View of the city with the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) over the River Neckar and Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit) in Heidelberg. Photo by Hermann Luyken.
Heidelberg’s Kornmarkt Square by Martin Kraft.
This town, in a valley that traps warm air, has a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere and a balmy summer climate.
The Old Town’s haphazard, medieval cobbled streets, baroque architecture, cafés, fountains and monuments are a pedestrian delight, while its semi-ruined castle offers romantic vistas of rooftops and spires, and hosts open air concerts and plays in the summer.
All this, the mile-long shopping street and a vibrant student lifestyle makes the small town one of Europe’s most attractive spots.
Things to Do
Heidelberg rooftop view by Hermann Luyken.
***A dramatic 13thC red stone castle which was destroyed three times over 146 years contains the world’s biggest wine vat and a bizarre apothecary museum.
**The quirky Old Bridge that was the original town gate.
**Germany’s oldest university: the Karl Ruprecht University is the country’s answer to Cambridge.
Germany is known for its liberal attitude towards education – everybody has a right to study or simply sit in on lectures.
*Walking up the winding Philosopher’s Path provides views of the Old Town and Castle, and on to Saints Mountain for an amphitheatre – allegedly used by Hitler – and the ruins of St. Michael’s Basilica.
Heidelberg at night by Godoi.
Feb/March, Fasching is Germany’s answer to Mardi Gras, marking the beginning of Lent, with local festivities and parades.
June & Sept, Castle Illuminations and fireworks mark the opening and closing respectively of summer festival events.
June, Heidelberg chamber music festival.
July-August, plays, opera and classical concerts in the castle halls and grounds.
December, Christmas Market.
New Years Eve, classical concert in the town hall (Stadthalle).