The palace complex in Urach was built in the early 15th century as the home of Count Ludwig I von Württemberg, at a time when the county was divided. After reunification of Württemberg in 1482, the palace became a well-frequented residence and hunting lodge for the Dukes of Württemberg. Duke Carl Eugen (1728 – 1793) enjoyed staying in Urach, where he would host grand hunting expeditions.
The interiors of the palace bear witness to the preferences and pastimes of its residents, for example the Dürnitz (a type of large hall), the Palmensaal (hall of palms) and, in particular, the unique Goldener Saal. This is the only preserved Renaissance hall built for the Duchy of Württemberg, and one of Germany’s most spectacular Renaissance ballrooms. The Golden Hall was designed for the opulent wedding celebrations of Duke Eberhard im Bart to Italian princess Barbara Gonzaga of Mantua in 1474. It was lavishly decorated in the 17th century. Three Corinthian capitals support the flat ceiling. The room is flooded with natural light on three sides. Its walls and pillars are extensively gilded in gold.
An extraordinary highlight of the palace is the exhibition of sledges belonging to the Württemberg State Museum. Featuring 22 ornate Baroque sledges from the 17 th to 19 th centuries, it is the largest collection of its kind in the world. The sledges of the Dukes of Württemberg illustrate their need for public shows of grandeur and document the changing taste of the court.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.