Until Grand Duke Paul Friedrich Franz II shifted court to Schwerin 35km north, LUDWIGSLUST was the heart of the Mecklenburg-Schleswig court, realized as a spacious planned town laid at the feet of the Schloss – no doubt about priorities here. His predecessor, Grand Duke Friedrich I, commissioned the first court palace in the hunting grounds of his father Christian Ludwig, and was dogged by money problems almost as soon as the building began in 1772 – as the joke went, Ludwig’s Lust (pleasure) was Friedrich’s Arbeit (work). Behind the majestic late Baroque facade is the same humble brick used for the courtiers’ houses on approach road Schlossstrasse. Architect Johann Joachim Busch was even more creative within. In place of stucco and carved wood, he employed papier-mâché, euphemistically named Ludwigsluster Carton. The pinnacle of his achievement is the Goldene Saal, a Louis XVI-style galleried ballroom fit for a Cinderella ball whose gilded Rococo mouldings are all glorious fakes. Even the reliefs of putti above the door turn out to be trompe l’oeil. A carved grandfather clock and Venus de’Medici in later rooms also prove to be papier-mâché. Many of the oils, however, are genuine works by French court painter Jean-Baptiste Oudry.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The 10 best Baltic beach resorts

The 10 best Baltic beach resorts

European beach holidays haven’t always been just about the Mediterranean. A century ago, the resorts along the Baltic Sea were just as likely to attract the E…

16 Mar 2018 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
How Syrians are keeping their culture alive in Berlin

How Syrians are keeping their culture alive in Berlin

Syria has been shattered by conflict since March 2011; more than 5 million people have been forced to flee the country and rebuild their lives elsewhere. Jessi…

28 Dec 2017 • Jessica Bateman local_activity Special feature
20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right