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An extraordinary ensemble in an idyllic setting

Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace

Küche im Schloss Bebenhausen; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Christoph Hermann
Monument to technology from the time of kings

The palace kitchen

A rarity in the palaces of Baden-Württemberg and beyond, as well as a monument to technology: The palace kitchen of Bebenhausen, installed at the beginning of the 20th century to prepare royal banquets, still remains preserved in its original state today.

King Wilhelm II and Queen Charlotte in front of Bebenhausen Palace. Scan: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

After every hunt, the royal couple sent out invitations to a banquet.

A demanding household

Since the beginning of their reign in 1891, King Wilhelm II and his wife Charlotte regularly visited Bebenhausen Palace. Every year in late fall, when the mating season of the deer began, the royal couple met with relatives, friends, officers, and select guests at the palace. For two weeks, festive banquets crowned every day of hunting. Three courses, a total of nine individual dishes, and the right wine to complement each: That was the kitchen's evening schedule.

Oven in the palace kitchen of Bebenhausen Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Bebenhausen local administration

The new kitchen was ten times larger.

Ten times as big

At only 26 square meters, the old palace kitchen was much too small to appropriately serve large court parties. During the extensive renovations beginning in 1913, the kitchen area was expanded ten-fold. The different work areas were divided within the space. In 1916, the furniture and equipment were finally delivered and the large, modern stove from the Darmstadt company Roeder, which has been preserved almost unchanged, was installed.

Dumbwaiter in the palace kitchen of Bebenhausen Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Bebenhausen local administration

Meals were conveyed upward using the dumbwaiter.

With functional forethought

The palace kitchen is in the lower story of the Kapff Building. The cooling chamber, pantry, and two storage rooms are on one side. A long hallway divides them from the washing area, the silver chamber, and the scullery and leads directly to the lower pantry. From here, a dumbwaiter transported meals directly to the upper pantry, an antechamber of the Green Hall. There was even a kitchen office, connected directly to the lower pantry and the great kitchen.

Speiseaufzug in der unteren Anrichte von Schloss Bebenhausen; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ortsverwaltung Bebenhausen

Dumbwaiter in the lower pantry.

Kitchen spoon in the palace kitchen of Bebenhausen Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Janna Almeida

The staff arrived with kitchen equipment and crockery.

The kitchen staff

The palace kitchen staff arrived from the residence in Stuttgart with their own kitchen equipment and crockery during the hunting season. In 1915, there was a kitchen administrator who oversaw shopping and food supplies. A head cook led the kitchen and the royal confectionery. There were also four trained cooks, up to four apprentices, two servants, and a maid.

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