Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle), Heidelberg

Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle), Heidelberg (must see)

Heidelberg Castle is Heidelberg's most impressive landmark and one of Germany's most popular castles. This stunning castle is situated on a hill 300 feet above Heidelberg. The castle was built over different periods of German history and has a haphazard look. The castle features many buildings constructed around a central courtyard.

Building first began around 1300, and Prince Elector Ruprecht III was the castle's first royal resident in the early 1400s. The castle was damaged by fire twice during the Nine Years’ War -- first in 1689, and again in 1693. In 1697, the treaty of Ryswick was signed and the war ended. However, the castle needed extensive repair before it can be used again. In 1720, the court moved to Mannheim.

Karl Theodor planned to move the court back to Heidelberg Castle. However, the castle was hit by two lightning strikes on June 24, 1764, and the castle was further damaged by fire. Karl Theodor saw the lightning strikes and fire as a sign from heaven and abandoned his plans to move back into the castle.

In the early 1800s, Count Charles de Graimberg started leading a movement to preserve the castle’s ruins and prevent further decay.

The castle affords wonderful views of Heidelberg old town, the Neckar valley and river. In addition, the castle is a popular place to get married.

The castle gardens were first built in the early 1600s by Prince Elector Friedrich V as a gift for his wife, Elizabeth. These gardens were a masterpiece and featured mazes, flower beds, sculptures, waterfalls, ponds, and a grotto. Sadly, the gardens were destroyed during the Nine Years’ War in 1693.

Another don't miss feature is the Heidelberg Tun, also known as the "World's Largest Wine Barrel." This barrel was built in 1751 to store the wine paid as taxes by local winemakers. This massive barrel holds 58,124 gallons of wine and has a dance floor on top of the barrel.

The Otto Heirich Building houses the Apothecary Museum. This museum features exhibits on the history of dispensaries and pharmacies and gives visitors an insight into medicine in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

The castle hosts an impressive fireworks display three times every summer. The fireworks display memorializes the three times that fire affected the castle. Two of the fires occurred during wars with the French, and the final fire was caused by lightning.

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 Apple 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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Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle) on Map

Sight Name: Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle)
Sight Location: Heidelberg, Germany (See walking tours in Heidelberg)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Heidelberg, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Heidelberg

Create Your Own Walk in Heidelberg

Creating your own self-guided walk in Heidelberg is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Philosophers’ Way

Philosophers’ Way

Heidelberg may be famous for its Castle, Old Town and University, but these are not all the local attractions are limited to. In fact, you can't consider a trip to Heidelberg completed without visiting the Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Walk).

Quite popular, this path is located on the northern side of the Neckar River, meandering for about two kilometers along the sunny side of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Heidelberg Introduction Walking Tour

Heidelberg Introduction Walking Tour

Heidelberg is located on the Neckar River and is Baden-Württemberg’s fifth-largest city. One-quarter of the approximately 160,000 residents are students. Heidelberg University was founded in 1386 and is Germany’s oldest and one of Europe’s most prestigious universities. In addition, Heidelberg is home to internationally acclaimed research facilities, including four Max Planck Institutes....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles