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Schloss Heidelberg


           Sightseeing - Rooms and Decorations of Castle Heidelberg





Best Places to Visit in Heidelberg, Germany

Schloss Heidelberg

The Rooms and Decorations

 One of the dramatic ceilings in the Friedrich Building

The interior rooms of Schloss Heidelberg are idealistic reconstructions of what the castle was like previous to its destruction by the French during the War of the Palatine Succession in 1793.  As such, the designs and decoration are based on a scholarly intuition, as well as written descriptions and drawings that survived the destruction. 

While the interior of the castle is interesting, the rooms available for visiting are limited and the majority of the rooms are modest in size and decoration.  Join us as we show you some of the delights that you will see when you tour the Castle. 

Sights - Rooms and Decorations

The Friedrich Building  contains most of the decorated rooms in Schloss Heidelberg.  As  noted earlier in our description of the Castle, the Friedrich Building was rebuilt and decorated to reflect how castles looked and were decorated in the 17th century.  The workmanship and materials are largely modern, although most of the furniture represents period pieces imported from locations around Germany.  Touring these rooms is informative and allows you to sense the grandeur of the Palace before its destruction.

         Another ornate ceilng in the Friedrich Building  Ceramic stove used for heating and fed from the hallway  Formal entryway in Friedrich Building

         Unsusual circular stairway connecting the floors of the Friedrich Building  Formal meeting room in the Friedrich Building  The Palace Chapel or Schlosskapelle

         Sitting room in the Friedrich Building  Cabinet with verre eglomise painting from Italy - 17th century  Intimate Castle Dining 

While there are numerous attractions to see within the Castle, one of the most popular is the "Great Barrel" located in the Barrel Cellar .  The Great Barrel held the tithe wine from the Palatinate (wine owed the ruler by his tenants), and all wines, regardless of variety (both whites and reds)  were mixed together into a blend. Wine was one of the few safe drinks in the past, as its fermentation killed most germs. At the time the drinking of water was an unsafe practice due to pollution, as was bathing in it, which could infect cuts, scrapes or sores.

The current version of the Great Barrel has a capacity of 58, 000 gallons or 220,000 liters. This is the third wine barrel constructed for the Barrel Building. The present Great Barrel was constructed in 1750. The first barrel was destroyed in the 30 Years War, while the second barrel was destroyed in the War of the Palatine Succession.

The Great Barrel is located in the Barrel Cellar, underneath the Ladies Building  , which hosts the Castle's Banquet Hall.  The entrance to the Barrel Cellar is down a narrow lane between the Ladies Building and the Friedrich Building.  Public restrooms are located in the spacious Barrel Cellar, as is a restaurant that serves both food and drink.

There is a platform on top of the barrel that was built to serve as an area for dancing.  In the view below, you can see the platform at the top of the barrel.  We have added (and lightened) the picture on the top right to give you a sense of scale, as it shows two adults standing on the platform at the top of the Great Barrel.  The statue in the photograph at the bottom left shows the wall opposite the Great Barrel.  The statue is  a comical likeness of Clemens Perkeo, the court jester who, also, was the barrel watchman ( a dangerous combination, we think). A humorous rumor dating  from the 18th century suggested  that Perkeo could empty the barrel in one, prolonged gulp.  Although the Great Barrel has not been used for centuries, the aroma of wine is quite strong in the Barrel Building, and the aroma pervading the building  will be familiar to those who have visited a working winery.

The strange apparatus shown in  the photo on the lower right,  is lacking some of its original parts, but was once  used to pump wine from the Great Barrel and deliver it directly to the Banquet Hall for the pleasure of all.

              The 58,000 gallon Great Barrel was used to store wine  The platform at the top of the Great Barrel is large enough for dancing

             Clemens Perkeo was the barrel's guardian, although he had a fondness for wine  A pump to move the wine from the Great Barrel to the Banquet Hall

If you would like to see the some of the interesting objects to be found in the Castle Museum in the Ruprecht Building , click here.


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Stained glass replica of the seal of the castle











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