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One of Württemberg's late medieval palaces

Urach Residential Palace

Detail of the mural in the Hall of Palms, Urach Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Janna Almeida
A large room for receptions and celebrations

The Hall of Palms

The large, central reception hall lies above the Knights’ Hall and is named after the wall design: Hall of Palms. In order to impress his wife's Italian relatives, Count Eberhard V had the walls of the hall painted with wall-high palm trees, his motto “attempto” and his ancestors’ coats of arms.

View of the mural in the Hall of Palms, Urach Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

The painting was discovered in the 1960s.

On horseback in the reception hall

A wooden exterior staircase that could be used by horse and riders led from the palace courtyard up into the Hall of Palms on the second story. The hall spanned the entire story and was the central receiving hall and ceremonial hall for the residential palace. Originally, the hall's ceiling was supported by oak pillars but nothing more is known about its earlier decor and furnishings.

Portrait of Count Eberhard V in the collegiate church in Tübingen. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Robert Bothner

Count Eberhard V von Württemberg.

Life motto: "I dare"

In honor of his wedding to Barbara Gonzaga, the daughter of the wealthy and cultured Margrave Ludovico II Gonzaga von Mantua, Count Eberhard V had the Hall of Palms elaborately painted in 1474. The exceptionally sophisticated imagery depicts wall-high palm trees, among other things, accompanied by the count's life motto, in Latin: “attempto,” or “I dare.” Even though Eberhard didn't know any Latin, he valued literary education highly and had many Latin texts translated. In 1477, he founded the University of Tübingen.

Monumental proof of lineage

Eight painted shields with the coats of arms of Eberhard V’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother stand in front of the giant palm trees, evidence of the count's high lineage. With this proud and monumental proof of lineage, he demonstrated to all of his guests the close relation of the House of Württemberg to the royal houses of Europe. This proof of ancestry is the oldest surviving monumental heraldic proof north of the Alps.

Mömpelgard coat of arms in the Hall of Palms, Urach Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Janna Almeida
Duke Ulrich von Württemberg's coat of arms in the Hall of Palms, Urach Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Janna Almeida
Mechthild von Savoyen-Achaia's coat of arms in the Hall of Palms, Urach Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Janna Almeida

Various coats of arms of Württemberg’s ruling families in the Hall of Palms.

View of the Hall of Palms, Urach Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Janna Almeida

Painted wall in the Hall of Palms.

Hunting hall and ducal apartment

In the 16th century, the hall was converted into a hunting hall. Various inscriptions make reference to the ducal hunts. More murals were added to those from the time of Count Eberhard III, such as Duke Ulrich von Württemberg's coat of arms in one window bay, and decorative paintings by another window from 1611. In the 18th century, during the time of Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg, the Hall of Palms was converted into a royal apartment and Garden Hall. These functional changes were reversed during the renovations in the 1960s.

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