Old Bridge (Carl Theodor Bridge), Heidelberg

Old Bridge (Carl Theodor Bridge), Heidelberg (must see)

The Old Bridge spans the Neckar river and connects the old city with the newer eastern part of Heidelberg.

The Old Bridge was built in 1788 and is actually one of Heidelberg's newer structures. There have been eight bridges here throughout history, and the current bridge was built on the previous bridge's foundations. The bridge was previously known as Carl Theodor Bridge. When the Theodor Heuss Bridge was built in 1877, the Carl Theodor Bridge became known as the "Old Bridge."

Romans built the first bridge across the river during the first century. The Roman bridge collapsed, and it took nearly a thousand years to replace it.

A bridge was again built during the 12th or 13th century when Heidelberg was founded. This bridge was located where the current bridge stands and was aligned with the marketplace.

In Heidelberg's early days, the bridge marked the border with the Electorate of Mainz and served as part of Heidelberg's defenses.

Ice floes destroyed several of the bridge's early versions. The seventh bridge survived the Thirty Years' War but was destroyed during the Nine Years' War. Residents then used ferries and pontoon bridges for twenty years.

The current nine-arch bridge was built with distinctive red sandstone. The Old Bridge has an ancient gate and two towers in addition to statues of Prince Karl-Theodor and Minerva. Unfortunately, the bridge was damaged during World War II, and three of the arches were destroyed. The bridge was rebuilt after the war.

The Heidelberg Bridge Monkey is a popular tourist attraction. A monkey statue has been a part of the bridge since the 15th century. The original statue disappeared during the Nine Years' War and was replaced.

The current statue depicts a monkey holding a mirror with one hand and making the sign of the horns with the other hand. Tourists often place their heads inside the monkey's head. Rubbing the monkey's mirror is supposed to bring luck, while touching the fingers ensures visitors will return to Heidelberg.

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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Old Bridge (Carl Theodor Bridge) on Map

Sight Name: Old Bridge (Carl Theodor Bridge)
Sight Location: Heidelberg, Germany (See walking tours in Heidelberg)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Heidelberg, Germany

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Create Your Own Walk in Heidelberg

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