Church of the Holy Spirit, Heidelberg

Church of the Holy Spirit, Heidelberg

The Church of the Holy Spirit is Heidelberg's largest church. It is one of Germany's most visited churches and receives between one million and three million visitors a year.

The Church of the Holy Spirit was initially a parish church that was built in 1239. Elector Ruprecht III ordered a more magnificent church to be constructed along with the new university, and construction began in 1378.

In 1386, the church hosted a special mass to celebrate Heidelberg University's founding. In those days, the church was used for services as well as the university's first lectures.

The Church of the Holy Spirit was originally built to serve as a burial place for the Electors and the Palatine royal seat.

The current church was built between 1378 and 1515 and features Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Elector Ludwig III founded the Palatinate library in the church in the 1400s.

Unfortunately, during the Thirty Years' War, the extensive and valuable library collection was plundered. In addition, the church was set on fire and almost destroyed in 1633. After the war, the church was rebuilt with a Baroque-style roof.

During the Nine Years’ War, many of the original graves were destroyed. However, the grave of Elector Ruprecht III, the church's founder, remains.

In 1706, a partition was built so that both Protestants and Catholics could worship in the church. The partition was torn down in 1936.

Today's visitors can climb the steeple for a wonderful view of Heidelberg Old Town.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Heidelberg. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Church of the Holy Spirit on Map

Sight Name: Church of the Holy Spirit
Sight Location: Heidelberg, Germany (See walking tours in Heidelberg)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Heidelberg, Germany

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