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Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Prince-Elector Ludwig V, sandstone sculpture in the Ruprecht Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele
Feeding the palace residents

The Ludwig Building

Without the structures built by Ludwig V on the east side of the palace courtyard, life at Heidelberg Palace would have been impossible. All the baking and cooking took place behind these simple walls. This was also the site of important storage spaces for food as well as munitions.

Prince-Elector Ludwig V, sandstone sculpture in the Ruprecht Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Sculpture of Prince-Elector Ludwig V in the Ruprecht Building.

Where the prince-elector once lived

Prince-Elector Ludwig V, who ruled between 1508 and 1544, had already had a simple residence built on the right side of the palace courtyard in 1524. The Ludwig Building was three stories high and could be accessed via the surviving stair tower at the center of the building. Today, the entire left side is missing. Prince-Elector Ottheinrich had the entire wing torn down in 1556 for use in his new Ottheinrich Building.

Interior of the bakehouse in the economic building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The bakehouse in the economic building

Culinary pleasures of yesterday and today

Ludwig V had a simple functional building, the economic building, built next to his residence. This is where the tailor, storage rooms and kitchen were housed. The remnant of a massive oven is an impressive feature in the historic bakehouse. Today, rustic regional dishes are served here. A simple "knights' feast" awaits groups.

View of the fountain house by the Soldiers' Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

Fountain house by the Soldiers' Building.

Royal electoral water supply

On the right, the historic fountain house has an exciting late Gothic vault. The fountain house stands in front of the Soldiers' Building, which was also built by Ludwig V in the 16th century. Palace guards had their living and common rooms here. Today, the building is used by palace administration and houses the Heidelberg Palace Service Center.

View of the powder tower at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

The powder tower, aka "exploded tower."

Where the "kraut" was stored

The economic building attaches to the massive powder tower, also called the "exploded tower." Ludwig V reinforced Heidelberg Palace's first castle keep with strong vaults. Embrasures and flues indicate its former function as a gun turret. "Kraut," or powder, specifically gunpowder, was stored in the basement. French mines destroyed the roughly 6.5 meter-thick wall during the Nine Years' War between 1688 and 1697. Since then, a third of the tower sits at the bottom of the stag pit.