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Castle Solitude in Germany (also known as Solitude Palace), was built as a hunting lodge between 1764 and 1769 under Duke Karl Eugen of Württemberg. It is not a true castle, but rather a rococo palace. Since 1956 the area has belonged to the urban district of Stuttgart-West. The castle lies on a high plain between the towns of Leonberg, Gerlingen and Stuttgart city. The castle offers views to the north over Weilimdorf, Korntal and Ludwigsburg.Schloss Solitude was originally designed to act as a refugium, a place of quiet, reflection and solitude (thus the name). Construction of the castle was plagued by political and financial difficulties. Karl Eugen had taken Württemberg into the Seven Years' War on the losing side against Prussia. The building exceeded the budget allocated by the duchy of Württemberg. Further, political wrangling between the duke and influential Stuttgart land barons led to the duke moving temporarily from Stuttgart to Ludwigsburg. In the long run, the castle was prohibitively expensive to keep just as a temporary residence. In 1770 it housed a high school founded by Duke Eugen. In 1775, the Karlsschule academy moved to Castle Solitude. It served as an academy of arts, a military academy, and later a general university for children of the elite. Eventually, maintenance costs led to its closure as a school after the Duke's death late in the 18th century. Between 1972 and 1983, the Federal Republic of Germany restored the castle. (thanx wikipedia!)

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Additional Photos by Marque Berger (rio_de_janeiro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 78 W: 82 N: 410] (2091)
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