Schwetzingen is a small village located an hour and a half south of Frankfurt. The main attraction is the palace dating back to the 1300s and sprawling gardens. I first heard of Schwetzingen through their Ostereiermarkt (Easter Egg Market).
The small Ostermarkt was a nice experience. We walked up and down the long corridor, watching various craftsmen and vendors create gaudy designs on various types of (real, hollow) eggs.
Some eggs sell for as little as 5 Euro, whilst others were more intricate and accented with gold were more staggering.
Most of the ones I liked were standard size, detailed, and cost around 80 Euro per egg. The market was nice, and I held up my daughter to watch people painting, carving, beading, and detailing eggs. She loved being able to see but was upset about not being able to touch all of them.
After spending about 45minutes in the long hall, it was time for something else. We were able to wander around the gardens a bit, go eat lunch, and return to the gardens.
We ate across the street from the palace at the Schwetzingen Brauhaus. I was bummed we missed out on spargel (asparagus) dishes (Schwetzingen is the self-proclaimed Spargel capital), but the enormous Texas burger was AMAZING!
The gardens are large and it would have been great to spend the day-when we returned in the summer with my mom it was as fantastic as I had remembered!
We first entered and went to the left, behind the hedges, to the beautiful cherry blossom orchard surrounded by an old stone wall. What a great place for pictures in the early Spring blooming season! (Be sure to check their website for up to date information about bloom time)
Next, we moved on toward the Turkish Gardens (Türkischer Garten) mosque. What an unexpected, interesting and beautifully constructed structure to find in the middle of Germany. It is possible to wander around the courtyard of it as well. This building was constructed for no religious purpose, only to bring a different style to the gardens.
From there, across the reflecting pond, we saw a small old stone structure, which we hid out in during the brief hail storm that suddenly began. As we discovered, it is actually a Temple of Mercury.
Of course, what a beautiful view looking back at the mosque!
Moving back toward the center of the gardens, we spotted a large swimming pond.
We continued around to the Apollo temple and climbed around it a bit.
Refreshing streams run throughout the garden.
Behind the Apollo area are fountains and a labyrinth of hedges.
From there, the gardens wrap back around past this beautiful lush lawn back toward the palace. There is more in the gardens, such as a Roman-style bath house that is traditionally landscaped, additional statues, small structures, and fountains.
After a couple of visits to Schwetzingen, we have not made it inside the palace…and to be honest, I don’t mind. Even if we returned, I would be happy to continue exploring the gardens. We have toured so many castles and palaces (Loire Valley ones are still my favorite), that it is refreshing to walk around outside and let me daughter explore all there is. Her favorite things, of course, were the exciting fountains and beautiful flowers! The palace gardens were designed in a unique and interesting way through including elements of various cultures in the design.
Want to see another Easter Market?