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Sondershausen Palace

From an architectural and art historical point of view Sondershausen Palace can be considered as one of the most important palace complexes in Thuringia. It is an irregular four-wing complex. With its imposing silhouette the former Schwarzburg residence dominates today’s district town of Sondershausen in the Kyffhäuserkreis district.

There is proof that some of the oldest building fabrice of the castle dating from the end of the 13th century can be attributed to the Counts of Hohnstein. The remaining tower wasintegrated under Count Günther XL of Schwarzburg when the Renaissance palace, consisting of the south, east and old north wings, was built between the 1530s and the 1550s. Under Prince Christian Wilhelm of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen , who reigned between 1666 and 1720, a busy building activity started in the 1680s. The three Renaissance wings of the palace were altered and enlarged in the Baroque style. During the reign of Prince Christian Günther (1758–1794) the new west and north rococo wings were started in 1764 under management of the Quedlinburg architect Johann Heinrich Breit and the former architect from Brunswick, Martin Peltier. At that time the palace received its final architectural layout of an irregular four-wing complex. When Prince Günther Friedrich Carl II, who reigned from 1835 to 1880, engaged Carl Scheppig, a pupil of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, in 1836, his aim was to give most parts of the entire palace complex a completely new appearance. Financial constraints, however, limited this project to redesigning the eastern place area towards the market (palace terrace, guard house and stairs between 1837 and 1839), to rebuilding the rococo wings in the neo-classical style (1846–1851) and to erecting the new stables (1847–1849). As the last building measure a two-storey gallery, connecting the tower and the east and south wings, was erected in 1914 to 1915.

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