One of Europe's largest palaces to survive in its original condition, Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg certainly merits a visit for its sumptuous interiors and exquisite gardens. The main palace is also home to the Keramikmuseum, a collection of historical treasures from the porcelain factories in Meissen, Nymphenburg, Berlin, Vienna, and Ludwigsburg, as well as an exhibit of contemporary ceramics. The Barockgalerie is a collection of German and Italian baroque paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Modemuseum showcases three centuries of fashion, particularly royal clothing of the 18th century. In another part of the palace you'll find the Porzellan-Manufaktur Ludwigsburg (www.ludwigsburger-porzellan.de); you can tour the porcelain factory where each piece is handmade and hand-painted. The castle is surrounded by the fragrant, colorful 74-acre park Blühendes Barock (Blooming Baroque), filled with thousands and thousands of tulips, huge
masses of rhododendrons, and fragrant roses. A Märchengarten (fairy-tale garden) delights children of all ages. In the midst of it all, you can take a break in the cafeteria in the Rose Garden. Guided tours in English are at 1:30 on weekdays, and at 11, 1:30, and 3:15 on weekends. There also are performances in the ornate theater, dating from 1758, during the Ludwigsburg Theater Festival each summer.