The heavy iron doors have probably given you a hint – this former store room known as the “Küchengewölbe”, the kitchen pantry, now houses our treasure chamber.
It features just a few unusual objects and tells the story of the castle and the palace complex.
For instance, take the little round box in the glass case on the far right. It’s a kind of purse from around 1270, when the castle was just a few decades old. This little box was used to store and carry special coins known as “bracteates”. These were made of thin slivers of precious metal with a pattern stamped on one side, so they were very delicate. To avoid bending or breaking the fragile little discs, they were kept in solid boxes like this one. Now, who could have lost their life’s savings in the castle grounds seven and a half centuries ago?
The tiny die in the display case right at the front is only a few decades younger than the bracteates box. In the 14th century, the people living in the castle entertained themselves on long winter’s evenings by playing games with dice and game counters. The die was discovered under the floor of the historic Hofestube, the parlour in the north wing. Today, the parlour houses an exhibition on the history of local industry.
And finally, the door knocker. For centuries, it hung on the wooden door of the Renaissance portal at the top of the equestrian staircase. It’s from the 16th century, the period when Duke Moritz was turning the castle into a hunting lodge and administrative centre. Over time, thousands and thousands of people gripped it and knocked firmly on the portal – eye to eye with the oddly sinister creature that has the ring in its mouth. Is it a stag? An elk? A protective spirit? Certainly it’s an example of remarkable workmanship, and one we can still admire today.
All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen