This part of the palace ground was of a more formal layout when it was originally designed. It once held what was back then claiming to be one of Europe's biggest opera houses, a wooden structure that was left neglected and eventually demolished when the court moved from Ludwigsburg back to Stuttgart in 1775. According to old maps and plans, it stood where the pond is today.
The way the gardens look nowadays in this part of the grounds is supposed to be more or less how it was done for Charlotte Mathilde, an English princess who married the German duke Friedrich who later became the first king of Wuerttemberg (thanks to a deal with Napoleon - I have written about this before).
Anyway - the area around the Park-Café is beautiful, and even more so in the evening light when we normally don't get to see it. When the birthday party ended and people were beginning to leave, the only light in the park was the moon. Thankfully, it was nearly full, and no clouds stopped its silvery light from reaching the ground. Only in the shade underneath the trees it was so dark you could hardly see where you went. Most of our guests are not so familiar with the park and needed help in finding their way back to the gates and their cars parked outside, and so my sister and I walked along with some of them. It was a strange, wonderful and mysteriously romantic atmosphere, and my sister was right when she remarked that the two of us had walked these paths countless times all our lives but only now, in our mid-forties, did we see the park at night.
|The palace at night. As you can see, everywhere else is pitch black dark.|
For me, these moonlit walks just added to the overall effect of a very memorable week.