Ellingen is quite a small town in the heart of Central Franconia in the northern parts of Bavaria. There‘s a lovely medieval city centre, a nice city gate but first and foremost there‘s a real palace. Wow, a real palace in such a small town. But yes, a tiny bit east of the city centre there‘s a whole district of facilities belonging to the old residence of the town.
Ellingen Residence belonged to the Teutonic Order from 1216 onwards. First there were only some medieval buildings that occupied today‘s site but starting 1718 the present palace grounds were built. The main building was erected from 1718 to 1720 by the architect Franz Keller. Also the old Gothic church which is part of the complex of buildings was converted to the Baroque style. Later around 1775 an additional colonnade in the inner courtyard was added to the already existing buildings by the French architect Michel d‘lxnard. Today‘s photo was taken in that old courtyard and it illustrates a typical element of the facade of Ellingen Residence.
1/576, f/2.2, ISO 20, 64 mm, iPhone 12 Pro Max
I know this single and very detailed photo can’t give you an overview of the site, so alongside the links of this text make sure to also check out my Instagram account for more photos from Ellingen. I will also try to give you an idea of the wonderful palace park there.
I haven‘t seen the interiors of Ellingen Residence yet as you need to book a tour to see the rich decorations there. But until today there are ceiling frescos, wall panellings, floors and above all the stucco work by Franz Joseph Roth.
In 1789 the Teutonic order moved the seat of the Bailiwick of Franconia away from Ellingen to Bad Mergenheim. A few years later the Order was almost completely dissolved and Ellingen Residence was passed to the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1815 the palace was finally presented to the Prince of Wrede. Descendants of this family still own parts of the residence until the present day. Today the main buildings are maintained by the Bavarian Palace Administration and that way became part of the Free State of Bavaria around 1939.
Today you can book certain parts of the residence like the courtyard or the church for festive events. Other parts of the palace are used as public showrooms that can be visited by booking a tour. But another highlight of the palace is Ellingen Park, the former palace park, which is admission free. Ellingen Park started as a baroque garden in 1726 but was transformed during the 19th century into a landscape garden. It was badly destroyed during World War II and completely removed in 1945. But still today there are lots of huge trees and the old balustrade which is the only remaining architectural element.
Around Easter there‘s a huge carpet of blue scilla flowers under the trees which almost feels like a blue meadow, they are so dense and chatoyant. Believe me, I took many photos of these tiny flowers but not a single photo can give you a good idea of the richness and beauty of that spectacle. It‘s clearly the biggest carpet of blue flowers I have ever seen. So make sure to make a stop at Ellingen around late March until early April and put Ellingen Residence and Ellingen Park on your list of excursion destinations.