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Fruits borne of strong women

Noblesse oblige. Hermitage summer residence and Sanspareil rock garden are the extravagant legacy of Wilhelmine von Bayreuth. Her talent for garden design was passed on to her daughter, Duchess Elisabeth Friederike Sophie von Württemberg, who is immortalised as the mastermind behind the “Fantaisie” summer residence. Margravine Sibylla Augusta von Baden-Baden had “Favorite” Palace built to mark her husband's death. Princess Constance de Salm (1767-1845, wife of Prince Joseph zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck) transformed the gardens of Dyck Palace into an idyll of pure poetry. The many magnificent decorations express not only the desire for self-aggrandisement, but an almost 21st-century eagerness to incorporate her own ideas.
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In 1735, Margrave Friedrich von Bayreuth gave his wife Wilhelmine a piece of land just outside Bayreuth for her “Hermitage”. She extended the existing mansion into a charming summer residence, adding an audience chamber, music room and Japanese and Chinese mirrored halls – uniting grandiose rococo with her fondness for the exotic. The highlight of the ensemble is Hermitage New Palace, erected between 1743 and 1745. The “Hermit's House”, the “Grotto” and other features are part of a natural garden concept that strayed from the baroque tradition. Wilhelmine had the theatre, which still stages plays, built in 1745 in the form of classical ruins, and she is considered the founder of this remarkable architectural style. Even more impressive is her Sanspareil rock garden, situated near Zwernitz, a Hohenzollern Castle. These distinctive rocks are similar to those used to build the magical grottos and the Roman theatre ruins made of coarse tufa. Her daughter Friederike named her inherited summer residence in Donndorf “Fantaisie”, and surrounded it with cascades, pavilions and hedged enclosures in a late-baroque garden that has since been restored to its former glory.
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“Favorite”Palace, Rastatt

“Favorite” Palace in Rastatt is the oldest 'porcelain palace' in Germany. This rococo gem in Baden is tucked away amid sprawling parkland. Preceded by an English Garden, its curved front steps take visitors one floor up to the bel étage. Inside, the central sala terrena rises unimpeded through the entire building culminating in a domed tower, while each and every room is rich in exquisite, hand-crafted décor typical of the early 18th century. Boasting decorative features in abundance, “Favorite” Palace and garden are a baroque work of art, a testament not only to the princess' tastes, but also her capacity for showing off wealth and power.
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Dyck Palace, Jüchen

Dyck Moated Palace is one of the foremost cultural monuments in the Rhineland. Prince Joseph zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck (1773-1861) and his wife Princess Constance de Salm (1767-1845) were responsible for the design and drive that turned its extensive 50-hectare park into a paradise of near poetic beauty. She was a remarkable lady, perhaps not so different from modern women today. After rising to fame as an opera librettist, she made a name for herself as a champion of women's rights during the French Revolution. The princess also wrote a number of belletristic works now housed in the Dyck library.
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  1. Dyck Palace, Jüchen
  2. “Favorite”Palace, Rastatt
  3. Bayreuth