16. Palace Church

The Rastatt Palace Church together with the Favorite Palace is the most important architectural testimony of margravine Sibylla Augusta (1675 – 1733). The Palace Church was erected as Court church of “the Holy Cross” between 1719 and 1723 by the Bohemian Court architect Johann Michael Ludwig Rohrer. As a oneness of building, originally maintained fixed wall decorations and church treasure, the Palace church is an important testimony to baroque piousness. It is part of the cycle of “holy places” that the margravine had constructed in Rastatt and Favorite between 1717 and 1723. The burial ground of the margravine is also located in the Palace church. The gravestone of Sibylla Augusta also bears her own selected inscription: “PRAY / FOR / THE / GREAT / SINNER / AUGUSTA / MDCCXXXIII”.

After the abolition of the house Baden-Baden in 1771, the church served as a piarist school and as “Secondary School church” for the subsequent girls’ school.
After a long period of closing, during which extensive renovation and restoration work was performed, the Palace church can now be viewed again with one of the guided tours.

Children discover Rastatt:

The Palace church of the margravine should be “extremely beautiful and in no way worse than the palace chambers”. That was the margravine’s request before the start of construction in February 1720. The remains of particularly religious departed were brought into the Palace chapel in a relic procession on that day. The participants in the procession had to position themselves so that they were in the shape of a cross seen from the palace balcony. Thousands of faithful looked on.

Ludwig the town mouse, Siri, the palace mouse and Matteo the tower hawk were able to protect the courtyard closer from a bad situation. The margrave had promised his citizens a church. The margravine however fulfilled her dead husband’s request differently. The church in the city was changed to a church in the Palace.

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