Bypass Repeated Content

A significant monument in the region's history

The Sepulchral Chapel of the Grand Duchy

Aerial view of the Sepulchral Chapel of the Grand Duchy in Karlsruhe. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende
Burial place of the rulers of Baden

The sepulchral 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. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

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. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Sandra Eberle

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. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Helene Seifert
Tomb of Prince Ludwig Wilhelm. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Helene Seifert
Tomb of Grand Duchess Luise von Baden. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Helene Seifert

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

Learn more

Figures
Monuments & functions
Art & spaces
Stylistic eras
Eras & events

Please select a maximum of 5 keywords.