Aerial view of the Sepulchral Chapel of the Grand Duchy in Karlsruhe

Burial place of the rulers of BadenThe chapel

The sepulchral chapel in Hardtwald forest, on the edge of the palace garden of Karlsruhe, sits in an atmospheric location. It is one of the most important historical monuments of Baden. 17 members of the House of Baden are interred here, including every grand duke who died after 1830.

Portrait of Grand Duchess Luise Marie Elisabeth von Baden

The grieving mother: Luise Marie Elisabeth von Baden.

Mourning in seclusion

Grand Duke Friedrich I and his wife, Luise, wanted the mausoleum to be "in the seclusion of the deep tranquility of the forest." In 1888, their son Ludwig Wilhelm died at only 23 years; they hoped to be able to mourn undisturbed and in privacy here. In the crypt of the Protestant city church of Karlsruhe, where Ludwig Wilhelm was initially buried next to other family members, the couple felt very exposed to public viewing.

Interior view of the Sepulchral Chapel of the Grand Duchy in Karlsruhe

Gothic Revival: aspirational and clearly structured.

Burial place of the House of Baden

The chapel, constructed between 1889 and 1896 in the Gothic Revival style, became the family burial place until the grand dukes of Baden had to abdicate in 1918. It was the only grand ducal building in the former residential city of Karlsruhe to survive World War II almost untouched, so the coffins of other members of the House of Baden were also moved here from the family crypt in the destroyed city church in 1946.

Impressive funerary monuments

Three valuable works of art made of white marble stand in the chapel: the cenotaphs for Ludwig Wilhelm and his parents, funerary monuments in memory of the deceased. They are depicted as three dimensional recumbent figures and seem to be sleeping, as if they might wake at any moment. Their impressive realism and the artful reproduction of draped fabric still impresses viewers today. These cenotaphs are unique in Baden-Württemberg: they were created by the important sculptor from Karlsruhe, Hermann Volz.

Tomb of Grand Duke Friedrich I
Tomb of Prince Ludwig Wilhelm
Tomb of Grand Duchess Luise von Baden

The funerary monuments of Grand Duke Friedrich I, Prince Ludwig Wilhelm, and Grand Duchess Luise in the sepulchral chapel.

The perfect companion to a visit in the sepulchral chapel is a walk in the nearby palace park. There, you will find the loveliest green oasis in the city: the botanical garden and its conservatories.

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