Europe For The Senses

Author/Photographer Vicki Liston blogs on her book and some interesting places she's traveled. "Europe for the Senses - A Photographic Journal" was published under the name 'Vicki Landes'.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Monrepos Castle: Ludwigsburg’s Silent Charmer

The exquisite baroque Residence Castle steals the thunder in the town of Ludwigsburg, Germany. Its proud and stately demeanor vies any other historical building in the area. However, the quiet little Schloss Monrepos sits on the outskirts of town – and proves to be just as charming.

Monrepos is a ‘newer’ castle, dating back to the 18th century. The delicate rococo facade cheerfully greets the visitor as they enter the grounds and the grand double staircase is an elegant focal point. In fact, many brides can be seen using this spot for their wedding photographs. The appeal of the castle is actually in back, where the stairs descend and dip their cold toes into the quiet lake. Swans and ducks keep the stone statues company as they guard this rear access to the palace.

The castle itself is actually privately owned and closed to the public but that doesn’t diminish the allure. Instead of touring the inside, visitors can stroll the expansive grounds or sit and enjoy the scenery. Want to get the best view? Rent a paddleboat and set out to explore the dream-like lake. Little islands anchor trees that hang over the water creating enchanting tunnels of foliage – perfect for escaping the hot sun or a misting rain. The lake has a calming sense about it, leaving the boater with only the splashing sounds of paddling as they watch the ripples lap at the castle steps. Worked up an appetite yet? Visit the kiosk near the entrance to the grounds for authentic German snacks and enjoy them on a blanket underneath the verdant trees.

Monrepos Castle begs to be seen as it competes with the regal Residence Castle nearby but its undisturbed character gives it its charm. Whether looking for a fresh, lesser-known place to photograph or simply needing a quiet spot to reflect and chat with the ducks, this modest palace will captivate and satisfy.


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