Schloss Solitude was built as a hunting lodge between 1764 and 1769 under Duke Karl Eugen of Württemberg. Schloss Solitude was originally designed to act as a refugium, a place of quiet, reflection and solitude (thus the name). Construction of the castle was plagued by political and financial difficulties. Karl Eugen had taken Württemberg into the Seven Years' War on the losing side against Prussia. The building exceeded the budget allocated by the duchy of Württemberg. Further, political wrangling between the duke and influential Stuttgart land barons led to the duke moving temporarily from Stuttgart to Ludwigsburg. In the long run, the castle was prohibitively expensive to keep just as a temporary residence. In 1770 it housed a high school founded by Duke Eugen. In 1775, the Karlsschule academy moved to Castle Solitude. It served as an academy of arts, a military academy, and later a general university for children of the elite. Eventually, maintenance costs led to its closure as a school after the Duke's death late in the 18th century. Between 1972 and 1983, the Federal Republic of Germany restored the castle.
Since 1990, the annexed buildings (Officen-building and Kavaliers-building) have housed the Akademie Schloss Solitude. The Kavaliers building incorporates living quarters for students.
Castle Solitude was designed by a working group at the ducal court under the guidance of Philippe de La Guêpière with active input from Duke Karl Eugen and master craftsmen. Its exterior is typical Rococo. On the inside, however, the style is characteristic of classicism: instead of the irregular lively forms typical of Rococo, the proportions of the rooms and wall are typically classical in design.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.