A small yard, surrounded by a solid wall built of dressed stone. This is a prison yard, where the unhappy inmates of the jail were allowed to exercise by taking their own restricted tour.
Do you see the barred door in the white building? Beyond that is a passage that gave access to the prison cells. The prisoners would have come through that door into the yard to stretch their legs.
From the late 18th century onwards, Klippenstein Palace served exclusively as an administrative centre. In the course of reforms to the justice system in the late 19th century, the judicial office was replaced by a district court. Extra prison cells were added on both floors of the outer bailey, and the yard was laid out. However, only minor misdemeanours were tried by the court – it’s unlikely that any dangerous criminals were ever incarcerated here. The cells were in use until 1952, when the district court was abolished.
These days, the rebuilt flight of stairs to the left of the prison entrance leads to the postern – the rear entrance into the palace. Until the equestrian staircase was built in the Early Modern Period, this was the main way into the palace. Please go up the stairs. On the top landing, to your left, you’ll notice a change in the texture of the plaster. That was the original entrance into the medieval castle.
All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen