Fulda - City Palace
The city palace in Fulda was built in 1706-1714 by Johann Dientzenhofer on the basis of a commission from the prince-abbot Adalbert von Schleiffras as the residence of the princely abbots of Fulda and later the princely bishops.
The four-winged Baroque complex with two side wings enclosing a courtyard of honour was built on the site of the original 14th-century abbey castle and was created by rebuilding a Renaissance palace built between 1607 and 1612. The total reconstruction of the town palace was completed in 1721.
The first predecessor of the Fulda town castle was the abbey castle built at the beginning of the 14th century.
The growth of power and the increased need for representation of the abbot was probably the reason for the conversion of the mansion into a castle in the early 17th century. Between 1607 and 1612 the castle was rebuilt into a four-winged Renaissance palace for the abbot Johann Friedrich von Schwalbach by the builder M. Winter. Some buildings from the old castle were incorporated into the palace. The Abbey Palace with its foundation walls is still part of the central bay of the present-day castle.
In 1671, Bernhard Gustav of Baden-Durlach was elected abbot. A year later he began to expand the residence. He began building a new two-storey wing on the west side of the four-wing complex. However, this wing was not completed until 1681-1683 under Abbot Placidus von Droste, who completed the building according to his own plans.
A further extension began in 1706 under Prince-Abbot Adalbert I von Schleifras, who commissioned Johann Dientzenhofer to draw up a plan for the new palace. The design of the palace in Fulda was Johann Dientzenhofer's first design for a secular building.
The foundation stone of the Baroque palace was laid on 26 March 1708. Another new wing facing the city was added to the four-wing complex. This created a court of honour (cour d'honneur). The rest of the palace was rebuilt in Baroque style.
By 1713, the rebuilding of the central and northern wings was completed. Work on the interior continued until the end of 1714, particularly on the main staircase and the staircase in the court of honour, which were built by Hans Georg Mainwolff, Dientzenhofer's former foreman. The abbot's death in 1714 resulted in a four-year interruption of construction. In 1719 the actual building work was completed, as by 1720 work on the interior decoration was already underway.
The Baroque building was largely preserved. When Elector Wilhelm I of Hesse took over the principality, he had the wings rebuilt in the Rezidenzgarten in the late classical style in 1817 and 1818. He commissioned the Oberhof architect Johann Conrad Bromeis to carry out the work. The palace became the residence of the Electoral Prince.
During World War II in 1944, the palace building was damaged. The war damage was repaired until 1954.
In 1962-1976 and 1986 renovations were carried out on the palace building.
The complex consists of a three-storey main or transverse wing and its two side wings. Adjoining these were the somewhat narrower two-storey stable buildings, which enclosed the inner courtyard to the outside. In the northern side wing, the tower from the Renaissance castle was preserved. The main wing stretched across the entire width of the grounds and architecturally dominated the castle with its steep and high hipped roof and less pronounced central buttress.
To the west, two two-storey side wings attached to the main wing formed a courtyard of honour, which was enclosed by pillars and grilles. In the centre, the pillars and grilles were arched inwards towards the entrance gate. The facades were kept simple, the windows had narrow moulded frames. They were doubled at the upper corners and topped with trapezoidal keystones at the lintel.
The Prince's Hall was decorated in 1712-1713 with rich ceiling stucco and ceiling paintings. The Prince's apartment was furnished around 1730 and rebuilt in Rococo style in the 1750s.
Today, most of the palace serves as the seat of the municipal administration.
Some parts have been reconstructed in their original, historical form, such as the Baroque banquet hall and adjacent rooms. The 18th century residential wing of the Fulda abbots and princely bishops has also been preserved.
The Baroque grand staircase, the adjacent ceremonial halls (the banqueting hall with associated anterooms) and the 18th-century princely apartment are currently open to visitors. The Princely Hall contains parts of the Renaissance banqueting hall and was decorated with rich ceiling stucco and ceiling paintings between 1712 and 1713. In addition, it is possible to visit the rococo mirror cabinet.
Owners / users
Der Magistrat der Stadt Fulda
Tel.: +49 661 102 0
|16. Juni 2023