Station: [21] Abbot's House / Administration Building

A device that writes musical notation, a high-speed typewriter and, last but not least, a precursor of the bicycle. The man who lived in this house was a gifted inventor. His name was Karl Freiherr von Drais, and he invented a hobby-horse called the draisine.

Between 1808 and 1810, Drais was a forestry inspector in the old Schuttern monastery forest. Perhaps he was already thinking about developing a running machine at the time? A bicycle without pedals, where you simply propel yourself along with your feet. Later, he raced through Mannheim at breakneck speed – 15 kilometres or nine miles an hour! He went to Brazil, fought for the German Revolution of 1848 and died in 1851 – an ardent democrat, but impoverished and isolated.

The house Karl Drais lived in during his time in Schuttern had recently been part of the vast abbey complex. It was one of the administrative buildings, erected in 1798 under Abbot Placidus Bacheberle, whose coat of arms is still mounted above the entrance.

After secularisation, the building became the property of the Margrave of Baden and housed the forestry office. But as far as the local people were concerned, nothing much had changed. The "Amtshaus" (or administrative building) is still colloquially known as the Abbot’s House even now.

All depictions: © Historischer Verein Schuttern 603 e.V. / Gemeinde Friesenheim