Hunting lodge and summer residence of the Dukes of Sachsen-Eisenach, and later Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, with Old Palace, New Palace and additional baroque and neo-classical residential and outbuildings arranged in axial symmetry. Landscape park with artificial lake redesigned in the 19th century by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau and others
Eight kilometers south of Eisenach, on the main road to Bad Liebenstein and Meiningen, Palace and Park Wilhelmsthal lie in the valley of Elte. The creek was the beginning of the 18th Century to a dammed lake, which is still central to the garden. The approaching from the street opens up to visitors and after a delightful blend of baroque and neo-classical buildings that are strung along a central path axis. Step by step the well thought overall plant is becoming visible again.
Since the 16th Century, the area around the High sun was used by the Ernestine sovereign as a hunting ground. In 1699 the renamed Wilhelmsthal place Winterhausen had been built early utilitarian for hunting. After an initial flowering stage under the namesake Johann Wilhelm of Saxe-Eisenach (1666-1729), the Wilhelmsthal his summer residence ausbaute, and a revamping of Ernst August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1688-1748), to which the Eisenach Duchy after the extinction of the line was dropped, the palace and park fell noticeably. Only Carl August (1757-1828) was active in the 1790s, again for the ensemble. On his initiative, essentially returns the current appearance.
The historical starting point of the castle, the corps de logis, also called Old Castle, at the beginning of the 18th Century former hunting lodges replaced. South of the Old Palace was the first "upper garden" is created, which later on towards the lake sloping terrain before the castle was a terraced Lustgarten added as a pendant. This focused on the castle building axis crossed a garden from north to south axis of the lock along which pavilion next to the main building like many other logistics and farm buildings were paired against. 1719 was added in the later integrated into the complex of the New Palace ballroom, its stucco ceiling is one of the few advances received from the first phase. This hall is likely scene of several world premieres of compositions by Georg Philipp Telemann have been (1681-1767), who was up in the 1720s under contract with the Court of Eisenach.
Under Ernst August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Wilhelmsthal learned in the years 1743 to 1748 to be revised taking the architect Gottfried Heinrich Krohne (1703-1756). The axis lock was closed at its western end structurally with an orangery, the garden axis greater emphasis expands the regular equipment. For these years, the magnificent oriented Ausbaues has the Old Palace was a stucco ceiling with cartridges get that once presented the monogram Ernst August. Like its predecessor, Ernst August placed great emphasis on the use of the lake with boats and gondolas, he let rooms to Venetian model.
After a long period of decline and only makeshift inventory assurance under Duchess Anna Amalia Wilhelmsthal drew the attention of the young in 1777, Carl August (1757-1828) to -. As with his predecessors, first under the auspices of the hunting pleasure Particularly his wife, Duchess Louise (1757-1830), held annually in the summer despite the poor condition in Wilhelmsthal. Economic and aesthetic-ideological reasons led to the decision for a reorganization of the baroque garden to an English landscape park with transitions into the surrounding nature.
In the 1790s, the site was to lock Wilhelmsthal for ideas that Carl August had himself developed with the Eisenach architect Georg Christian Sartorius (1774-1838), completely remodeled: With the participation of the gardeners family Sckell took to the lake its strictly regular form, put groves and lines of sight to the remote and Baroque sculptures equipment. Below the lake and a waterfall bridges were built. On the western edge of a forest charming Swiss house is also part of this phase transformation. Also in the building stock intervened Carl August. Compared to 1719, built the ballroom he had built by Sartorius one Pendantgebäude and both connected by a colonnade on what became known as the New Castle. Now the area outside the western conclusion pavilion buildings were demolished. Thus, a new alignment of the complex managed on the redesigned Park In place of the axial alignment of the Old Castle, the picturesque embedding of the new castle came into the landscaped gardens with double facade as the main view, which was created by the combination of the two hall gable with the Colonnade . After the completion of the remodeling and renovation work Wilhelmsthal regularly served as the summer residence of the Weimar court. Grander visitors were welcomed.
In the mid-19th Century on the orders of Carl Alexander subjected (1818-1901) of a park renovation, designed by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau and the Hofgarten Inspector Hermann Jäger. It was based on the existing already, put in new plantings and paths and made sure that the lake was once deformed deliver its full potential. "Wilhelmsthal must give the impression as if you have the former jungle (of the few trees to give testimony) cleared only in order to gain space for friendly homes with wider environment, with a deep sense of nature carefully spared the most beautiful trees ..." wrote Hermann Jäger 1853.
In the 20th Century Wilhelmsthal was among others used as a children's home, and according to the requirements and get changed. After the abandonment of the home location at the beginning of the 1990s learned building and park no longer care. The Palace, Castle and Gardens Trust of Thuringia has been given the facility in 2009. Since then, parts of the country park could be restored. Moreover, the Old Palace and the Telemann hall in the New Castle was secured at great expense. By the help of Rudolf-Dankwardt-Stiftung, the restoring of the ducal stables could be started.