A Renaissance and Baroque delight

Weikersheim Palace and Garden

A large hall for an important dynasty of counts

The Knights' Hall

The Knights' Hall at Weikersheim Palace, completed circa 1600, is so overwhelmingly richly furnished that it warrants several visits. Despite its enormous dimension - it is 40 meters long - its wide wooden ceiling has no supporting pillars. It is suspended from a roof truss: a technical masterpiece.

Weikersheim Palace, stucco on the walls of the Knight's Hall; Photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Rich hunting gains were a status symbol for the rulers.

Love of hunting and secret worlds

The first thing you will notice in the lavishly furnished Knights' Hall are the large animal figures on the walls. These life-like three-dimensional painted stuccos depict wildlife that can be hunted – not just from Hohenlohe. They are matched by the images on the ceiling painted between 1601-1602 by Balthasar Katzenberger of Würzburg. Each frame depicts a hunting scene. Many of the images contain secret plays on Count Wolfgang II's passion for alchemy, an earlier form of the natural sciences.

Weikersheim Palace, ornate fireplace in the Knight's Hall; Photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The ornate fireplace can be seen through the large portal.

Complete rulers, grand ancestry

Notable among the furnishings in the Knights' Hall are the large portal and the ornate fireplace with its unusual reliefs and figures. The works of art from the time of Count Wolfgang II depict a political program. They use symbols to show how a good Christian ruler should behave. Equally notable are the two figures lying on the end wall. They belong to the large family tree which is supposed to illustrate the Count's parentage – and thus his claim to a high position in the empire.

Weikersheim Palace, large clock in the Knight's Hall; Photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The large clock's case rises more than five meters high.

Baroque additions

At the beginning of the 18th century, Count Carl Ludwig added further adornments to the magnificent old hall. Unusual wall panelling with views of European palaces and gardens were added to the dado, or wainscot. They depict places the Count visited in his youth as well as a view of Weikersheim palace and its first baroque gardens. Impressive are the enormous silver candlesticks from Augsburg and the elaborate clock with its many figures.

Other highlights in Weikersheim Palace and Garden