Snowy Downtown Heidelberg


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Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg » Heidelberg
March 22nd 2007
Published: October 17th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

Downtown Heidelberg and the Neckar RiverDowntown Heidelberg and the Neckar RiverDowntown Heidelberg and the Neckar River

As seen from the Heidelberg Castle. Here you can see the snowy roofs of the Aldstadt, or Old Town, clustered around the Heiligeistkirche, or Holy Ghost Church, and the AlteBruecke, or Old Bridge. The homes lining the opposite bank of the Neckar meld into the vineyards climbing the hill behind them.
Heidelberg, my Heidelberg. Many great poets have penned many fine words about this romantic city. Heidelberg has been our home these past two years, but I have done very few blogs for it. This, however, is not an all-encompassing blog and is mostly a focus on the photographs which I took on one trip downtown.

When I awoke this morning, I saw snow outside the window and instantly decided it was time for me to get blogging. You see, we don’t see snow too often in our valley, and this winter was especially warm. It snowed around Thanksgiving and then the snow disappeared until now, the end of March.

Anyway, my first stop today was the Heidelberg Castle. The castle is extremely eclectic, which can be mostly attributed to the span of its construction, lasting from about 1400 to 1620. It is well worth a visit and tours are available. The views from the castle are amazing and the gardens are expansive. It houses a fascinating Apothecary Museum and it also home to the famous Great Tun. The Great Tun is a gigantic wine keg, built in the 1751, that can hold 220,000 liters, or 58,118 gallons, of wine
The Neckar RiverThe Neckar RiverThe Neckar River

As seen from the castle. Another view of the homes and vineyards along the Neckar.
and there is a dance floor located on top of it. Many great writers have found inspiration here, from Goethe to Mark Twain, as this castle has been in a state of rather romantic ruins for hundreds of years. It was devastated in the War of the Grand Alliance with France, from 1689-93, and after being restored was then ravaged by fire when lightning struck in 1764. The castle was subsequently deserted and only many years later restored by the state and made open to the public as a tourist attraction.

Even with the snow and the cold wind there were still many tourists, and quite a few are British or Spanish in large tour groups. I wandered from one end of the castle grounds to the other, but the numbing cold convinced me to head to lower ground.

I drove down near the river and parked by the Kongresshaus. From here I walked along the Neckar River, up Neckarstrasse, to the Old Bridge (the current one built in 1788) and the Bridge Gate, which was originally a medieval fortification and was later enhanced in 1788. I also snapped some photos of the luxurious homes across the river.
The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle

Built mostly between 1400 and 1620, this romantic and eclectic castle slowly came to ruin after attacks from the French in the War of the Grand Alliance (1689-93) and after lightning set it aflame in 1764.
I walked around the Heiliggeistkirche, or the Church of the Holy Spirit, which is a Gothic church built between 1398 and 1544, though it currently has a new roof and spire built in 1693, after Louis XIV’s troops burnt most of Heidelberg to the ground.

I also got a variety of shots of the Hauptstrasse, which is the pedestrian zone that runs along the river and is reputed to be the longest pedestrian zone in Europe. I did not finish photographing downtown, however, because I received a phone call which had me on a plane to the States within 24 hours… but that’s a whole different blog….



Additional photos below
Photos: 25, Displayed: 24


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The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle

The Fat Tower and the English Building. The Fat Tower once held a theater which could entertain 500 people.
The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle

The Powder Tower, built in 1460, was blown up by the troops of King Louis XIV in 1693. One half of it now rests in the moat.
The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle

An outbuilding on the castle grounds.
The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle

A sleeping garden.
The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle

The outside of the Otto Henry Building as seen from the garden terrace.
The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle

Another outbuilding on the castle grounds.
The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle

A view of the castle from the garden terrace, and the Old Town below.
The Heidelberg CastleThe Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle

A view of the castle from above.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

The Stadthalle / Kongresshaus. In downtown Heidelberg, near the Hauptstrasse and along the Neckar River. This congress center and concert hall was built in 1900.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

Homes along the Neckar River, as seen from Neckarstrasse.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

More homes along the Neckar.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

Along the Neckarstrasse.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

Along the Neckarstrasse. Part of the Heidelberg University.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

The Old Bridge. The towers were built with the Medieval fortifications of the city. The structure connecting the towers was built between 1786-88, at the same time as the stone bridge. The stone bridge replaced eight different wooden bridges, each destroyed for various reasons, from floods to French armies.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

The Bridge Monkey holds a brass mirror, and one can insert one's head in his. This monkey was placed near the Gate of the Old Bridge in 1979, but there has been a monkey in this spot since the 15th century. It disappeared during the War of Succession.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

A view of the Heidelberg Castle from the Old Bridge.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

The Old City Hall, from 1701, in the Market Square. That building in the upper right-hand corner of the photo is the Castle.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

The Holy Ghost Church and Market Square. The Gothic church was built between 1398 and 1544, but received a new roof and spire after their destruction in 1693.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

A statue of the Madonna in the Corn Market square. The Heidelberg Castle rests above.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

The Haus zum Ritter, or Knight's House. This Renaissance house, built in 1592 is the oldest house in Heidelberg, being the only private house to have escaped damage in the wars of the 17th century.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

The Hauptstrasse. Europe's longest pedestrian zone.
Downtown HeidelbergDowntown Heidelberg
Downtown Heidelberg

Heidelberg's Hauptstrasse.


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