Station: [16] Black Kitchen

For three hundred years, from the 15th to the 18th centuries, this kitchen was regularly filled with smoke, and soot was deposited everywhere. So no wonder it became known as the “Black Kitchen”. You only have to glance at the ceiling for confirmation: the vaulting is black with soot!

Take a sniff – can you still smell the smoke of past centuries? Roughly where the cuboid installation sits today, quietly crackling and sizzling, there used to be an open fire. There was no proper flue, just a hole in the ceiling. You can still see it, on either side of the white chimney – a somewhat primitive, and not especially efficient way of allowing the smoke to escape. The present chimney was installed in the 18th century.

Incidentally, it was no coincidence that the main palace kitchen was here, in the north-east corner of the castle’s defensive wall. The kitchen was as far away as possible from the keep. That was to ensure the maximum possible delay before any fire spread to the lord’s chambers above the Great Hall of the keep.

Since the museum of local history was opened in 1953, the Black Kitchen has been used as an exhibition space. Today, it houses a valuable collection of door locks from the holdings of Radeberg’s former museum of antiquities. Some of these weird locks are almost as old as the palace. And if you take a closer look at the wrought iron workings, you’ll soon realise how much painstaking manual labour went into that kind of lock!

All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen