Exterior of Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Additional heat for the state roomsHeating the palace

Anyone who thinks that winters were a cozy time for the royal family at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace is seriously mistaken. Keeping the rooms warm was a difficult endeavor, especially so for the servants.

Old central building at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Very cold in the winter.

Stuttgart or Ludwigsburg for the winter?

The Ludwigsburg Residential Palace was originally only intended as a summer residence, the Old Palace in Stuttgart served Duke Eberhard Ludwig and his successors as a winter residence. However, in 1764, when Duke Carl Eugen, uncle to Friedrich, the first King of Württemberg, declared Ludwigsburg his primary residence, the palace began being occupied year-round, and continued to be until 1775.

King Friedrich I's bedroom in the new central building, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Royal bedroom with two cast iron stoves.

Measures to stave off the cold

The primary method for staying warm, then as now: heating. Often, only the royal family's rooms were heated with open fireplaces and tiled stoves. These could be stoked discretely from the servants' passageway through heating shafts. Heating required massive quantities of wood that was brought to Ludwigsburg from the Black Forest. High ceilings and poor insulation meant rooms were quite cold and drafty, despite attempts to heat them.

Heating alone was not enough

Since heating alone was insufficient, there were other options for staving off the cold during the winter months: Additional windows were hung in front of the muntin windows, rugs were laid down and the silk summer wall fabrics were replaced with wool fabrics. Ladies and gentlemen also draped themselves in warmer clothing, such as quilted undergarments and dressing gowns, gloves and hats. Warm beverages, like coffee and chocolate, and warm baths also made the cold days more bearable.

Quilted dressing gown from the fashion museum at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace
Quilted petticoat from the fashion museum at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Ladies and gentlemen protected themselves from the cold with specific under- and over-garments.