Schwetzingen Castle Garden Visit

This past week we have been bless with “spring” weather! Cloudy but concidering the fact that we didn’t see too much sun lately it was SUNNY!! So, of course I use this to open my windows everyday ALL day, instead of just a few minutes in the morning.

Then I recharged my camera battery and on Friday (since it was the only day of last week when I wasn’t busy) I took out!!

Camera in the bag & hat on my head. It was a pretty day, but lots of wind, so the clouds full of rain will come and go as fast as you could take refuge under a tree! LOL! BUT I did have a great time, I went to the Schwetzingen castle.

Here is a little info about the castle for those of you who one day will go around the garden, like I did!
Schwetzingen was the summer residence of the Electors Palatine Karl III Philip and Charles Theodore. It is situated in Schwetzingen, roughly equidistant from the electors’ seats at Heidelberg and Mannheim, and is most notable for its spacious and ornate gardens. Other than these exceptionally well preserved gardens and the castle proper, the compound also features one of the few surviving theaters in the rococo style.

The Palace Garden
The Garden Complex was created in Schwetzingen based on the example of Versailles and is unequalled anywhere in Europe.

The Schwetzingen Palace garden consists of two parts:
• The Symmetrically designed French baroque Garden with the Arion fountain in the center and
• The English landscape garden, this lies around the large pond and its arced canals in planned naturalness.
The Baroque garden is divided into the parterre, hedge zone and forest section. An unusual feature in Schwetzingen is the circular parterre formed by the “Zirkelbauten” (Quarter-Circle Buildings) and the vine-covered galleries, which distinguishes it from all other of the period.
The Schwetzingen gardens, like all baroque gardens, are oriented on the center axis of the palace. The main avenue is the reference point for all parts of the gardens. This idea embodies the concept of the absolute ruler: All parts of the estate are based on him; his glory shines like the sun over everything; his entire surroundings reflect his importance. With his building and landscape architects Nicolas de Pigage and Friedrich Ludwig Sckell, Carl Theodor, with his love of art and the good things in life, realized a garden complex which shows the intellectual history and fashions stretching from the baroque to the enlightenment to the Romantic period:

• The gardens, with their use of antique mythology (e.g. in the Temple of Apollo and the figure of Arion on the dolphin), becomes a Baroque stage for courtly life.
• The reasonable rationalistic view of the Enlightenment is reflected in the geometry of the circular parterre.
• In accordance with the ideas of the Romantic period, the concept of the gardens approaches nature with its imitation of natural moods and landscaped areas.

In all ages a multitude of fountains, cascades, lakes, ponds and channels bring movement into the gardens. Statesmen, artists and scholars of the highest rank met at the Palatinate Summer residence in Schwetzingen for the purpose of enjoying the opera performances and the magnificent courtly life. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave concerts here and Voltaire was a guest here. Schwetzingen later irresistibly attracted Romantic Friedrich Holderlin and Freiherr Von Eichendorff.
The Mosque was built as a Garden Folly.

Place Stanislas, Nancy

This past weekend was a “Long” weekend! Once a month Matt is off for 3 to 4 days. Most of the time the school are good to let the kids have the same weekend off, so it is nice because you can plan to get out of town and do something different. Well, we were thinking to go to Luzern (Switzerland) but decided against it as it is about 3 ½ hours away (one way) and we didn’t want to sleep over there (or at least not this time…. Way too cold to enjoy 2 days in Switzerland)

So we talked about it on Saturday and decided to drive to Nancy (which is still about 2 ½ hours away, mind you!!) Anyway, we stopped to see mainly the Place Stanislas, which is on the list of the “World Heritage Sites” of the UNESCO.

“Up to the middle of the 17TH century the Old Town and the New Town of Nancy were separated by a vast esplanade. Stanislas Leszczynski an exiled king of Poland who had become Duke of Lorraine in 1737, planned to create a square intended to honour and glorify his son-in-law Louis XV of France. The foremost of French royal squares, it sanctifies the royal image but at the same time is the setting for all popular festivities.

Stanislas and his architect Emmanuel Héré chose an ideal site for their project which was opposed to for a long time by Marshal de Belle-Isle, French military commander of the province. The foundation stone of the first building in the square was officially laid in March 1752 and the royal square solemnly inaugurated in November 1755.

At the beginning a bronze statue of Louis XV in the uniform of a roman general, the work of two sculptors Guibal and Cyfflé, decorated the centre of the square. The statue along with surrounding allegorical figures disappeared during the French Revolution and it was only in 1851 that a new statue, this time of Stanislas, was erected in its place.

The buildings round the square are classical in style with a play of colossal orders. The City Hall takes up the whole of the south side. The pediment above the main entrance is decorated with the coats of arms of both Stanislas and the town of Nancy. The present day Grand Hotel and the Opera House stand on the east side.

On the west side we find the Jacquet dwelling and the Fine Arts Museum which was in Stanislas’s time the College of Medecine. To the north the passage between the Vaudemont and Haussonville Bastions was still in existence and in order to maintain it on military defence grounds Emmanuel Héré conceived the ” basses faces “, buildings which were only the height of the first level of the others round the square.”

I found this photographer’s web site with gorgeous pictures of the Place Stanislas. The one that are on the blogs are mine, hope you enjoy them!
And of course nothing could be more perfect than a few Roses to tell you “Happy Valentine Day!”