Old Meersburg Castle with a view of Lake Constance

Citizens take over the palaceThe end of the monarchy

On November 9, 1918, the republic was declared, including in Baden and Württemberg. The monarchs abdicated and democracy began in Germany. Simultaneously, many residential palaces were converted into museums or public places.


When Baden became a republic in November 1918, Meersburg had not been home to residing sovereigns for more than 100 years. The Meersburg New Palace only served as the seat for the Prince-Bishops of Constance for roughly 50 years; in 1803, the territory passed to the state of Baden as part of secularization. Baden's school for the deaf-mute had been housed in the Baroque palace since 1865. Therefore, the New Palace, remained entirely untouched by the November Revolution of 1918. But the founding of the new state did bring some changes. In 1919, the former prince-bishops’ vineyard was renamed “Staatsweingut Meersburg”, the Meersburg State Vineyard. This exemplary vineyard establishment has contributed to the advancement of viticulture since the 16th century, with effects reaching across all of Germany.

Neues Schloss Meersburg, Staatsweingut

The former equestrian school is now home to the state vineyard.


Several palaces had already ceased serving as residences or ruling family seats more than 100 years ago. The reutilization had begun long ago and palaces were being used as museums, tourist destinations, archives or management offices. With the end of the monarchy, this step became permanent. Only those palaces that were privately owned by the former rulers remained their private property. All other palaces passed into state ownership and many are tourist attractions today, managed by State Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Württemberg.