The castle ruin’s was built in the year 1214 in a Gothic and Renaissance style, and was expanded into two new castles. A large part of the castle was destroyed by lighting strikes in the years 1537 and 1764.
The castle sits on a hill overlooking the historic city of Heidelberg. That means that there is an incline to reach the site so wear comfortable shoes.
Things to do at Heidelberg Castle
– Try to learn the story of the building of Elizabeth’s Gate. The best preserved building is the Friedrich wing whose facade with statues of the electors is like an ancestral portrait gallery.
– Be sure to walk around to the river side where you get a spectacular view of historic Heidelberg & its old bridge. There are some interesting details along the brick walls. Holes in the brick assisted in moving them into place and metal bars attached to the bricks were repairs made to stabilize the walls. Beautiful decorative details with symbolic meanings are found throughout the castle buildings.
– Don’t miss the wine cellar with the largest wine barrel in the world (55,345 gallons).
– Also, leave enough time to see the Apothecary Museum. It is a beautifully designed building with authentic displays & history of the pharmacy. Titles are in English & German. The area is quite large, so plan to spend at least half a day.
– And the most important thing is to take lots of photos 🙂
Did you know that you can marry at the palace. Really! From February to December you can arrange a civil wedding ceremony at Heidelberg castle. You can get married (civil & church wedding) the Schloss and celebrate afterwards in a magnificent ambiance.
The Heidelberg Old Town (German: Altstadt)
The oldest part of the city, the Altstadt sits just below the Schloss. It extends along the river for a mile, with Karlstor on one end, and Bismarckplatz on the other. In between, is a wonderful combination of old and new buildings, narrow streets, market squares, arts, history, science, shopping, eating and relaxing.
The Hauptstraße is the main road through the Altstadt, and is where most of the shopping is centered.
You can feel safe walking around here at any time of the day and whilst there are plenty of restaurants, bars, shops and stalls it is the many back streets that you should wander down and explore.
This part of Germany was spared the heavy bombing of other areas so the many buildings are original.
Other points of interest that can be found in the Altstadt include the Marktplatz, the Kornmarkt, the Church of the Holy Ghost, the Palatinate Museum, Synagogue Square, The University, Marstall, Heuscheuer, the Friedrich Memorial, and the Old Bridge.
A very charming and interesting place. From the lovely architecture to the myriad of great places to eat, it’s a delight to meander around here.