Station: [4] Front Courtyard

Once you’ve entered Palais Wunderlich and moved across the entrance area, you might like to stop for a moment. Here, where the courtyard opens out, you have an excellent view of the entire U-shaped complex.

The main building behind you was built by Carl Ludwig Wunderlich between 1798 and 1800 and has largely been preserved in its original form.

The wing adjoining the main house on the right was originally only half its present length. Just this side of the fourth window, there’s a ridge in the masonry. That’s where the west wing ended in Wunderlich's day.

He’d installed a bakehouse and a laundry there, and probably servants' quarters as well. Since the roof ridge and eaves obstructed the windows of the main house, the building was set back from the main house by a few metres during the refurbishment. That also created space for a terrace and balconies. The west wing was only extended to its present length in the second half of the 19th century, when the mansion was owned by Adolf Friedrich Bader.

Bader was a cigar maker, so during his time, the entire complex served both as a residence and a manufacturing site. For decades – between 1848 and 1890 – several hundred people worked here, and there was a lot of coming and going.

The east wing (on the left) wasn’t originally connected to the main house. Wunderlich's successor, Lucas Faesch, built an early structure, but that was demolished by Bader in 1860 and replaced by the current east wing. Bader used the resulting space on the ground floor for manufacturing and stored his imported tobaccos on the top floor.

A little over a decade later, Bader added a single-storey bath house on to the east wing – in other words, a bathroom with its own hot water supply. Do you see the white windows and the door at the far end of the wing? That’s the former bath house.

If you look closely at the façades of both the east and west wings, you’ll discover a number of small iron hooks. Those on the east wing are a little lower, while those on the west wing are a little higher up. In the past, hooks like these were used to secure awnings that overhung the courtyard. They offered a degree of protection from wind and weather, so that some goods could be stored in the yard.

From the mid-19th century onwards, Palais Wunderlich was part factory and part residential building, combining upper middle-class domestic culture with a commercial operation.

All depictions: © Palais Wunderlich