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One of Württemberg's late medieval palaces
Urach Residential Palace
Barbara Gonzaga of Mantua, vestry window in the palace church of the old palace in Stuttgart. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Exhibition in the Hall of PalmsBarbara Gonzagaand her court

The life and works of Barbara Gonzaga, wife to Count Eberhard V, is documented in the Hall of Palms. Replicas of historical documents, along with pictures of personal items, highlight the splendor of the Renaissance court and illustrate the not always simple life of the duchess.

Portrait of Barbara Gonzaga in a mural by Andrea Mantegna. Image: Wikipedia, in the public domain

The Italian princess left her mark on the Urach court.

Italian splendor in Urach

Barbara Gonzaga is closely tied to the history of Urach. The educated Italian princess came to the small southern German city more than 500 years ago, as the bride of Count Eberhard V, bringing the residence a special splendor. Her wedding to the count was a sensational event lasting four days and including an opulent banquet and several thousand guests. Although Barbara contributed greatly to the Urach court, she never felt at home there. As of 1495 she became the first Duchess of Württemberg, ruled by her husband Duke Eberhard I. 

Exterior of Urach Palace with entrance gate. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Steffen Hauswirth

The exhibition is on permanent display in Urach.

The exhibition finds a home

The exhibition “Barbara Gonzaga and her court” was a successful traveling exhibition for two years, touring memorials and places from Barbara's life in southern Germany as well as Italy. In September 2013, it was permanently installed in Urach. Now the duchess’ colorful life is on display at her most important site of influence. From her youth in Mantua to her widowhood in Böblingen, all of the phases of her life are vividly presented. Even her glorification after death is explored.

View of the Hall of Palms with painted row of windows. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Steffen Hauswirth

The perfect spot for exhibit items: the Hall of Palms.

Nearby

The exhibition is located in the representative Hall of Palms, the former site of the magnificent wedding. Several replicas of historical documents and drawings, as well as pictures of articles of clothing, jewelry and coins, bring Barbara's life and courtly Renaissance splendor to life for visitors. The original letters to her family, out of which grew the interconnectedness of Urach and the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua as well as the Italian native's personal fate, are particularly interesting.

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