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Schwetzingen Castle Mosque - a building long in the planning

Germany's first mosque can be found in the gardens of Schwetzingen Castle. Designed and built in 1780 by French architect Nicolas de Pigage (1723-1796), it is the largest oriental-style building in a German-speaking country.
Built from 1779 to 1796, Schwetzingen Mosque is the only 18th century garden mosque still in existence in Europe. It is a real highlight, set within the Turkish Gardens, in one of the last areas of the beautifully landscaped castle grounds to be completed. At first glance, the mosque seems to be something out of a story from the Arabian Nights. Built by Nicolas de Pigage, the court architect of the Elector Charles Theodore, it combines elements from Moorish Islamic architecture with the exoticism of tales from the Arabian Nights.
It is extravagant and ornate and still captures the imagination of visitors with its eastern charm. The central part of the mosque, which takes the form of a round dome, is flanked by square side chambers. The interior is also oriental in style, with a floor of marble mosaics. Both sides of the building are adorned with minarettes (which visitors unfortunately cannot climb).
The ceiling is decorated with stucco work, and the cornice is supported by eight pilasters. The walls are decorated with paintings and gilding. Inside, the priests' chambers reinforce the impression of a "real" mosque. Walking through the colonnades with their interplay of light and shadow is a delight. Verses from the Koran can be found on the outer walls and on the ceiling of the dome. Closed on Mondays.



A5, A6, A61, train station