Light art on the Karlsruhe Palace

Light art on the Karlsruhe Palace

The Schlosslichtspiele were founded by Peter Weibel, the artistic-scientific director of the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM), as part of the Globale Digitale to celebrate the 300th birthday of the city of Karlsruhe in 2015. In that year the city hosted a festival summer entitled KA300. 

The city of Karlsruhe – known for its radiating layout – is also known as the fan-shaped city. According to Weibel, the palace, which forms the centre of this floor plan, was the obvious choice as the central starting point for reflections on urban architecture. The video mappings refer to the façade of the palace, which houses the Badisches Landesmuseum, and the history of the city.

Particular attention is paid to the interaction between visitors and the light shows that the Lichtspiele embody – by means of games or movements, visitors become part of the choreography conceived by the artists. 

On the strength of the positive feedback to the Schlosslichtspiele 2015, Karlsruhe City Council decided to continue the format under the artistic direction of ZKM Karlsruhe in cooperation with KME Karlsruhe Marketing and Event GmbH.


„Everybody counts“

More than ever, as the world seems increasingly polarised and embattled, we need to come together as people, to gather in a place where we all have a voice, where we are all respected and where we are all heard. That we are able to contribute and participate equally, with full rights and fearless hearts, is the foundation of democracy. This is a place where everyone counts.




In Karlsruhe, media art in its various forms is part of life: work and leisure structures, as well as public and institutional spaces offer citizens and guests the opportunity to submerse themselves into various inventive options for action, in the role of visitors and participants and beyond, to contribute to city life as collaborators.

As a booming IT location, Karlsruhe has an excellent and broad-based university and research landscape. This network and a historical cultural infrastructure of exceptional diversity for a city of its size combine with a flourishing cultural and creative economy.

Culture and creativity are important economic factors that generate sales, employment and income, shape future factors such as digitisation, and secure innovation. They open up future prospects for innovative and creative people who are trained at local universities. Culture and creativity bring people together and promote social cohesion. They shape structural change and have a positive impact on urban development. They make the city more attractive, improve its image, and attract national attention – in other words, they make the city a better place to live.

Joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network gives Karlsruhe and the city's interest groups the opportunity to make new contacts, provide new impetus, and establish new connections to organisations and artists in UNESCO Creative Cities on all continents. Inclusion in the network will give the city renewed momentum and promote the dynamic development of creative innovations. Creativity is seen as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

The internal networking and integration of the different scenes facilitates the formation of an urban identity and make a more differentiated external profile possible. Membership strengthens international networking, cooperation and exchange at the international level between cultural institutions, artists, and specialists in digital culture and creative industries.

The city of Karlsruhe and its creative actors aim to get involved in the UNESCO Creative Cities network in a variety of ways and would like to take their innovations and expertise from the mutual relationship between media art and the areas of cultural and creative industries, IT, science and research, as well as democracy and fundamental rights to the member cities and contribute to the global context.

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in projection-mapping

in projection-mapping

Since 2021, the UNESCO City of Media Arts Karlsruhe has been presenting the BBBank Award in Projection Mapping to promote talent from all over the world and make their art accessible to a broad audience. The award, sponsored by BBBank, is endowed with 10,000 euros for first place (5,000 for second, 2,000 for third) as well as a production cost subsidy, thus enabling outstanding concepts to be realised as projection mappings on the 170-metre-wide "screen" of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Karlsruhe.

Die Preisträger des BBBank-Award 2023. Foto: KME/Jürgen Rösner

All previous winners of the BBBank-Award:


1st place: Julia Shamsheieva with „Liberty Enlightening the World“
2nd place: Julian Hölscher with „Letters of liberty“
3rd place: RESORB with „Discourse“

2023: BHINNEKA EXPRESS, AI + GA, HUMANITY, For headlights crave hindsight too

2022: Resilience, Reframing the Structures, Plethora

2021: Karlskompensator, Ganesis, Nucleus



The SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Karlsruhe is a festival of light that showcases projection mapping. Projection Mapping is a form of media art whereby individual video projections are designed to projected onto a specific feature or building. International artists create 3D video mapping projects for the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE to be projected on to the façade of the Schloss Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe Palace) every evening and for a period of several weeks. The event as a whole will create one of the largest audiovisual digital artworks in Europe.
The first SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Karlsruhe Light Festival took place in 2015 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the city, and thrilled spectators. It has been held every summer since then. Around 1.7 million visitors have already visited the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE at Schloss Karlsruhe, and the images of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE are beamed around the world.

The 2023 SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Karlsruhe festival will be held from 16th August to 17th September.

Playing times:

From Mittwoch, 16. August, 9:15 pm

From Sunday, 20. Augus, 9:00 pm

From Sunday, 27. August, 8:45 pm

From Sunday, 03. September 8:30 pm

From Sunday, 10. September 8:15 pm

Our gastronomical offer are open daily from 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm for the duration of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE. The deposit return is until midnight.

Unfortunately, card payment at the food and beverage stands is not possible. So stock up on cash for the evening. In addition we have a Cash machine on site.

Information about the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE is available online on the website, on Facebook (@schlosslichtspielekarlsruhe) and on Instagram (@schlosslichtspielekarlsruhe).

Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH is the organiser of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE and responsible for its execution. The festival will be held under the motto “Horizons of Hope. Dawn of Devices”, chosen by Peter Weibel, who was curator of Light Festival Karlsruhe and artistic and scientific director of the ZKM until his unexpected death in March this year. The SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE is financed by the city of Karlsruhe, by partners and sponsors, as well as by revenues from the catering on the palace square.


Impressions of Schlosslichtspiele KARLSRUHE 2023


Impressions of Schlosslichtspiele KARLSRUHE 2022


Impressions of SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Karlsruhe 2021


Impressions of Light Festival Karlsruhe 2021


Impressions of Schlosslichtspiele KARLSRUHE 2019



Impressions of Schlosslichtspiele KARLSRUHE

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the Organizers

Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH and ZKM


Your central contact when it comes to big events in Karlsruhe.

Events are a first-class communication tool. Emotionalization and the so-called “sense of unity” play a huge role in this and are used to create lasting bonds, business platforms, and a positive perception of the location.

ZKM | Center for Art and Media KARLSRUHE

The ZKM | Center for Art and Media is a cultural institution that is unique worldwide, because it is a place that expands the original purposes of a museum. It is a place of all media and genres, of room-based arts, such as paintings, photography, and sculptures, as well as of time-based arts such as film, video, media art, music, dance, theater, and performance. The ZKM was founded in 1989 as a museum with the mission to perpetuate classic arts with the digital age. That is why it is sometimes also called the “electronic or digital Bauhaus” – an expression that is ascribed to Heinrich Klotz. Furthermore, the ZKM is also home to institutes and laboratories, in which people do scientific research, develop, and produce. Besides making sure that the original main idea of a museum, namely that works of art do not disappear, the ZKM has also taken over the task of creating the conditions for the creation of works of art – by guest artists and also by its employees. That is why it is called center and not museum.


questions or suggestions?

If you have any questions or suggestions for the “SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE”, you can get in touch with our “SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE” TEAM from the Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH by Mail.
We will try to get back to you as soon as possible.