Bypass Repeated Content

A fortress and widow's residence

Kirchheim Palace

From stronghold to learning center. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
FROM STRONGHOLD TO LEARNING CENTER

MILESTONES

Stronghold, royal dower house, place of learning: Kirchheim Palace has had a rich and varied history. Many characters played a part in municipal and courtly life in Kirchheim unter Teck.

Aerial view of Hohentwiel Fortress ruins. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

The fortress on Hohentwiel.

WÜRTTEMBERG'S STRONGHOLD

Kirchheim unter Teck was designated as one of Württemberg's strongholds in 1538. It was part of a new defense plan, designed by Duke Ulrich von Württemberg. The duke focused on seven strategically important locations: the hill castles at Hohentübingen, Hohenurach, Hohenneuffen, Hohenasperg and Hohentwiel, and the two towns of Schorndorf and Kirchheim. Over the course of the 17th century, Kirchheim lost its military value and became hopelessly outdated.

Royal retinue at target practice at Kirchheim Palace. Image: SWR, Gisela Reich

Royal retinue at target practice.

KIRCHHEIM AS A HUNTING LODGE

Duke Carl Eugen hunted in the forests around Kirchheim regularly. When he and his hunting party came to Kirchheim, there was always much activity in the tranquil town. All of the duke's subjects were involved in organizing the hunt, accommodating guests and providing entertainment. This work was compulsory and they were not compensated.

The widows' living area and source of income. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Thomas Kiel

Duchess Henriette's living room.

THE WIDOWS' LIVING AREAS AND SOURCES OF INCOME

In return for a duchess' dowry, the marriage contract would provide for a dower house. This consisted of one or more palaces and grounds. The widow was then entitled to the taxes and services from that area. Kirchheim Palace is one of the best-known and most well-preserved ducal dower houses in all of Württemberg. Since the 17th century, six dowager duchesses have spent their final years here.

FATE OF THE PALACE

After the death of the last dowager duchess in 1857, her furnishings were auctioned off. Only the caretaker continued to live in the palace. The outbuildings and gardens were leased. In 1922, the local history museum moved into the palace chapel. During national socialism, the museum was used by the Nazi Party (the NSDAP) and displayed national socialist history. Since 1947, the palace has housed the teachers' college, now the learning center. The best ducal living areas are open to visitors.

Mehr erfahren

Monuments & functions
Eras & events

Please select a maximum of 5 keywords.