Urach Residential Palace, Portal in the Golden Hall

One of Württemberg's late medieval palacesUrach Residential Palace

Urach Residential Palace (Residenzschloss Urach), situated at the edge of the Swabian Alps, is the Württemberg region’s only remaining late Medieval residential palace. Its Goldener Saal (golden hall) alone is well worth a visit.

Modelled on the Altes Schloss (old castle) in Stuttgart, the palace complex in Urach was built in the early 15 th century as the home of Count Ludwig I von Württemberg, at a time when the county was divided. After reunification of Württemberg in 1482, the palace became a well-frequented residence and hunting lodge for the Dukes of Württemberg. Duke Carl Eugen (1728 – 1793) enjoyed staying in Urach, where he would host grand hunting expeditions.

Blick in den Goldenen Saal von Schloss Urach

The Goldene Saal bears the coat of arms of Count Eberhard im Bart. He had travelled to the Holy Land.

Magnificent gilded ballroom

The interiors of the palace bear witness to the preferences and pastimes of its residents, for example the Dürnitz (a type of large hall), the Palmensaal (hall of palms) and, in particular, the unique Goldener Saal. 

This is the only preserved Renaissance hall built for the Duchy of Württemberg, and one of Germany’s most spectacular Renaissance ballrooms. The Golden Hall was designed for the opulent wedding celebrations of Duke Eberhard im Bart to Italian princess Barbara Gonzaga of Mantua in 1474. It was lavishly decorated in the 17th century. Three Corinthian capitals support the flat ceiling. The room is flooded with natural light on three sides. Its walls and pillars are extensively gilded in gold.

Example of a winter sledge

Winter sport, Baroque style: Urach is home to the world’s largest collection of ornate sledges.

Large collection of royal sledges

An extraordinary highlight of the palace is the exhibition of sledges belonging to the Württemberg State Museum. Featuring 22 ornate Baroque sledges from the 17 th to 19 th centuries, it is the largest collection of its kind in the world. The sledges of the Dukes of Württemberg illustrate their need for public shows of grandeur and document the changing taste of the court.

The impressive Gothic Dürnitz highlights the high aspirations of this medieval residence

The impressive Gothic Dürnitz highlights the high aspirations of this medieval residence.