Federal Court of Justice

The Hereditary Grand Duke's palace in Karlsruhe has been the office building of the president of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) since 1950. It is the highest court of civil and criminal jurisdiction in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Bundesgerichthof Karlsruhe
Bundesgerichthof Karlsruhe  - © Quelle Bundesgerichtshof

The grounds of approximately four hectares in size are characterised by almost 200 years of colourful building history. The Federal Court of Justice's representative building is the Hereditary Grand Duke's palace - a palatial building with a princely past. The senior civil engineer of the Grand Duchy of Baden - Josef Durm - had designed the building as an ostentatious palace. It was built according to his plans on an artificial hill, surrounded by a large park, between 1891 and 1897. It served as the residence of the Hereditary Grand Duke (becoming Grand Duke in 1907) Frederick II until 1918. The palace interior was originally designed in the neo-baroque style and even today a little evidence of the former magnificence can still be seen. The imperial glass dome that covers the staircase of the three floors is the architechtural highlight of the whole premises.

Standing on the ground floor as a memorial to the the victims of National Socialist injustice is a 2.4m high, triangular gilt brass stele. It bears the inscription "Righteousness exalteth a nation" (Proverbs 14:34) and "In memory of the men and women who suffered injustice in the name of the German people." The stele was created by the graphic artist and designer Otl Aicher, a brother-in-law of the siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were executed in 1943 after being sentenced to death by the Volksgerichtshof for resistance against the Nazi regime.

Several extension buildings have been added for the Federal Court of Justice since the 1950s. Its library, the largest library of legal literature in Europe, is open to the public. The Karlsruhe Museum of Legal History (Rechtshistorisches Museum) is accommodated in a new building to the north.

To find out more, visit the website of the Bundesgerichtshof


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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 touristinfo@karlsruhe-tourismus.de.

The city of Karlsruhe provides up-to-date information on the corona crisis at www.corona.karlsruhe.de 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 www.karlsruhe-tourismus.de/smartathome (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