...was where we wanted to go last Sunday, and so we did.
It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm enough to welcome the shade under the trees.
In Ludwigsburg's immediate vicinity, there are no woods to speak of, but a few train stops away, closer to Stuttgart, is a large woodland area (called "Glemswald") where many paths offer enough space for walkers, runners and cyclists without getting in each other's way.
The font with the hare relief above is called Häslesbrunnen, "hare's font". It has been there for centuries as a welcome stop for people (and probably their horses or other animals, too) to refresh themselves with a drink of water. Until the 1950s or so, the water was deemed of drinking quality, but standards have changed and nowadays a sign says "no drinking water".
The relief was created in the 1950s by an artist about whom I didn't know anything, but was to learn a lot before the day was over.
Getting closer to the small pleasure palace "Solitude" (built for the same duke of Wuerttemberg who gave Ludwigsburg's palace the size and look it has today), the road leads past horse pastures and stables. The stable building in the back is as old as the palace, mid-18th century.
Tucked away behind a high hedge, we arrived at this handsome building. It houses a small museum for the artist who made the hare relief above the font. We had time, there was hardly anybody about, and we were curious, so we went inside and spent a very pleasant half hour or so learning about the life and work of Fritz von Graevenitz (1892 - 1959). The building and garden once were his family's house and workshop, and the museum is still managed by the family. A short biography (in German) and pictures of the artist and his works can be found here.
We were now approaching Solitude palace. The palace itself is the central point of an ensemble of buildings. As was the fashion of the time, everything was planned perfectly symmetrical. Rows of small houses, the "Cavaliers' Houses", lead the way to the palace. These smaller houses are very well kept and privately owned, not open to the public.
We didn't feel like joining a guided tour (the only way to be allowed into the palace), but caught some glimpses nonetheless:
Through the central archway underneath the palace, one has a rather spectacular view of the Greater Stuttgart area, all the way to Ludwigsburg, where we live (provided the right weather conditions, of course).
The plaque on the ground is an official measuring point of what in the UK you would call ordnance survey. It shows the exact distance to Ludwigsburg palace.
Here is the view towards our home town:
We sat there on the grass for a while, eating our sandwiches and having a drink of water, before we set off on the next part of our walk.
One last glimpse back towards Solitude palace:
Part II will be the subject of my next post.