I’ve been trying to get this post up since last week but keep having issues getting the photos uploaded.
Better late than never I suppose.
Karlsruhe is a medium sized, young (by European standards) city near the French border in southern Germany. It was founded by Karl Wilhelm in 1715 after a dispute with the citizens of Durlach, the previous capital of the Margraviate of Baden-Durlach.
As you can see from the picture, they’re currently renovating the gardens in the front of the palace. Typically, townspeople and visitors are able to use the palace gardens for walks, picnicing etc.
The palace, as well as a goodly portion of the rest of the downtown area, was badly damaged by bombing during WWII.
After the war, the palace and many historical downtown buildings were restored, however, the residents tell me that the palace gardens were not the same as original. Apparently, the current restoration project is to make the gardens more like they were when the palace was originally built in the early 1700’s.
The palace now houses a museum. I didn’t get a chance to go to the museum this time, but I will at some point.
Sorry about the crappy picture. The sun was wrong for this angle, but it was too crowded on the other side to get a decent angle.
Interestingly, the city plan of Karlsruhe was one of the plans provided by Thomas Jefferson to architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant upon which to base the design of Washington DC. The streets radiating out from the central, circular Palace grounds is mimicked throughout Washington DC including, most prominently, the streets surrounding the US Capital.
This is the view from the company owned apartment I was staying in.
In spite of the population density, the city is relatively quiet and low-key. Karlsruhe is home to an extensive public transportation system which is very well utilized.
Even walking around the city is very pleasant and it never ceases to amaze when you happen upon a path through a park-like area in the middle of a crowded block where you can lose yourself in nature for a few minutes.
Although there are several American icon establishments (McDonalds, Burger King, etc), Karlsruhe really is steeped in German culture and is a wonderful place for good food, interesting architecture and good-old German hospitality.
Karlsruhe is also the home of the Karlsruher Sports Club (KSC) soccer team and my company is a sponsor so I was able to attend a game while there. My first time in a VIP box. Very cool. But there will be another post about that as soon as I can get the pictures uploaded. And I’ll probably have a final Germany post about my general observations and impressions at some point.
I’m in Frankfurt tonight and will be catching a flight back to the good-ole USA tomorrow morning. I’m looking forward to getting home, but I have to say my visit to Germany has been very enjoyable all the same.