Not surprisingly, then, the statues of gods and heroes that adorn Ludwigsburg's palace have suffered in the two centuries since they were put in place, some to the point of losing parts of their limbs.
These larger-than-life people of sandstone have been replaced by copies where the damage was too great. The original statues have found a new protective home in the Lapidarium, a couple of rooms with vaulted ceilings on the ground floor of the palace, once housing the vast collection of silver in the monarch's possession.
Palace residents and visitors were never meant to come face to face with them; they would always only be visible from afar or from the ground, and yet they were made to high standards of art and craftsmanship. They are the works of at least 5 different sculptors and range from the time construction of the palace started (the foundation stone having been laid in 1704) to the late 18th century.
When my Mum and I went to the park on Tuesday afternoon (see two posts back), we also spent some time at the Lapidarium. It was freezing cold in there, but it is a fascinating place - I've always loved looking at statues, and I guess Edith Nesbit's "The Enchanted Castle", which I read and re-read several times as a child, played a considerable role in that.
|In one of the palace's courtyards, this collection of broken statues and other stone ornaments shows the degree of damage.|
Gods and heroes have come together here for an eternally silent party. But who knows what happens at night, when the visitors have all left and the palace is dark?