The place where you’re standing now – or even sitting comfortably on one of the benches – used to be … under water! For centuries, the pond, which was created in the Middle Ages by damming the local stream, was much larger than it is today. And the two alders on your right stood on a little island in the middle of the pond. It was only reduced in size in 1885 – that was when the road you see on the opposite bank was laid out – it’s called Langbeinstrasse.
In the Middle Ages, the large expanse of water in front of the castle provided extra protection. Later, this natural barrier helped to save the palace from disastrous fires that broke out in the town. Radeberg was almost completely destroyed on three occasions, in the 16th and 18th centuries respectively.
But the residents of Radeberg also benefited from the large pond. If you look at your screen now, you’ll see a watercolour by Karl Stanka, a local painter who created a chronicle of Radeberg in pictures. It shows skaters enjoying themselves on the ice in front of Klippenstein after the pond froze over in the winter of 1880.
When restoration works were carried out between 2017 and 2020, the pond and the gardens were redesigned. A lime tree was planted on the bank in front of the entrance to the palace. It restored the historic view and replaced a tree that stood there in earlier centuries.
Throughout the palace gardens, you’ll come across odd bits of stone and old architectural elements: old gullies, ornamental door lintels and even a fragment of an old post milestone. This little open-air museum – called the Lapidarium – is a reminder of lively local building activity and features some particularly handsome stone vestiges of the past.
All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen