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An idyllic Biedermeier-era treasure on Lake Constance

Meersburg Prince’s Little House

Meersburg Prince's Little House, state room. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Carla Mueller
A place to recuperate

The rooms in Droste's time

Famous poet Droste-Hülshoff was never able to live here: The Prince's Little House was primarily a place where she could "be with herself." In her letters, she describes how she wanted to renovate and appoint the house for her later residence.

Meersburg Prince's Little House, workspace in the swallow's nest. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Carla Mueller

In the swallow's nest.

State room and private space

Although the house was small, the ground floor held a large room, the state room. Additionally, the ground floor housed a kitchen, next to which a wooden staircase led to the second floor. Three rooms were located on the second floor, which the poet intended to use as a workroom, a bedroom, and a space for a chamber maid. The poet had the exterior of the house painted by a Meersburg painter. However, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff was never able to truly reside in the little house, though she visited—and described—it often.

Meersburg Prince's Little House, bust of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Bernhard Wrobel

Droste-Hülshoff described the house often.

Droste's kingdom in her own words

"You ascend roughly eight steps up a pretty, curved staircase to the first floor, which consists of only the state room and a kitchen, the first a chamber of comfortable size, with an alcove that can easily accommodate a couch, a table and a few chairs without crowding the rest of the room… You enter this room directly from the stairs,the kitchen is directly next to it, is small, but not uncomfortably so, and can be arranged at relatively little expense so that the hearth fire also heats the tile stove in the state room, which keeps it quite comfortable in the winter, and which can easily be alleviated in the summer by opening the windows..."

Meersburg Prince's Little House, chamber maid's space in the swallow's nest. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Carla Mueller

The chamber maid's corner.

Her private space

"…from the kitchen, a spiral staircase and hatch lead to the second floor, my own attic den (or swallow's nest), all delicately fashioned, the staircase gracefully winding, the hatch carved like the paneling and integrated seamlessly into the wall, so that it is indistinguishable by light of day and taken for a decoration;… Behind it are my personal rooms, a heated parlor… and a little bedroom, just large enough for the necessities: a bed, a washstand, a wardrobe…"

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"...a little bedroom, just large enough for the necessities: a bed, a washstand, a wardrobe..."

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