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One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Visitors in the barrel cellar under the gaming pavilion at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg local administration
Underground treasure

The barrel cellar

The ducal wine cellar, with its many arches of impressive size, likely predates the construction of the present-day palace. The barrel cellar is located below the gaming pavilion and houses the largest barrel in Württemberg, with a capacity of 90,000 liters.

Entrance to the barrel cellar in the vault yard. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg local administration

Entrance to the barrel cellar.

Liquid gold

Enormous quantities of wine were consumed at the courts of the dukes and kings of Württemberg, but not just at the royal table. The wine was an important part of courtiers' pay, and even that of the servants. The precious liquid was stored in giant cellars below the palace. Many original 18th-century barrels have survived at Ludwigsburg and are preserved in the cellars below the grand building.

Detail of the great barrel at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg local administration

Upon request: red or white.

The largest barrel in Württemberg

Ten large oak trees went into the giant barrel. Between 1719 and 1721, master workman Wiedemann and cellarman Ackermann worked on it under the employ of Duke Eberhard Ludwig. In its time, it was one of the largest in Germany, until the Giant Barrel was built in Heidelberg thirty years later. It garnered admiration by its Baroque peers for an ingenious technical gadget: The tap is installed in such a way that red or white wine can be drawn at will.

Bacchus statue on the wall fountain by Carlo Feretti, 1719, in the barrel cellar at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg local administration

A fountain figure of Bacchus in the vestibule to the barrel cellar.

Mischievous fountains

In the vestibule to the barrel cellar, Bacchus, the god of wine, is entirely in his element. He sits on a barrel wearing a crown of vine leaves. He wears an impish grin for a reason: He occasionally startles passing visitors with an unexpected jet of water. The stone statue is part of a wall fountain, created in 1719 by Carlo Feretti.

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