House of the Giant (Heidelberg)

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The Haus zum Riesen , the former palace of Eberhard Friedrich von Venningen , built according to the designs of Johann Adam Breuning
Courtyard and garden side of the palace with anatomy garden , western side wing of the building made of hewn Odenwald red sandstone

The Haus zum Riesen is a modern city ​​palace built in 1707 in Heidelberg's old town . The building is named after a statue that adorns the building . It has been used by the University of Heidelberg since the middle of the 19th century , and several important scientists once worked there.


Building history of the palace

In front of the palace , built in the Baroque style in 1707 at Hauptstrasse No. 52, the inn "Zum Löwen" was located on this property . The building owner of the newly built palace was the Secret Council and Lieutenant General Eberhard Friedrich von Venningen . The architect of the palace was Johann Adam Breunig , according to whose plans the Heidelberg Jesuit College and the Heidelberg Old University were built.

With the express permission of the elector, the building was allowed to be constructed from ashlar stones from the blown thick tower of Heidelberg Castle . His name Haus zum Riesen , the building was a larger than life statue that represents the client. The statue was created by Heinrich Charrasky . It adorns the central projection at the level of the second floor . In the early 19th century, an inn with a brewery was operated in the building .

Memorial plaque at the Palais Haus zum Giant

The palace has been owned by Heidelberg University since the mid-19th century , and various institutes have had their headquarters in this building since then. For example, the chemists explored Robert Bunsen and physicist Gustav Kirchhoff here on the spectral analysis . The physiologist Hermann Helmholtz , inventor of the ophthalmoscope , the geologist Wilhelm Salomon-Calvi and other important scientists worked and researched here. The home to the Giant was around 1907 under the direction of Wilhelm Salomon-Calvi, the seat of the Geological - Palaeontological Institute of the University Heidelberg.lf

The lower jaw of the wall

Cast of the lower jaw from Mauer , which was found by Daniel Hartmann in the sand pits of Mauer

Here Otto Schoetensack researched recovered fossils . Schoetensack examined and described in the years 1907/1908, at his place of work in the Haus zum Riesen, the oldest prehistoric human find in Central Europe, the lower jaw of Mauer , which he named Homo heidelbergensis .

A type specimen of the lower jaw of Homo heidelbergensis found in the sands of Mauer is a cast in the museum of the Institute for Geosciences at Heidelberg University.


  • Bernd Müller: Architectural Guide Heidelberg - Buildings around 1000–2000. City of Heidelberg 1998

Web links

Commons : Haus zum Giesen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 49 ° 24 '37.6 "  N , 8 ° 41' 53.1"  E