An extraordinary ensemble in an idyllic setting

Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace

Technical monument from royal times

The palace kitchen

It is a rarity even beyond the palaces of Baden-Württemberg, and a technical monument at the same time. The Bebenhausen palace kitchen, installed at the beginning of the 20th century for the preparation of royal feasts, has been preserved virtually unchanged.

King Wilhelm II and his consort Charlotte; Scan: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, author unknown

There was a royal feast following every hunt.

The demands of holding court

From their accession in 1891, King Wilhelm II and his consort Charlotte made regular visits to Bebenhausen palace. Every year in late autumn, at the start of the deer rutting season, the royal couple would meet with relations, friends, officers and selected guests at the palace. For two weeks, each day's hunting would be crowned with a festive feast. Three courses, nine individual dishes in total and each with matching wines: such was the kitchen's evening agenda.

Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace, stove; Photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, local administration of Bebenhausen

The new kitchen was ten times bigger.

Ten times bigger

Measuring just 26 square meters, the old palace kitchen was far too small to cater properly to large gatherings of court society. As part of the far-reaching renovations from 1913, the kitchen was extended to ten times its size. Various working areas were set apart. In 1916, the fixtures and fittings were finally delivered and a modern range cooker manufactured by Roeder of Darmstadt was installed, all of which remains virtually unchanged today.

Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace, dumb waiter; Photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, local adminstration of Bebenhausen

Dishes were brought upstairs in the dumb waiter.

Designed for functionality

The palace kitchen is in the basement of the so-called “Kapff‘schen Bau.” On one side are the cold store and larder along with two storage rooms. A long corridor separates them from the laundry, silver cleaning room and scullery and leads directly to the downstairs pantry. From here, a dumb waiter transported the dishes directly to the upstairs pantry. There was even a kitchen office which connected directly to the downstairs pantry and the big kitchen.

Dumb waiter in the downstairs pantry.

Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace, kitchen equipment; Photo: Janna Almeida

The staff travelled with equipment and crockery.

Kitchen staff

Staff from the palace kitchen travelled from the Stuttgart Residence especially for the hunting season bringing with them kitchen equipment and crockery. In 1915 there was a kitchen manager who monitored food purchases and supplies. A head cook directed the kitchen as well as the court patisserie. There were also four trained cooks, up to four trainees as well as two serving staff and a maid.

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