Station: [7] Stairwell and Principal Floor

Old newspaper articles celebrated the Palais Wunderlich stairwell as a particularly fine example of "Empire style stairs". No doubt the space had much more elaborate furnishings at the time, possibly including mirrors and other decorative elements.

Unfortunately, not many of those features have survived.

Nevertheless: the banister has the same carved sun motif we saw on the historic double doors at the entrance. And the stairwell’s generous overall layout is also still evident.

A surviving light well above the second-floor ceiling provides the stairwell with natural light.

All depictions: © Palais Wunderlich

And on the first and second floors, where the various owners had their living quarters, there were originally no external apartment doors. Coming from the stairs, you simply walked right into your home.

Traditionally, the rooms on the first floor – the piano nobile – had the grandest furnishings. That’s also why the balcony overlooking the street is on the first floor. And indeed, the principal floor’s four large rooms, which are arranged in sequence, are quite impressive, with stucco work and elaborate stove alcoves in each room. One room has a double door leading into what was then the kitchen, so it’s safe to assume that was originally the dining room.

Remarkably, the mansion’s second floor has significantly more elaborate fixtures and fittings – evidence of a later upgrade. The present owner's family still lives in those second floor rooms, so they’re unfortunately not accessible. But we’d still like to tell you about them in a brief audio commentary.