Heidelberg Palace, Barrel Building

Celebrate in the King's Hall

The Fassbau (Barrel Building)

The giant wine barrel in the Fassbau (Barrel Building) is one of the particular attractions of Heidelberg Palace. In the adjacent King's Hall, the Electors celebrated in rowdy gatherings. Today, anyone can hire the large hall for their own celebrations.

Heidelberg Palace, The Great Barrel, copper engraving

The Great Barrel, 18th century copper engraving.

Mighty supplies storage

The Fassbau (Barrel Building) is best viewed from the Large Alton balcony. The Gothic windows were completely out of fashion when this functional building was erected at the end of the 16th century. Today, no one knows what prompted the commissioner of buildings Johann Kasimir, the uncle and guardian of the later Friedrich IV, to appoint them. A giant barrel was built into the building's cellar 1591. It held 130,000 litres (about 34,342 gallons) of wine collected from the Palatinate in payment of taxes.

Heidelberg Palace, visitors in the Barrel Building

The Great Barrel's true size becomes evident close-up.

Carl Philipp's wine-loving court jester

Elector Carl Philipp brought diminutive Perkeo from South Tyrol to the Heidelberg court at the beginning of the 18th century. As court jester, he entertained court society with his jokes and frequent puns. His ability to drink is legendary and is the subject of many an anecdote. As a painted wooden figure, Perkeo still has an eye on the Great Barrel today.

Royal celebrations in the King's Hall

Next to the Barrel Building is the Frauenzimmerbau (Ladies' Room Building) which dates back to around 1515 and was named after the court ladies' living quarters on the upper floors. In the basement is the King's Hall, Heidelberg Palace's large ballroom. Highly practical: during celebrations, the wine could be pumped via a pipeline directly from the Great Barrel to the Ladies' Room Building next door and so into the King's Hall. The Hall was given its name in 1619 after Elector Friedrich V had been elected king of Bohemia.

Heidelberg Palace, King's Hall in the Ladies' Room Building

The King's Hall in the Frauenzimmerbau (Ladies' Room Building).

If you are dreaming of a lively celebration in a historical ambience, the King's Hall can accommodate 600 guests. Contact the Palace Office for further information.

other highlights of heidelberg palace

The Ottheinrich Building
Figures on the Friedrich Building
The garden