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Schloss Heidelberg

 

            Schloss Heidelberg    Sightseeing  - the Buildings of Castle Heidelberg   

 

 

 

  

Best Places to Visit in Heidelberg, Germany

Schloss Heidelberg

The Buildings

 The Stone Bridge and Gate Tower entrance to Heidelberg Castle

The ruins of the Schloss Heidelberg stand sentinel above the bustling Old Town in Heidelberg. The best panoramic views of the Castle are from the Philosophenweg walk on the north side of the Neckar River, from the Alte Brucke, and from the Karlsplatz,  a location that  provides an unobstructed view of the Castle from yet another perspective.

Visiting the castle, seems to take you to another age. When you enter the grounds you are surrounded by forested hills on one side and an enormous, majestic castle ruin on the other. The view is somber and it is sad that a building of such great beauty is no longer whole. Conversely, the majesty of the palace transcends its condition and informs the visitor that Schloss Heidelberg was and is someplace special.

Sights - The Buildings

We are sure that you will forever remember favorites scenes from your exploration of the Heidelberg Castle.   Below and on the next pages are some of our favorites, which we hope will help you decide to put Heidelberg on your map of the best places to visit in Germany.

                      After embarking from the funicular, this is the view of the Palace that you will soon see.
If you take the Bergbahn to the Castle you will approach the Castle grounds and see the scene shown above .   Passing through the arch (the Elizabeth Gate ) to the left will take you to the Artillery Garden and the Round Tower with a great view of the rest of the castle to the east.   Turning right from this intersection will take you to the ticket booth (and audio-guide rental) and to the Stone Bridge that leads to the Gate Tower  and the inner courtyard of the Castle. 

If you walk up the Burgweg to the Castle, there is ticket booth at the bottom-entrance to the Castle and you will enter north (river) side of the Castle's courtyard.

 

The Prison Tower (center) and the Stag Moat below.If you have taken the Elizabeth Gate, you will see the partially collapsed Prison Tower (center ) with the Stag Moat below and the Gate Tower to the right. It is rumored that the prison was rarely empty.  The prisoners were lowered by rope into the cell, whose only entrance and exit was at the top.

The English Building (ahead) and the Library Building (right)If you proceed to the Artillery Garden, you will end up in front of the facade of the English Building (left side of the photo on the right) ), the West Facade and the Library Building (on the right-hand side of the photo on the right). 

Return the way you came and turn left after you exit the Elizabeth Gate (the arch) to buy your tickets and enter the Castle from the Gate Tower.  If your are interested in seeing the Gardens first, you could pass the Gate Tower and head for the Garden Area, which is pleasant area, but not quite as compelling as the rest of the Castle and its grounds. 

The Exploded Tower was detonated by the French in 1793.Just to the east of the Gate Tower is the Exploded Tower, also called the Powder Tower, that was constructed with amazingly thick walls, as it was designed to store gunpowder.  The building was "exploded" by the French as part of their plan to destroy the Castle, once and for all, after its capture in 1793.  A large portion of the tower fell into the moat below and remains there today.

                              The Friedrich Building is elegant and contains several interesting rooms.

 

 


When you pass through Gate Tower you will see the Friedrich Building. which is the building in the finest condition of any at the Castle.    Constructed at the start of the 17th century, the building's facade was severely damages in 1693 and the interior was destroyed in the fire approximately sixty-years later.  In the early 20th century a reconstruction effort utilized as much of the  existing structure as possible in order to reflect the intentions of the original architect.  The statues on the facade are a modern tribute to the dynasty that ruled the Palace, although the statue of Charlemagne appears to be a leap of imagination.  The Friedrich Building houses idealized recreations of the furnished rooms of the palace, curated by the staff member of various prestigious museums.  In addition to rooms for meetings and entertaining, on the first floor you will find the Palace Chapel or Burgkapelle, which is modest, but quite attractive.

The Ottheinrich Building is home of the Apothecary Museum

To the east of the Friedrich Building is the Ottheinrich Building dating from the middle of the 16th century.  Its facade is a virtual treasure trove of statues including ones of Biblical interest,  famous Romans and others portraying the Virtues.  The building houses the German Apothecary Museum.

There are many other marvelous buildings at Schloss Heidelberg, but we will now begin describing the Interior Rooms of the Castle.

Next Heidelberg Castle - Interior rooms and views

Or - Return to Heidelberg's Old Town

Or - Return to Best Places to Visit in Germany

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Heidelberg

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Castle - History
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