Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
[ source: Wikipedia]
"A ruin must be rightly situated, to be effective. This one could not have been better placed. It stands upon a commanding elevation, it is buried in green woods, there is no level ground about it, but, on the contrary, there are wooded terraces upon terraces, and one looks down through shining leaves into profound chasms and abysses where twilight reigns and the sun cannot intrude. Nature knows how to garnish a ruin to get the best effect... Misfortune has done for this old tower what it has done for the human character sometimes−improved it." (Mark Twain on Heidelberg (Heidelberg vacation rentals | Heidelberg travel guide) Castle)
Considered by many to be the most famous castle ruin in Europe, Heidelberg Castle is still one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. Located on Koenigstuhl Hill above the historic city center, the oldest castle structure dates from the early 1200s, and it was expanded to two castles in 1294. Heidelberg Castle is not a unified structure, unlike many other castles in Germany; instead, it is a conglomerate of building projects pursued by the Paltinate ruling family over the centuries. The castle was, however, never really completed, as it went into decline fairly early in its history. In 1537, a lightning strike set the upper castle on fire. Although repairs and then further expansion were executed in the mid-seventeenth century, another lightning strike in 1764 destroyed some of the rebuilt sections. Besides natural disasters, further damage was wrought during the wars that waged in this area, including the Thirty Years' War and the Nine Years' War.
Due to the relocation of the ruling family to Mannheim (Mannheim vacation rentals | Mannheim travel guide) and later Munich (Munich vacation rentals | Munich travel guide), Heidelberg Castle became increasingly less important. By the 1780s, the complex was being used as a quarry for building materials used in other castle projects around the region. The site soon became a famous romantic ruin, painted evocatively by various artists, most notably J.M.W. Turner. Heidelberg Castle's increasing importance as a tourist destination in the early 1800s was facilitated by the first efforts to restore and stabilize the castle by the French Count Charles de Graimberg, starting in 1810. A partial restoration of the site was pursued in 1900. Over the past 40 years, the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg has invested the equivalent of 40 million Marks in the stabilization and promotion of its most famous ruin.
Besides continuing to attract tourists because of its romantic appearance, Heidelberg Castle also offers an array of events. Special lectures, musical evenings, and living history programs are geared towards adults, while an array of programs for children are also promoted. There are also spaces in the castle that can be rented for parties, banquets, and conferences. Furthermore, the Heidelberg Castle Festival attracts visitors to his open air concerts, operas, and musicals.
[ source: wikipedia.org ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
Find and book quality Germany Vacation Rentals and Holiday Apartments ...
By State: Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Baden-Wurttemberg, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bavaria, Berlin (region), Bern (Canton), Brandenburg, Bremen (region), Burgenland (Austria), Canton of Jura, Canton of Uri, Carinthia (Austria), Fribourg (Canton), Geneva (Canton), Glarus, Graubünden, Hamburg (region), Hesse, Lower Austria, Lower Saxony, Lucerne (Canton), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Obwalden, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Salzburger Land (Austria), Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schaffhausen (Canton), Schleswig-Holstein, Schwyz (Canton), Solothurn, St. Gallen (Canton), Styria (Austria), Thurgau, Thuringia, Ticino, Tyrol (Austria), Upper Austria, Valais, Vaud, Vienna (Austria), Voralberg (Austria), Zug (Canton), Zürich (Canton), [ + ] more ...
Location, Map, and Driving Directions
[ view larger map ]
More Germany Travel Related Articles
- Activities in Grainau
- The most beautiful areas in Hamburg Eppendorf
- Rhine in Flames, Golden Wine Autumn with Fireworks and Federweisser
- Adventure Holiday in Germany: Take a Canoe Ride on the Warnow
- 5 Awesome Days In "Wine City" Weinstadt
- Flower Island Mainau, color, flavor and splendor
- Oktoberfest 2011 Guide
- Christmas Opening Times in Germany
- Christmas Markets in Berlin
- Biking Along the Lahn River
Nearby Destinations Where You Can Find Nice Germany Vacation Rentals
Situated on the Neckar River and home to approximately 150,000 people, Heidelberg is one of Germany's most popular and picturesque travel destinations. Heidelberg provides both a glimpse at history with its world famous castle, and a look to the future… [ + ] More Details
Related: Heidelberg Vacation Rentals
With 327,318 inhabitants Mannheim is the second-largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg after the capital Stuttgart. Mannheim is situated at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Neckar, in the northwestern corner of the state of Baden-Württemberg.… [ + ] More Details
Related: Mannheim Vacation Rentals
Ludwigshafen am Rhein is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Ludwigshafen is located on the Rhine opposite Mannheim. Together with Mannheim, Heidelberg and the surrounding region, it forms the Rhine Neckar Area. Ludwigshafen is known for its chemical… [ + ] More Details
Related: Ludwigshafen Vacation Rentals
Dilsberg is a district of the city Neckargemünd in-Württemberg, Rhein-Neckar district and is situated in Neckar-Odenwald Nature Park. The mountain fortress of Dilsberg is located on the top of a mountain. [ + ] More Details
Related: Dilsberg Vacation Rentals
Lorsch is a town in Hesse, about 60 km south of Frankfurt. The town, which is described as The Gateway to the Bergstraße, actually lies about 5 km west of the Bergstraße in the Rhine rift, just west of the Odenwald between Darmstadt to the north and… [ + ] More Details
Related: Lorsch Vacation Rentals
Feedback, comments, questions?
If you have visited here please share your experiences with our readers on Facebook. Or, if you have other cool trip suggestions and would like to contribute a travel guide here, please drop me an email. We also are encouraging free-lancers, travel guide writers or publishers who have great Germany related content to send us an email and get in touch with us.
Ask a Local for special travel insider tips!
We make it easy for you to post your travel questions and get them answered by local residents and our property owners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This way you get unqiue travel tips, personalized to your needs. Just type in your destination in the search box and go to your desired destination guide. From there look for the "Ask a Local" box, type in your question and submit. Typically you'll get 2-3 responses within less than 24 hours.
Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!
Register for our free monthly Germany travel newsletter and download as a gift this valuable eBook: "10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation" - written by Bettina Kraft, owner of the Live Like a German site.
[ + ] More Details
Add the "Best of Live Like a German" to your web site or blog!
Get the Best of Live Like a German badge, which shows the latest Germany travel tips, popular vacation packages, special trip plans, and a selection of travel guides. It can be integrated easily into your web site or blog.
[ + ] More Details