Station:  Model of the Talkaserne
M: What you’re looking at here is a model of the Talkaserne – the Valley Barracks. Building work on this, the city's very first barracks, started in 1736, and it provided quarters for the duke's newly established artillery company. Some 500 soldiers moved into the Valley Barracks – along with their wives and children.
F: Locally, people nicknamed the building “Lochkaserne” – Hole Barracks. There’s an obvious reason for that: the barracks stood in a hollow, a ... hole in the ground. It was extremely popular with the troops, though. Of all the city’s barracks, it was regarded as the most salubrious, thanks to its sheltered location. Today, nothing remains of the original building, but the hole in the ground is still easy to spot.
M: The first soldiers stationed in Ludwigsburg were members of Duke Eberhard Ludwig of Württemberg's household guard. In 1704, the duke had a hunting lodge built and named it after himself, calling it Ludwigsburg. Within a few years, the simple little manor house had been turned into a prestigious ducal seat – in the Baroque style, with magnificent tree-lined avenues and an impressive palace park.
F: Of course, the duke was simply following the prevailing fashion – which, how could it be otherwise, came from France. The King of France had built himself a magnificent residence outside the gates of Paris, the Palace of Versailles. And every self-respecting sovereign wanted to follow the "Sun King’s" example.
M: In 1718, Eberhard Ludwig moved here along with his entire court – and Ludwigsburg became his duchy’s new capital. The town had no barracks at the time, so the soldiers were quartered in the surrounding villages.
F: The duke was an enthusiastic builder, but after he died, his successor moved the court and chancelleries back to Stuttgart. It was a bitter setback for the fledgling town. However, the new duke did decide to garrison his standing army in Ludwigsburg.
M: Over time, the ducal seat moved back and forth several times, from Stuttgart to Ludwigsburg and back again. In 1816, the town finally lost its status as ducal seat – and was completely remodelled into a military town.
Foto: © Garnisonsmuseum Ludwigsburg