The Grabkapelle ( Sepulchral Chapel )
The Grabkapelle of Stuttgart
The Sepulchral Chapel (Grabkapelle), which occupies a prominent place, built between 1820 and 1824, dominates the Neckar Valley. King Wilhelm purposely chose this deeply symbolic location on the site of the former family residence of the Dukes of Wurttemberg. In addition, it was one of Queen Catherina's favorite places.
LOVE NEVER DIES
The inscription on the entrance of the chapel can be interpreted as the promise of King Wilhelm 1st, eternalized by this monument. After the sudden death of his Russian wife on January 9, 1819, Wilhelm ordered the removal of the ruins of the old Wurttemberg castle and invited the architects to submit plans for a mausoleum. He chose the design of Giovanni Salucci. Later, King himself and his eldest daughter, Marie Friederick Charlotte von Wurttemberg, were also buried there. The designated grave for her youngest daughter, Sophie, remained empty. since she married the king of the Netherlands and was buried in Delft.
AN AWESOME MAUSOLE
Together with the Rosenstein Palace, the Rotenberg sepulchral chapel is one of the most impressive examples of neoclassical architecture in the Stuttgart region. Inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, Giovanii Salucci created a circular structure made of local sandstone with three porches with columns and steps leading to it. The completely white interior has a round dome-shaped roof. The arrangement of the pillars and the colossal statues of the four evangelists reflect the neoclassical preference for the severity and purity of style. To this day, the chapel serves as a Russian Orthodox temple and offers an iconostasis (wall of icons and religious paintings). The graves are underground: the double sarcophagus of the King and Queen is next to the grave of his daughter. Both are made of the best Carrara marble.
Next to the chapel is a residential house that was also designed by Salucci. It was the home of a chaplain and his family. Together with two choristers, who lived in the house and were used to pray and sing regularly for the salvation of Catharina.
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