Heidelberg’s Karlsplatz – Charles Square – not only gives a great view of the Heidelberg Castle – it as well gives a view on to the imposing building of the “Großherzogliche Palais”, the Grand ducal palace, situated just in front of the castle. It was in 1717 under Carl Philipp Baron of Hundheim when the Darmstadt court architect Louis Remy de la Foss started erecting this aristocracy building. The two long story building in late barock style was changed into classicism style in 1843.
In the Bel Etage of the building you will find three apartments. Two of them are connected by a hall. Precious stucco figures from the building time are well preserved as well as the classicistic stucco works of Josef Anton Pozzi.
The representative two story ornament building was used as students living quarters of the sons of the aristocratic family of the House of Baden. In front of the building right in the centre of the square Michael Schoenholz built in 1978 the very interesting Sabastian Muenster Fountain.
Nowadays the Grand Ducal Palais is seat of the Heidelberg Academy of Science, which was founded on July 3rd, 1909 in the presence of the last Grand Duke of Baden, Fredric II. The Academy is constituted in the tradition of the Baden Academy which was founded in 1763 by Elector Carl Theodor. In these days it officially has had the status of State Academy of Baden-Wuerttemberg, “the Republic of the Science of our State and in spite of this largely independent from the government” so Academy President Prof. Dr. Hermann H. Hahn, who expressed his thankfulness for recognition and support by the government of the country. The Academy could be founded with the sponsoring of one million gold marks by the Mannheim Industry family Lanz. Only in 1958 the Government of Baden-Württemberg took over the basic financing.
At an reception of the Country Government at the Rokoko-Theater of the Schwetzingen Castle, Guenther H. Oettinger, minister-president and Head of Government of Baden-Wuerttemberg, named the Academy as “one of the real big light towers in our country. She is a paradise of independent research which in future can count as well on my full support. She represents the full range of the disciplines from Theology to the Technical Sciences worldwide.” At present more than 200 scientist are working in 20 research projects. Their point of main effort is long-lasting basic research.
At the second festival banquet in the great hall of the Old University in which exactly 100 years and one day earlier the Academy had been founded, Minister of Science Peter Frankenberg praised the high level of this Baden-Wuerttemberg State Academy. Up to know this Academy created six winners of the Nobel Prize and 20 bearers of the renowned Leipniz Prize. Frankenberg acknowledged the long-lasting basic research in the “Heidelberg factory of thoughts”. One of the honoree guests of this festival banquet was Prince Ludwig of Baden, member of the family of the Margrave of Baden.