Ice House

At the edge of the pathway to the vault, the largest preserved ice house of any palace complex in southern Germany lies hidden in the steep hillside. Ice was once used to store and chill large quantities of food and drink for the royal household.
The ice house is a mighty vaulted circular cellar, measuring 32 feet high and 14 feet wide (1 foot = approx. 30 cm). Thick natural-stone walls and a covering of earth helped to keep it naturally cold. In winter, frozen water was cut from Monrepos lake and other ponds with saws and taken to the ice house. The ice was put into the ice house, which had a capacity of over 100 cubic metres, through a shaft at the top of the vault. A spiral staircase led up from the Ice Valley to a higher point of access from which the ice was removed. In summer, an additional layer of straw covered the ice house. The ice house was the baroque version of a refrigerator.

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