be expected at any time in the area, the Residenz complex was to consist of individual buildings separated from one another and grouped around courtyards, an arrangement that would help to control the spread of fire. Plans were procured from Maximilian von Welsch, the architect of Damian Hugo’s uncle, Lothar Franz, Elector of Mainz. Von Welsch’s scheme for Schloss Bruchsal is lost, but his ability to arrange larger groups of buildings effectively on a site suggests that he devised the layout of free-standing buildings and interlocked axes. The tall, rectangular block of the palace was placed on an axis formed by a tree-lined avenue and gardens on one side and on the other by a symmetrical arrangement of buildings and a large courtyard that extended over the adjoining Bergstrasse (now Schönbornstrasse). The street was straddled by the Damian Gate at one end, and at the other it was bracketed by long rows of buildings. Work began first on the flanking blocks, to the designs of ...

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