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Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Schloss Heidelberg, Ökonomiebau, Brunnenhaus, Torturm und Ruprechtsbau; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff
Supplying the royal household

The economic building

The economic building's many multi-storied structures are an extension to the Soldiers' Building in the southeast corner of the palace. This is where food was stored and cooked in the palace kitchen. Today, the "Schlossweinstube" (palace wine bar) is operated on the second floor.

Heidelberg Palace. Oven in the bakehouse. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The old oven is located in the economic building.

Bread for the court

The economic building is predominantly the work of Prince-Elector Ludwig V, who commissioned its construction in the 1520s. Prince-Elector Karl Ludwig I had it repaired and expanded following the Thirty Years' War. The basement housed the court bakery with giant ovens, where all the bread for the entire royal household was baked. The old oven and a massive chimney have survived. The flour used by the court bakery was stored on the third and fourth floors.

Heidelberg Palace. Fountain house. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

Well water was used for cooking.

Roasting in the palace kitchens

In addition to a bakehouse, a tailor and storage spaces, the old lords' kitchen was also located in the economic building. A traveler, Michael Herber, described how the roasting spits worked in 1582: well water was diverted to the kitchen, which set a wheel in motion that rotated twelve spits simultaneously. Herber was very impressed with the construction and was of the opinion that nothing of the kind could be found in any other hill palace.

Schloss Heidelberg. Gemälde des Hortus Palatinus; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Palace water supply.

Supplying water and meat

Three springs within the area that would later become the Hortus Palatinus were an optimal source of water for the palace. Various wells supplied the necessary fresh water for the kitchens. Venison was one of the main courses presented at the royal table. The palace kitchen was supplied with venison by the court's lead huntsman and his hunters. The animals were driven into the stag pit at the palace and killed from a safe, elevated position. Large royal hunts also took place in the neighboring forests.

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