The History of resting Karl

Or: Why Karlsruhe is called the “fan-shaped city”?

On a dreary autumn day 300 years ago, Karl Wilhelm III, the proud Margrave of Baden-Durlach, rode out on a hunt to escape what had become a weary everyday life. Dark clouds rolled both overhead and through his mind. You see, Karl lived in a draughty old house inherited from his father, made all the more colder by a tense relationship with his wife and the annoyances that come with a government job. After a good bit of hunting and a hearty lunch, Karl eventually nodded off in a grove.

“Karl ruhte” - Karl rested. This nap proved to be a turning point in Karl’s life. He dreamed of a new palace, sunlit and cheery, with magnificent avenues radiating from it like sunbeams. Upon waking, Karl immediately set to making his dream a reality. Streets were built leading away from the palace, lending the city the name “fan-shaped city”.

A true cosmopolitan, Karl’s motto “think global, act local” inspired him to offer tax benefits and religious freedom to all citizens of Karlsruhe, thus enticing people from across Europe to visit the city and take part in his dream. Even before its completion in 1715, Karlsruhe had become an international and cultural hot spot. Karl was able to enjoy his new home, at this point once again a bachelor; one could truly say that Karl finally found his “Ruhe”.

Karls Geschichte

Corona Virus

Important Information

Due to the official measures implemented by the State of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Karlsruhe to limit the spreading of COVID-19, Karlsruhe’s public life is currently facing severe restrictions. Cultural institutions, hotels and events are especially affected by this. Please refer directly to their individual websites for up-to-date information.

The City’s shopping facilities are also very limited at the moment. Only essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies or banks remain open to the public. Opening times may vary from those advertised on this site.

Our tourist information office located on Kaiserstraße 72-74 is closed for the public as well until further notice. You can still reach us either by phone +49 721/602 997 580 or by email

The city of Karlsruhe provides up-to-date information on the corona crisis at or by phone +49 721/133-3333.

On a lighter note: if you feel like clearing your mind, go ahead and continue exploring the beautiful aspects of Karlsruhe through our digital offers at (only available in German).

Stay healthy, and stay tuned!

Best wishes from all the staff at KTG Karlsruhe Tourismus GmbH and KME Karlsruhe Marketing and Event GmbH