Europe: Germany
Munich 335 km
Frankfurt am Main 90 km
Stuttgart 117 km
Nuremberg 225 km
140,000 inhabitants (2005); 116 m above sea-level
It was Prince Elector Ruprecht III (1398-1410), who had erect the first representative building as a regal residence in the inner courtyard. The exterior of the building, divided into a group floor made of stone and framework upper levels, seems quiet unpretentious today. Another regal building is located opposite the Ruprecht Building: The Fountain Hall. Prince Elector Philipp (1476-1508) is said to have arranged the transfer of the hall's columns from a decayed palace of Charlemagne to Heidelberg.

The Prince Electors of the 16th and 17th century turn the fortress into a castle and added two representative palace buildings to the complex. The two dominant buildings at the eastern and northern sides of the courtyard were erected during the rule of Ottheinrich (1556-1559) and Friedrich (1583-1610). Today, they are considered to be two of the most important buildings in German architectural history. Under Friedrich (1613-1619), the main building of the west side was erected, the so called "English Building".

The Castle and its garden were destroyed, however, during the 30 Years' War. Later, it was rebuilt by Prince Elector Karl Ludwig (1649-1680), only to be destroyed once again by French troops. Prince Elector Karl Theodor, who reside in Schwetzingen tried to restore the castle to make it inhabitable once again, but in vain: Lighting struck the Castle in 1764. In the centuries that followed, the Castle was misused as a quarry-castle stones helped to build new house in Heidelberg. This was stopped in 1800 by Count Charles de Graimberg, who made any effort he could be preserve the Heidelberg Castle.

Today, the hall is used for festivities, e.g. dinner banquets, balls and theatre performances. During the Heidelberg Castle Festival in the summer, the courtyard is the site of open air musicals, operas and theatre performances and classical concerts.

For more info: Heidelberg Convention & Visitors Bureau
Phone: +49 (0) 6221/14 220
Fax: +49 (0) 6221/14 2222

Philosopher's Walk (Philosophenweg)

The "Philosophenweg" at the Heiligenberg derives its name from the fact that Heidelberg's philosophers and university teachers are said to have once walked and talked here. Even today, this world famous path offers new sights and insights. Enjoy a beautiful view of Heidelberg and a climate that reminds you of Italy's Tuscany. Many sub-tropical plants flourish in the

Josef Freeherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857) is one of the German poets, who fell in love with
Heidelberg and dedicated poems to the old town. A commemorative stone refers to the German Romantic, who studied here 1807-08.

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