The breath-taking Heidelberg Schloss (castle) stands nestled in the hill 300 feet above the city of Heidelberg. Surrounding an inner courtyard, the castle is a combination of several buildings jumbled together in a haphazard way. Heidelberg Castle is one of the unique German Castles with each of its buildings depicting a different period of German architecture.
A Short History
The castle’s history is as old as the city itself. The first parts were built around 1300. During the rule of Prince Elector Rupretch III (1398-1410) the castle was first used as a royal residence. Since then the castle has been the residence of several of the Prince Electors until it was completely destroyed by lightening in 1764. Following this, the citizens of Heidelberg had used the castle stones to build their new homes. Count Charles de Graimberg began the task of conserving the castle ruins in 1800 and thus one of the most important Renaissance structures to the north of Alps came into being.
A Great Place to Be
Just as breathtaking as the city from the castle, so is the castle from the city. Get to the Great Terrace or the gardens to appreciate an amazing view of Heidelberg. The Neckar River and the Neckar Valley stretching far into the Rhine plain is an amazing view. On a clear day, a view up to Manheim can be experienced on the horizon!
During the 17th century, the castle was assigned the status of ‘the Eighth Wonder of the World’. Take a guided tour and you’ll be able to inspect more of the interiors. Group and special tours are available by appointment. With millions of visits each year, the castle is as popular as any other German castles like Neuschwanstein or Hohenzollern.
The castle gardens built upon several terraces are made up of many mazes, flower beds, arbors and numerous sculptures. These striking gardens include a heated greenhouse with orange trees, waterfalls and an artificial grotto for musical water arts. The Heidelberg Tun (the World’s Largest Wine Barrel) built in 1751; the Apothecary Museum, the Castle Lighting, and numerous tours and events especially for families and children are an added attraction at this venue.