“It's just like in Rocky!” I proceed to loudly sing “Eye of the Tiger,” because I’m a jukebox on two legs. Despite how tired we both were, the flowers and the presence of a palace nearby had made me giddy, and singing the Rocky song helped me to muster up the energy to sprint up the hillside’s steps.
A sharp crack of a twig and an explosion of leaves startles me as a red squirrel springs up the steps ahead of me.
“Shh!!” Sebastian hushes me, as the squirrel bounds up the steps faster than I ever could, and jumps into a nearby tree, where he sits for awhile, long enough for a few photos.
“I think he liked my singing!” I whisper! We creep up the steps slowly to where we can see the squirrel. We’d been coming to Germany for years, and although I looked and hunted and walked in squirrel-prone areas, or so I was told, and I’d NEVER seen a German squirrel. Until now.
It's official, the Blühendes Barock gardens of Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg are straight out of a fairytale and magical things are already happening.
History of Blühendes Barock
The gardens surrounding the palace were opened to the public in 1928, but were not maintained. By the time Albert Schöchle was assigned as director of the gardens in 1947, the paths were almost grown over. In 1951, Schöchle was inspired by what he saw at the Hannover Federal Garden Show, and proposed the concept of the Blühendes Barock, gained funding, and executed the garden show in time for the palace’s 250th anniversary in 1954. It was so popular and successful that it was financially self-sustaining at the end of the year. The gardens were so beloved and financially viable, that they’ve been kept up ever since.
The park is huge, just simply huge. In my mind, there’s four very separate areas, but rain came before we could explore the fourth. There’s the massive South Gardens that checks off all the gorgeous checkboxes with roses, statuary, fountains, and sculptural flower beds. They honestly could have stopped there. Either side of the South Garden has a more private, smaller garden, one for the lord, Friedrichsgarten, and for the lady, Mathildengarten.
To the north, which is on a steeply declining hill, is the oldest part of the grounds. It is currently designed as it was in King Friedrich’s time, in the 1800s. The shapes made with the flowers leads the garden as a whole to look like an embroidery sampler, and so it is called the Barocke Broderie. Broderie is french for embroidery.
Fairy Tale Garden
Another gamble the park director Albert Schöchle took was betting on adding a Fairy Tale Garden for children. This time he was inspired by the Fairy Tale Forest he visited in Tilburg, Netherlands, which is still open today. He executed his idea despite opposition, and opened the Fairy Tale Garden in 1959. His gamble paid off in a big way, and in 1960 the gardens’ revenues were 100% more than the previous year. Scenes are brought to life from Cinderella, Ali Baba, Rapunzel (who lives in Emichsburg, pictured below), Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Hänsel and Gretel and more. As a big kid at heart, I loved walking through the Fairy Garden.
Be sure to also check out the Eastern Garden. It rained before we could make it over there, but they have a reconstructed historical playground and gardens inspired by other regions, such as Japan and Sardinia. There’s so much to discover on the palace grounds, and we haven’t even made it INSIDE the Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg. That’s coming up next week!
The Blühendes Barock Ludwigsburg website is in German only, so here are direct download links to their official PDFs.
Click this link to download the English Blühendes Barock Ludwigsburg Brochure PDF.
Click this link to download the German Map Blühendes-Barock Ludwigsburg PDF.
Click this link to download the German Fairy Tale Garden Brochure with Fairy Tale Map PDF.
If you enjoyed this article, or these topics sound interesting to you, you'll love our weekly newsletter. You'll receive a free Germany Packing list for signing up, and you'll receive each week's newest posts every Friday. Thank you for reading!