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Atlas Obscura Germany’s Last 18th-Century Garden Mosque

For several centuries, the baroque Schwetzingen Palace served the Wittelsbach dynasty as a summer residence and hunting palace. The surrounding gardens consist of two major distinguishable parts: a French-style baroque garden a typical English 19th-century landscape garden. In addition to temples dedicated to Ancient Greek gods and goddesses, an orangery, and a beautiful rococo theater, the gardens are also home to a huge mosque.

The Schwetzingen mosque is Germany’s last representative of the paradigmatic “garden mosques” that were popular in late 18th-century Europe and emblazoned the palace gardens of absolutist rulers. By erecting a mosque (along with other “exotic” buildings), kings and dukes wanted to show their enlightenment, tolerance, and cosmopolitanism.

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