Until the late 18th Century, the River Neckar was spanned by a number of wooden bridges that regularly fell victim to fire ... More
Alte Brücke (Karl-Theodor-Brücke)
Until the late 18th Century, the River Neckar was spanned by a number of wooden bridges that regularly fell victim to fire and floods. Tired of constant building and rebuilding, Prince Karl Theodor ordered the construction of a stone bridge. Built between 1786-88, the Alte Bruckes now one of Heidelberg's most celebrated sights. The southern end of the bridge was initially linked to the city wall and contains a gate which can be lowered and raised. The tower on the western side used to be a dungeon. The bridge contains two sculptures: Prince Karl Theodor with the Mosel, Rhine, Isar and Danube at his feet; and Pallas Athene, Goddess of Wisdom, surrounded by figures portraying justice, godliness, agriculture, commerce and art.
In June, 1985, I found myself in Frankfurt with an extra day due to my return flight to the USA being overbooked.
Undecided as to where to go, I took the subway to the city's main train station and looked at the schedule. A train to Heidelberg was leaving shortly, and I was immediately drawn in that direction. The name had a mystique to me from the opera, "The Student Prince", but I knew little more than that.
In an hour's time, I found myself in a city which absolutely mesmorized me. I climbed to the famed castle overlooking the Neckar River, then watched an international rowing competition along the river itself.
But the highlight of the trip was that I stumbled upon the Alte Bruckenfest -- the annual festival celebrating the bridge across the Neckar. It was a traditional German festival, with oompah bands, beer stands and the ambiance of a forgotten era. It captured my interest so strongly that I booked a small hotel for the night and chose to remain in Heidelberg until early the next morning, when I reluctantly went back to Frankfurt to board my return flight.
This beautiful church is a major architectural monument and an important music venue. Its towering spire and detailed facade makes
it hard to miss while walking through the western part of Heidelberg. Inside, Christuskirche is brightly lit with white ...
This cloister was founded by the Abbey Lorsch in 870 and was originally a small church. After 1029, the Romanesque
cloister construction was built, but the cloister was abandoned around 1500. Today you will see only the respectably high ...
Whether the Philosophenweg (Philosopher's Path) really inspired the likes of Nietsche, Kant or Hegel is a matter of debate. But
anyone who takes this path will certainly see Heidelberg from another angle. A steep ascent takes you up to ...