The mausoleum is hidden along Lärchenallea in the Hardtwald forest and was originally erected at the request of Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden and his wife, Princess Louise of Prussia on the edge of the Karlsruhe “Pheasant Gardens”. It was built on following the early death of their youngest son. The parents hoped it would be a place where their son could rest peacefully, away from the bustle of the city in the tranquillity of the forest.
Until that time, rulers of Baden had been entombed in the palace church of Pforzheim or in the burial vault of Karlsruhe church – places the ducal pair could not visit without experiencing the commotion of public attention.
The wish to have a separate family tomb straying from burial tradition was not just a unique request of these two rulers, rather it reflected the growing shift towards the separation in public and private spheres, as well as the desire for family privacy. That is why, for example, a mausoleum was erected for the grandmother of the Grand Duchess Princess Louise in Charlottenburg Palace park. There is also the 1820 burial chapel on Württemberg mountain in memory of Katharina, the deceased wife of King William I. It was during this time that burial sites began losing their meaning as symbols of dynastic continuity.
The archbishop’s building inspector, Franz Baer, was responsible for public tendering of the contract for the Karlsruhe burial chapel. Due to illness, he was replaced by building director Friedrich Hemberger. The project was granted much support by his son, Hermann, who had a reputation for being familiar with such medieval styles. Step by step, Hermann took over construction and implementation. Today, the burial site is considered his first great work.
The Burial Chapel is a state facility maintained by the Castle, Palace, and Garden Authority of Baden-Württemberg.