Schloss Solitude Castle-Stuttgart-Germany-Vasudha Narasimhan
Vasudha Narasimhan shares her recent visit to the Schloss Solitude castle in Stuttgart, Germany. “Schloss” in German means Castle and “Solitude” in its true English sense means a place that is quiet and free from the hustle and bustle of activities.
True to its name, this castle was built as a hunting lodge, during the period between 1764 and 1769, by Duke Karl Eugen of Wuerttemberg.
Although it is a castle by name, in reality, it is more like a palace built in the Rococo style of architecture.
Rococo interiors were defined by pastel colours, flowery and graceful in representation.
Though symmetry prevailed, Rococo introduced the art of asymmetrical harmony in styling. The use of artistic themes, gilded and ornate furniture, are some features of Rococo style of design.
While the exterior of this castle is Rococo, the interior is systematic, orderly and disciplined, exemplifying the classical arrangement of elements.
A 13 km lane, flanked by trees on both sides, leads straight from the castle to the main palace of Stuttgart. The beauty of the trees transforms magically every season. It is best in autumn, when the leaves change colour from hues of green to red, orange, and yellow. While I loved the castle and its surrounding areas in autumn, in winter, a blanket of snow covers the landscape and turns this place into a magical fairyland.
This castle is built on a hillock with lush green landscape around it and the view during spring and summer is breathtakingly beautiful. Visitors can sit on the lawns for hours, watching the town from here. This Castle is now an academy for the arts.
Although the castle has a long history of learning—from a high school to the Karlsschule academy, an arts academy, then a military learning centre and thereafter a university—the academy in its contemporary avatar opened its doors after the castle was restored during the latter half of the last millennium.
The academy runs international scholarship programs for artists in various disciplines.
Opened in 1990, the Schloss Academy has 45 live-in studios for artists enrolled in its art programs.
There are also several workshops run by the academy, which are open to larger participation.