Karlsruhe in the 19th Century

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Karlsruhe in the 19th Century

In 1803 universal compulsory education was introduced in Baden. This “Reading revolution” created the basis for the politicization of the lower classes. In 1848 the French February Revolution lit the spark in Germany. The German uprising began in Baden, and ended here in 1849 with the bloody suppression by Prussian troops of the first, short- lived republic on German soil. In the liberal Era Baden became the “Model State” with respect to many issues, with the universally popular and admined Prince Friedrich I (1826 - 1907) at the helm.

In spite of the educational development of the population, in the 19th century Karlsruhe was still a town in which the court, the civil service and the garrison determined the way of life. Karlsruhe became the cultural centre of the Grand Duchy: Johann Peter Hebel and Viktor von Scheffel achieved literary recognition for Karlsruhe in the beginning and middle of the century. At the Court Theatre (the building by Weinbrenner was destroyed by fire in 1847, the new building by Heinrich Hübsch was opened in 1853), outstanding artists like Eduard Devrient who worked as director, Hermann Levi as conductor and Felix Mottl as Musical Director were active. The Grand Duchy Art Collections moved in 1845 in an impressive new building by Hübsch. In 1854 the foundation of the Academy of the Fine Arts followed. In the latter part of the 19th century, its reputation was increased by Gustav Schönleber, Hans Thoma, Wilhelm Trübner and Ludwig Dill.

The first polytechnic in Germany was founded in Karlsruhe in 1825, following the French model. Karlsruhe's first main station was opened in 1843. The industrialization of the town, which was to have a big effect on its development, began on the “Tracks of progress”. The development of industry quickly reduced the importance of the residence for the town. The cultural sphere continued to be influenced by the palace, however, e. g. the founding of the Applied Arts School and the Majolika Factory.

After 1918 and the abdication of the last Grand Duke, the state maintained the cultural institutions of the days of the Grand Duchy. The Baden State Museum was set up in the palace.

See also