Rastatt, the Gateway to the Black Forest

The city of Rastatt is brought together by two rivers, the Rhine and the Murg which is in the northern part of the Black Forest. Close to Baden-Baden, this would be a great starting point to begin a regional tour. Founded in 1084, Rastatt continues to be a major center for art, antiquities and culture.

What to ExpectRastatt Queen Sybila Gardens© Wedny Payne

An important part of history took place there in 1714. Rastatt was the center of all the world affairs, in which a treaty between France and Austria was signed here to end the War of Spanish Succession.

There are two palaces, several museums and a historical walking trail of the city to tour. Our walk through Rastatt was beautiful. Keeping the past alive, many of the historical buildings are preserved with great care; however, it is still metropolitan enough to find excellent eateries throughout the town.

Schloss Rastatt, the Residential PalaceRastatt Schloss© Wendy Payne

The Rastatt Barock Schloss in upper Baden-Wurttemberg (BW) is majestic and regal. Only an hour trip by car from Stuttgart, we made this a very nice day trip. It is considered to be the oldest residential palace of King Wilhelm and built in the 18th century. Similar straight lines and conformity like the Ludwigsburg Schloss, this was modeled after Versailles. This is also called the “Porcelain Schloss” for having the most show pieces of porcelain in the Baden-Wurttemberg realm on display.

Palace Hours:
April 1 – October 31
Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Hourly guided tours
For more information please visit the website.

Rastatt Favorite Schloss

The gardens of Rastatt Favorite Schloss are stunning. The picturesque greeting as you enter the grounds makes it a perfect place for entertaining and enjoying nature. Although we didn’t have enough time to walk all of the trails, we did find the fishing pond with some swans. At the on-site cafe, we saw people enjoying picnic lunches by the lake.

Palace hours:
March 16 – September 30
Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Hourly guided tours
For more information, please visit the website.Rastatt Heather in garden© Wendy Payne

Museums and Galleries

Below is a list of museums and galleries in Rastatt and their websites.

1. Historical Library at the Ludwig-Wilhem-Gymnasium

2. Military History Museum

3. Rastatt Town Museum

4. Riedmuseum

5. Fruchthalle Gallery

Guten Appetit

Rastatt food restaurant© Wendy Payne

The town of Rastatt has several eateries throughout the town. As we were walking the historical downtown tour, the smells from the bakeries and cafes were delightful.

We popped into the Catholic St. Alexander City Church in city center and then walked to the gardens of Queen Sybila. Our tour guide suggested a few restaurants for us to try, so we chose Lehner’s Wirthaus on the palace square. This was an amazing dining experience. It was over 70 F and with picnic tables under large trees and a huge outdoor patio, we were beckoned to eat near the garden. My friends Heather and Linda joined me in trying out the regional delicacies including “Breznchips, Flammkuchen and Kasespatzle of Rastatt.” As you can imagine, it was a hardship we were willing to make.

Special Notes

The Baden-Wurttemberg palaces are ALL closed on Monday, in which we found out the hard way. Most of the palaces have an English-speaking tour at 2 p.m., but you’ll want to check the website before going.

Parking is available all throughout the town and the tourism office is located right at the residential palace. You can pick up a free walking tour brochure (in English) to see all the historical sites.

How to Get There

Rastatt city© Wendy Payne

Rastatt is approximately 1 hour west of Stuttgart, 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Kaiserslautern and 3 hours and 30 minutes south of Wiesbaden.

Author’s Profile: Wendy Payne is a military spouse and lives with her family in Stuttgart, Germany. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and photographer. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, yoga and sharing Europe with people.

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Wendy Payne

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