Heidelberg Castle, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany
@MALUSE (48007)
Uzbekistan
February 2, 2019 1:24pm CST
More than 1 million tourists from all over the world visit the city of Heidelberg in the south of Germany each year. A visit is not complete without getting up to the castle. You can walk up a short and very steep alleyway, an even steeper flight of stairs or take the funicular up to the castle. It's only a ride of two minutes and quite disappointing because you are in a tunnel all the time. Our sightseeing tour starts at a stone gate which stands forlornly on a piece of grass, not attached to a building. It’s just a gate ‘per se’, a gate in its own right, so-to-speak. When I studied in Heidelberg I had a room in a house in the street running above the castle and in summer when I slept with the windows open I didn’t need an alarm clock, because at 8 o’clock sharp I would wake up to polyglot cries of “Ah’s” and “Oh’s” - the guides always start their tours there and explain that the gate was built in one night as a birthday present for a princess. We then look to the left and see a big round tower which extracts cries of excitement only of British visitors who know about their cultural heritage. In 1613 King Frederic V married Elizabeth Stuart, the eldest daughter of King James VI and on the occasion of the wedding Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” was performed here. A wonderful setting indeed! The castle is in ruins, but it was not destroyed during the Second World War as many tourists assume. Mostly this presumption is correct when you see ruins in Germany, but not here. The castle was first destroyed in the 30 Years’ War and then, after its reconstruction, again in the second half of the 17th century by the French in the course of a war of succession between the kings of the Palatine and the French. For some time it was misused as a quarry to build new houses in the town. Some buildings which weren’t destroyed too much were renovated and now you can find all kinds of festivities there: dinner banquets, balls, concerts, theatre performances. You can even rent the courtyard for a festivity, fireworks included. Let’s enter the castle proper and admire the ‘most beautiful Renaissance buildings north of Italy’! You can make a guided tour through the interior, you can have a look at the biggest wine barrel of the world (221 726 litres), but you MUST have a look from the terrace. Go find the devil's footprint which he made when he had to jump out of a maiden's room in order not to be discovered! You look down at the river Neckar, see the Old Bridge, the narrow streets, the houses nestling round the Holy Ghost Church, see the buildings of the Old and the New University. After this you may stroll through the gardens to the Great Terrace and look at the castle from a distance and beneath it the town centre which you should visit, too, of course. ----- P.S. Follow the wall round the castle to the right. Where it ends, move straight up. You'll see a house partly hidden by trees. That's where I lived for four years. ----- Photo: soini-asset.com
12 people like this
11 responses
@Tampa_girl7 (28078)
• United States
2 Feb
This is a very memorable castle. I got to see it several times.
3 people like this
@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
2 Feb
Have I triggered off nostalgia with this post? :-)
3 people like this
@Tampa_girl7 (28078)
• United States
2 Feb
@MALUSE oh yes a part of my heart forever belongs to Germany
2 people like this
@WiseGhots (9993)
2 Feb
Lucky you, @Tampa_girl7.
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (130262)
• United States
2 Feb
This castle would be a delight to tour. A wealth of history to be learned from this marvelous castle.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
2 Feb
There is a chapel in the castle which isn't in regular use but you can rent it for religious ceremonies. A friend of mine married there. What more can you have as background scenery! A big hall in the castle was used for American highschool diploma ceremonies when I lived there. Until some years ago the greatest American military base in Germany was located in Heidelberg.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (130262)
• United States
2 Feb
@MALUSE Now, that would be a lovely place for a marriage ceremony. I am quite interested in seeing that devil's footprint.
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@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
2 Feb
@Corbin5 First Version: The Knight’s Footprint. Legend has it that when a fire broke out one of the visiting knights, not familiar with the layout of the palace found himself in a dire situation where he was trapped in the burning building. Not having any other recourse, he jumped out a window and landed on the Atlan, the force of the jump and the weight of his armor denting the sandstone terrace below. And of course, there is the challenge now to see whose foot will fit the hollowed out space to see if they are of knightly heritage. Second Version: The other version of this legend is that a knight was romancing a lady at the castle when the Elector Price arrived home unexpectedly. The knight, not wanting to be caught in the act, jumped out of the window and left the impression on the sandstone of the Atlan. In that version, whoever fit the impression would be surely killed for taking such liberties while the Elector Prince was away. I lived in Heidelberg for six years altogether. I only ever heard about the devil leaving the footprint. I can't find this version anywhere, though. Whatever, devil or knight: why is there only *one* footprint? The mind boggles.
2 people like this
@WiseGhots (9993)
2 Feb
Wow! I love the architecture. It's so imposing!
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@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
2 Feb
It's estimated that there are about 25.000 (the authorities are still counting) castles of different sizes and importance in Germany. The castle in Heidelberg is one of the most impressive and especially loved by foreigners.
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@WiseGhots (9993)
2 Feb
@MALUSE OMG! This is a huge amount of castles! This place should be amazing to be visisted.
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@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
2 Feb
@WiseGhots Just a small excerpt of the list:
Forum Travel Trivia Genetics History Linguistics Forum Travel Trivia Genetics History Linguistics Austria France Germany Ireland Italy Portugal Scandinavia Spain Switzerland ?Germany Guide Photos German States Travel Tools Eupedia Community Culture Shock P
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@xFiacre (6772)
• Ireland
2 Feb
Thanks @maluse , now I won't have to visit Heidelberg - I feel that I've already seen it!
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@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
2 Feb
There is a lot more to say, of course. Maybe I'm going to write another post. Have you found my house among the trees? I had a small balcony facing west from which I could look down on the castle and part of the town and see the plain where the river Rhine flows. The river flowing through Heidelberg is called Neckar, it's a tributary of the Rhine.
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@xFiacre (6772)
• Ireland
2 Feb
@MALUSE It must have been delightful to look out from that house onto the town.
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@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
2 Feb
@xFiacre Oh,yes, it was. It was quite hard to concentrate on one's studies!
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@DianneN (103100)
• United States
5 Feb
We visited it as a tourist. We enjoyed the university much more.
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@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
5 Feb
Heidelberg university is the oldest in Germany. But you surely know this.
2 people like this
@DianneN (103100)
• United States
5 Feb
@MALUSE I do. We enjoyed exploring it on our own. I even bought a few things in the campus bookstore.
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@LestatPen (779)
• France
2 Feb
That sounds so wonderful to see that Castle. It must have been magical to live so close to the Castle.
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@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
2 Feb
I'm going to write another post, a more personal one, on what life was like so near to the castle. Watch this space! :-)
2 people like this
• France
2 Feb
@MALUSE That sounds like a great adventure! I love any stories about Castles and wonderful lands. I will be looking for it.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (15353)
• United Kingdom
5 Feb
I will be passing through Heidleberg en route to Oberammergau in August 2020. I am looking forward to both!
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@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
5 Feb
Oberammergau?? Whyever would you want to see the play? You could give me a ticket as a present, I wouldn't go. Will you learn enough German in one year to be able to understand the play or do you get ear phones with the English translation?
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb
It must have been a wonderful place to live. The picture certainly is beautiful and looks like a postcard
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@JudyEv (153346)
• Bunbury, Australia
2 Feb
It always sounds romantic when someone says they lived in such a wonderful old city with so much history.
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@acelawrites (14386)
• Philippines
2 Feb
Very picturesque; the castles which tells of so many stories.Thanks for sharing this bit of history.
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@Fleura (8317)
• United Kingdom
11 Feb
This is a place I have been. One of my friends lived there at one point, in a house uphill from the castle - maybe it was even the same one you rented? I remember her telling me she was excited to find that cornelian cherries grow on the hillside (like me, she enjoys cooking and preserving). When I visited she no longer lived there but in another town a little further away. I stayed with her and her husband but had a day sight-seeing in Heidelberg on my own while they were busy at work.
@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
11 Feb
When did your friend live in Heidelberg? I studied there from 1964 until 1970. I didn't rent a house then but lived in a house together with other students which belonged to a landlord who lived in a fine villa somewhere else. The ground floor had two flats in which simple Heidelbergers lived. The first floor also had two flats, each with two rooms and a kitchen. One flat was occupied by a student couple. The two rooms of the other flat were occupied by single students. I was the third student. I lived in the kitchen. We shared the loo. There was no shower or bathroom. I had running water in the kitchen. The others had to carry water from the loo into their rooms and wash in a wash basin. We had ovens which we heated with wood and coal. It was all very primitive but cheap and we lived above the castle! We had to take the funicular up the mountain.
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@Fleura (8317)
• United Kingdom
12 Feb
@MALUSE She lived there 14 or 15 years ago. The facilities were better I think but it could well have been the same place!
@MALUSE (48007)
• Uzbekistan
12 Feb
@Fleura I know that the landlord renovated the whole house and made modern apartments out of the flats. Can you ask your friend what her address was? Ours was Schlosswolfsbrunnenweg 6. If it was the same house, then this is the coincidence of the year!
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