The epitome of German Romanticism worldwide
Truly romantic: Heidelberg Castle is world-famous, attracting over a million visitors every year from all over the world. Since the early 19th century, the impressive ruin has become a synonym for romanticism.
A crowd-puller with a great history
Heidelberg Castle is the most visited tourist destination in Baden-Württemberg: every year, over one million visitors come to be fascinated by the special atmosphere of the powerful ruins. And they marvel that here in the romantic Neckar Valley, there once existed one of the centers of power in Europe – for Heidelberg Castle was the residence of the influential Palatine Electors. Since the Middle Ages, they cemented their claim in the Roman Empire through the wealth of their palaces. The Electors’ Castle was one of the most magnificent in Europe – and its holding of court absolutely glittering. The Ottheinrich Building, the Friedrich Building, the English Building – the palaces built on the grounds were justly famous. When a new palace garden was laid out on the terraces at the beginning of the 17th century, this “Hortus Palatinus” (Garden of the Palatinate) – had already gained a legendary status in its project stage.
World fame as a ruin
In the turbulent 17th century, the castle fell victim to the wars between France and the Electoral Palatinate. Since the castle in its surroundings in the narrow Neckar river valley was no longer to their taste, the Electors relocated their residence to Mannheim in the Rhine valley, where they built a gigantic baroque palace. And Heidelberg remained a ruin! This represented the beginning of a new career for the venerable walls, as the romantic poets and painters discovered the beauty of the ruins. Heidelberg Castle became the top destination of the newly emerging tourism and established itself as the obligatory target of all travelers in Europe.
The complete visitor experience
Those who visit the castle today can turn the journey there into a historical experience: leaving behind you the snarl and confusion of buildings in the old town, take a comfortable trip with the over 100-year-old funicular up the steep castle hill. Once in the castle, you absolutely have to visit the Great Barrel: this historical wooden barrel could hold 220,000 liters of wine. The German Pharmacy Museum with its historical furnishings is also well worth seeing. And, of course, you should allow plenty of time for all the views that Heidelberg Castle has to offer. The most famous of them is the view from the castle balcony across the roofs of the old university town into the Neckar valley and onto the Rhine valley.
Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg)
Phone +49(0)62 21.65 888 - 0