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THE MUSEUM OF THE TEUTONIC ORDER AND ITS ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY

Mergentheim Residential Palace

Mergentheim Residential Palace
THE MUSEUM OF THE TEUTONIC ORDER AND ITS ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY

MERGENTHEIM RESIDENTIAL PALACE

For centuries, the palace in Bad Mergentheim (Residenzschloss Mergentheim) was the residence of the Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order. The monumental complex still fascinates visitors to this day. See the exhibition and delve into more than 825 years of history surrounding the Teutonic Order.

Mergentheim Residential Palace

English landscape garden

A special atmosphere

Bad Mergentheim reflects the special atmosphere of an old residence town. The mighty 12th-century palace in the town center is a great testament to this. The image of the palace complex, with its inner and outer courtyard, is still heavily influenced by the Renaissance period. The surrounding palace grounds have been designed in the style of English landscape gardens.

Mergentheim Residential Palace

The palace church’s Baroque towers characterize the exterior palace courtyard

FROM A CASTLE IN THE POSSESSION OF THE HOHENLOHE FAMILY TO THE SEAT OF THE TEUTONIC ORDER

The Hohenlohe family joined the Teutonic Order, founded in 1190, and gifted them property in Mergentheim in 1219. The moated castle became the seat of a commander. A chapel, a prestigious Staufian palas, and the first Gothic chapter house were added to the building. Around 1525 /27, Mergentheim became the seat of the Grand Masters and German Masters, and thus the headquarters of the Teutonic Order. The medieval castle was then converted into a residence. The freestanding artistic spiral staircase was built in 1574 and designed by Stuttgart-based architect Blasius Berwart. It is an outstanding example of architecture from this period.

GRAND MASTERS AND MASTER BUILDERS SHAPE THE IMAGE OF THE PALACE

The palace was modernized throughout the reign of two Grand Masters: Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg (1694 –1732) and Clemens August von Bayern (1732 –1761). The Old Prince’s Quarters was converted and adorned with magnificent stucco work. Architect Franz Joseph Roth designed the New Prince’s Apartment with decorative stuccoed ceilings. The highlight of the residence is the Baroque palace church, which was constructed between 1730 and 1736. Franz Joseph Roth had it built in place of the previous Gothic building, and Balthasar Neumann and François de Cuvilliés the Elder consulted on the edifice. The last major construction work of the Teutonic Order was between 1780 and 1782, with the erection of the elegant Classicist chapter house designed by Franz Anton Bagnato.

Mergentheim Residential Palace

Climbing the Berwart spiral staircase offers unique perspectives

Mergentheim Residential Palace

The coat of arms of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order

The Museum

To this day, the importance and power of the Teutonic Order in the Christian realm can still be seen in the rooms of the palace. The lives and work of a religious order is not the only aspect on display in this 3,000 m² space. The museum showcases the town’s history and features the Adelsheim’s antiquities collection, the dollhouse collection, the Mörike cabinet, an exhibition on the Neolithic Age in the Tauber Valley with a touching family burial plot, and an array of temporary exhibits.

THE MUSEUM OF THE TEUTONIC ORDER AND ITS ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY

Mergentheim
Residential Palace