From the late 19th century, fraudsters and petty criminals were left to stew in the building that housed the stables in the Early Modern Period.
In 1879 and ‘80, the judicial office at the palace became a district court. As part of some remodelling work, several austere prison cells were established here in the Outer Bailey.
When a prisoner went up to the palace to hear his sentence in court, he took the stairs to the right of the prison wing. Archaeological excavations have confirmed that this entrance has existed since 1543. The cantilevered stairs made of wood and stainless steel were installed during restoration work in the 1990s to ensure that this historically important staircase wasn’t destroyed by laying concrete foundations.
When you strolled around the garden earlier, you may have seen the little prison yard on the other side of the palace.
It’s at the other end of a passage that begins here and winds its way through the entire Outer Bailey. At the other end of that passage, an historic door is still in place which has to be opened by striking the lock hard with a hammer.
The passage, from which the prison cells lead off, features the oldest surviving wall in the palace. It’s built straight on to the natural rock. We offer guided tours of the prison wing, if you’re interested – though these are only available in German.
All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen