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Riesen", Haupstrasse 52
This magnificent Baroque palace was built in 1707 to replace
the inn Zum Löwen, which had been destroyed
in 1693. It was commissioned by Privy Counselor and Lieutenant-General
Friedrich Freiherr von Venningen. Stones to construct it were
also fetched from the collapsed Fat Tower at the
rear left of the Castle. The architect was Johann Adam Breunig,
who also designed the Old University and the Jesuit College.
Heinrich Charassky carved the imposing statue of von Venningen
that adorns the center projection level with the second upstairs
In the years 1797-1819 the building contained the inn Zum
Riesen as well as a beer brewery and a schnapps distillery.
Since roughly the mid-19th century, the house has been used
by the university. Initially the anatomy, zoology and physics
departments were based there. Well-known scientists did research
there, including physicist Gustav Kirchhoff and chemist Robert
Bunsen, who jointly invented spectral analysis; physiologist
Hermann Helmholtz, who created a sensation around 1850 with
the fundoscope an instrument still used
today to examine the back of the eye; and geologist Wilhelm
Salomon-Calvi, who discovered a radium deposit on the shore
of the Neckar near the borough of Bergheim and planned the
water supply system for Turkeys capital city, Ankara.