Rastatt is a small town in western Germany with a big palace. River cruises on the Rhine River between Basel and Amsterdam sometimes include a tour of the Rastatt Palace
on shore excursions from the river ports of Speyer or Mannheim. While on the Scenic Crystal
, we enjoyed a late afternoon tour of the castle, followed by drinks, dinner, and a wonderful concert. Candlelight gives old buildings like Schloss (palace) Rastatt a marvelous glow. It was a delightful evening, and was included as part of the cruise fare since Scenic is an all-inclusive
Rastatt is a few miles from the Rhine River near Karlsruhe. Italian architect Domenico Rossi designed and constructed the palace in the early 18th century for the Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden Baden and his much-younger wife, Sibylle Augusta of Saxe-Lauenburg.
The palace residence is done in the Baroque style and is modeled after the Palace of Versailles near Paris. Unlike many other similar castles, the building was not damaged during World War II. Our tour included a visit to several of the rooms, including the private apartment and bedroom of the Margravine Sibylle. It was fascinating to see the ornate ceilings and wallcoverings and the paintings of Sibylle and Ludwig Wilhelm.
Castle Dinner and Concert
Dinner for our group from the Scenic Crystal was in a large, high ceiling, candlelit room
. We had a choice of chicken, salmon, or vegetarian. The meal was fun, and the wine flowed freely. Following dinner, we adjourned upstairs to the largest ballroom in the palace, the Ancestral Hall
, where chairs had been set up for the concert. The concert was a perfect mix of well-known operatic and contemporary tunes. The young singers (a soprano and baritone) were excellent, as was their pianist. It was a delightful evening, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was glad to be dressed in my modern, comfortable clothes rather than the powdered wig
, corset, and heavy attire from the 18th century!
Rastatt Palace Photo Gallery