The Castle of Heidelberg is one of the most well-known cultural monuments in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. It has been constructed as a residence of the Palatinate electors from the 13th to the 18th century. A long and eventful history brought periods of expansion and devastation. The castle buildings with the greatest artistic importance were built during the Renaissance period. The existence of two castles was first mentioned in 1303. In 1537 the upper castle has been destroyed by a lightning bolt. The Renaissance palace built 1556-59 by the Elector Otto Heinrich is considered as one of the most beautiful from that period north of the Alps. The castle gardens (Hortus Palatinus), the “Englischer Bau” (English Building) and the “Elisabethentor” (Elisabethan Gate), were erected 1610 by Elector Friedrich V. In 1622 the imperial general Tilly conquers the town and palace in Heidelberg. In 1720 the residence of the Elector has been moved to Mannheim
The great vat with a volume of 221 726 litres was built 1751. Another lightning affected the castle in 1764, this time destroying other buildings during reconstruction work. As a consequence, the rebuilding has been discontinued. The ruins were preserved from 1810 by von Graimberg and turned in to a historical monument. For the interior part, this was continued since about 1900. Since 1987, the Administration of the State-Owned Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Wurttemberg is responsible for Heidelberg Palace
To get some wonderful views of Heidelberg, head to the Neckar River and the Neckar valley that is located far into the Rhine plain. If you are lucky enough to experience something beautiful with a clear day then the Mannheim is a better option that could be visible on the horizon.
Some of the other attractions at the site that will lure you entirely are:
The castle gardens were built between the years 1616 and 1619 by Salomon De Caus who was the garden architect. Prince Elector Friedrich V commissioned him for his beloved wife Elizabeth. During that time, the gardens were considered as the masterpiece. The gardens are built upon many terraces with many flowers beds, mazes and arbours. With various sculptures, a heated greenhouse along with the orange trees, waterfalls, huge fish ponds, and a man-made grotto for the musical water arts.
The Heidelberg Tun is also called as the World’s Largest Wine Barrel that was built by Prince Elector Karl Theodor in the year 1751. The structure stands at a height of seven meters and its breadth is of eight and a half meters. The Heidelberg Tun holds some 220,000 litres of wine and also boasts a dance floor that was built on the top of it.
Below the Oto Heinrich Building, you will get the unique Apothecary Museum. Visitors get an opportunity to learn the history of pharmacy and dispensaries. There is a huge compilation of such things.
You can see the renowned fireworks display that lights three times every summer. The three times occur on the months of June and September – first Saturday, and the second Saturday in the month of July. The lighting is done to remember the past event and history of the castle.
Heidelberg Town, Germany