Schelling writes after Caroline’s death: “Once, while standing at a window in Maulbronn, she said to me, ‘Schelling, do you think perhaps that I might die here?’” [*]
Caroline died at approximately 3:00 a.m. on 7 September 1809 in the Ephorat, or headmaster’s residence (also Herrenhaus, where the institution’s patron, Herr, stayed when visiting), and was buried at 4:00 p.m. on 9 September 1809 “behind the church, close to the rear wall,” as Schelling put it in a letter to Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer on 2 October 1809, locating the gravesite in the former monks’ cemetery as shown in the illustration below (photo above: Erhard Knittel; illustrations below:  J. E. Gailer, Neuer Orbis Pictus für die Jugend oder Schauplatz der Natur der Kunst und des Menschenlebens, 5th ed. [Reutlingen 1842], plate 320;  Königliches statistisch-topographisches Bureau, Beschreibung des Oberamts Maulbronn [Stuttgart 1870], illustration following p. 164; no. 28 is the Herrenhaus or Ephorat; no. 31 in the top corner is the Faust tower):
This area was originally reserved for monks’ burials. The precise location of Caroline’s grave within that cemetery, however, is not known. By the mid-nineteenth century, landscaping tastes had changed, and the entire set of gravestones and monuments was either destroyed or relocated and the garden landscaped anew in a more modern style. Recent excavations at the base of the arcade or parlatorium (no. 27 in the preceding illustration) adjoining the Ephorat and monastery, and at the adjoining arcade base of the Ephorat itself, revealed the remains of some of those earlier burials; that is, eventually not all burials were in the monks’ cemetery proper. Given Schelling’s description above, however, Caroline does indeed seem to have been buried in that earlier cemetery near the back wall.
The obelisk Schelling had erected over her grave, whose backdrop was originally the similarly shaped church apse and tower, was moved to the church’s side retaining wall sometime during the nineteenth century after the area behind the church was cleared, thus removing any possibility of determining the precise location of Caroline’s grave. The early photo at right presumably shows the original position of the obelisk against the retaining wall.
In 1922, to make way for a World War 1 memorial, the obelisk was moved down to the side of the church, as shown in the photo at left.
On 6 November 1971 it was moved back to that earlier retaining wall but in a slightly different location (to the left of the church in the photo below, obscured by trees); the location of the former monks’ cemetery, where Caroline is buried, is outlined next to the rear wall and the Herrenhaus (Ephorat), where Caroline died (photo: Erhard Knittel):
An early illustration of the monastery complex showing the former monk’s cemetery (partially obscured by the building in the foreground), located next to the Herrenhaus (Ephorat) and back wall (Pierer’s Konversationslexikon, 7th ed., ed. Joseph Kürschner [Stuttgart 1891], s.v. Maulbronn):
Here a view from the back of the Ephorat across the former cemetery to the Faust tower; Caroline’s grave is located somewhere in this area still intersected by paths between the grave sections (1907 postcard):
The Ephorat, where Caroline died, is an imposing, handsome structure located in the back of the monastery and separated from the monastery proper by the arcade or parlatorium mentioned above (the Ephorat is at far right in the photo below). The resident abbot, later called a prelate (as in letters between Schelling and his brother during this period) and, for the first time during the tenure of Schelling’s father, an ephorus, traditionally had guest quarters on the second floor and his own residence on the third floor, as is, with some qualification, essentially still the case today. The rear, or garden side, is shown below (photo: Erhardt Knittel):
The front or main entrance is shown below with the second and third stories (all following photos by translator/editor except second photo of the Ephorat residence: Martin Reulecke):
These two stories are of interest because Caroline almost certainly died in one of them. If she and Schelling were staying in the guest quarters on the second floor, she likely would have died there, otherwise on the third floor, in Schelling’s parents’ private residence. The rooms on the second floor have been restored to their original configuration and size, and the original, beautiful beam structure restored (special thanks to former ephorus Tobias Küenzlen for his gracious and informative tour of these quarters and of the rest of the monastery complex with particular attention to Schelling and Caroline):
Second-floor bay windows:
Caroline’s obelisk is now located in a secluded area
against the retaining wall as shown in the aerial photos above;
shown here on 7 September 2009:
Floral placements left at the obelisk on 7 September 2009:
In the Ephorat arcade looking out on the garden area behind the church
See also the supplementary appendix on Maulbronn.
[*] Schelling to Philipp Michaelis on 29 November 1809 (letter 452). Illustration: Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Oh perdez cette indifférence, et vous connoîtrez le vrai bien, from Isabelle de Montolieu’s novel Karoline von Lichtfield, published in the Gothaischer Hof Kalender zum Nutzen und Vergnügen eingerichtet auf das Jahr 1788 (Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki AB 3.704 (1786). Back.
Translation © 2018 Doug Stott