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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View of Heidelberg with the Heidelberg Castle on hill and the Old Bridge over river Neckar
View of Heidelberg with the Heidelberg Castle
on hill and the Old Bridge over river Neckar
Coat of arms of Heidelberg
Heidelberg is located in Germany
Coordinates 49¬į24‚Ä≤44‚Ä≥N 8¬į42‚Ä≤36‚Ä≥EÔĽŅ / ÔĽŅ49.41222¬įN 8.71¬įEÔĽŅ / 49.41222; 8.71
Country Germany
State Baden-W√ľrttemberg
Admin. region Karlsruhe
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Dr. Eckart W√ľrzner (Ind.)
Basic statistics
Area 108.83 km2 (42.02 sq mi)
Elevation 114 m  (374 ft)
Population 145,642  (31 December 2008)
 - Density 1,338 /km2 (3,466 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate HD
Postal codes 69115‚Äď69126
Area codes +49 6221
Website heidelberg.de

Heidelberg is a city in Baden-W√ľrttemberg, Germany. As of 2008, over 145,000 people live within the city's 109 square kilometres (42 sq mi) area. Heidelberg is a unitary authority. The Rhein-Neckar-Kreis rural district surrounds and has its seat in the city, but the city itself does not form a part of it.

Heidelberg lies on the river Neckar at the point where it leaves its narrow, steep valley in the Odenwald to flow into the Rhine valley where, 20 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of Heidelberg, it joins the river Rhine at Mannheim. Heidelberg is part of a densely populated region known as the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region.



Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago[citation needed], the "Heidelberg Man", whose jaw-bone was discovered in 1907, the earliest evidence of human life in Europe, died at nearby Mauer.

In the 5th century BC, there was a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of worship on the Heiligenberg, or "Mountain of Saints". Both places can still be identified.

In 40 AD, a fort was built and occupied by the 24th Roman cohort and the 2nd Cyrenaican cohort (CCG XXIIII and CCH II CYR). The Romans built and maintained castra (permanent camps) and a signalling tower on the bank of the Neckar and built a bridge with wooden top on stone pillars across the river Neckar. The first civilian settlements would develop under the protection of the camp. The Romans remained until 260 AD, when the camp was conquered by German tribes.

Modern Heidelberg can trace its beginnings to the 5th century when the village Bergheim ("Mountain Home") is first mentioned in documents dated to 769 AD. Bergheim now lies in the middle of modern Heidelberg.

In 863 AD, the monastery of St. Michael was founded on the Heiligenberg inside the double rampart of the Celtic fortress, and, around 1130, the Neuberg Monastery was founded in the Neckar valley. At the same time, the bishopric of Worms extended its influence into the valley, founding Schönau Abbey in 1142. Modern Heidelberg can trace its roots to this monastery.

In 1155, Heidelberg castle and its neighboring settlement were taken over by the house of Hohenstaufen, and Conrad of Hohenstaufen became "Count Palatine of the Rhine" (German: Pfalzgraf bei Rhein).

In 1195, the Palatinate passed to the House of Welf through marriage.

The first reference to Heidelberg can be found in a document in Schönau Abbey dated to 1196. This is considered the founding date for Heidelberg.

View of castle from town square.

In 1225, Louis I, Duke of Bavaria obtained the Palatinate, and thus also the castle, which is mentioned in a document.

In 1303, two castles are mentioned; the one located further up the mountain was destroyed in a gunpowder explosion in 1537. The palace of today was then built at the site of the lower castle. In 1356, the Counts Palatine were granted far-reaching rights in the Golden Bull in addition to becoming Electors.

In 1386, the University of Heidelberg was founded by Rupert I, Elector Palatine. The University played a leading part in the era of humanism and reformation and the conflict between Lutheranism and Calvinism in the 15th and 16th centuries. Heidelberg's library, founded in 1421, is the oldest public library in Germany still intact. A few months after the proclamation of the 95 theses, in April 1518, Martin Luther was received in Heidelberg, to defend them.

The siege of Heidelberg 1622

In 1620, the royal crown of Bohemia was offered to the Elector, Frederick V (married to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of James VI of Scotland). He became known as the "winter king", as he only reigned for one winter until the Imperial house of Habsburg regained the crown by force. This marked the beginning of the Thirty Years' War.

In 1622, after a siege of two months, the armies of the Catholic League, commanded by Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, captured Heidelberg. He gave the famous Bibliotheca Palatina from the Church of the Holy Ghost to the Pope as a present. The Catholic Bavarian branch of the house of Wittelsbach gained control over the Palatinate and the title of Prince-Elector. In 1648, at the end of the war, Frederick V's son Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, was able to recover his titles and lands.

In order to strengthen his dynastic power, he married his daughter Liselotte to Philip I, Duke of Orléans, the brother of Louis XIV, king of France. In 1685, after the death of Charles Louis' son Elector Charles II, Louis XIV laid claim to his sister in law's inheritance. The claim was rejected and war ensued. In 1689, city and castle were both taken by French troops, who brought about an almost total destruction in 1693.

In 1720, religious conflicts with the citizens of Heidelberg caused the Prince-Elector Charles III Philip to transfer his residence to nearby Mannheim, where it remained until the Elector Charles Theodore became Elector of Bavaria in 1777 and established his court in Munich.

In 1742, Elector Charles Theodore began rebuilding the Palace. In 1764, a lightning bolt destroyed other palace buildings during reconstruction, causing the work to be discontinued. Heidelberg fell to the Grand Duchy of Baden in the year 1803. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden re-founded the University, named "Ruperto-Carola" after its two founders. Notable scholars soon earned it a reputation as a "royal residence of the intellect".

In 1810, the French revolution-emigrant Count Charles Graimberg began with the preservation of the palace ruins and the establishment of a historical collection.

In the 18th century, the city was rebuilt in Baroque style on the old Gothic layout.

In 1815, the Emperor of Austria, the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia formed the "Holy Alliance" in Heidelberg.

In 1848, it was decided to have a German National Assembly in Heidelberg. In 1849, during the Palatinate-Baden rebellion, Heidelberg was the headquarters of a revolutionary army which was defeated by a Prussian army near Waghaeusel. Until 1850, the city was occupied by Prussian troops.

Between 1920 and 1933, the University of Heidelberg's reputation was enhanced by a number of notable physicians (Czerny, Erb, Krehl) and humanists (Rohde, Weber, Gundolf).

Nazi and post-war era

During the Nazi regime (1933‚Äď1945), Heidelberg was a stronghold of the NSDAP, which was the strongest party in the elections before 1933. The NSDAP received approximately 50% of the votes in the last free elections before WWII.

Non-Aryan university staff were discriminated against, and by 1939, the University had "lost" one third of its staff due to racial and political reasons.

During the Kristallnacht on 9 November 1938, Nazis burned down synagogues at two locations in the city. The next day systematic deportation of Jews started, and 150 Jews were sent to the Dachau concentration camp. On 22 October 1940 during the "Wagner Buerckel event", 6000 local Jews, including 280 from Heidelberg, were deported to a concentration camp in France, Camp Gurs.

Between 1934 and 1935, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (State labor service) and enthusiastic University of Heidelberg students built a huge amphitheatre, called "Thingstätte", located on the Heiligenberg north of the old part of Heidelberg for Nazi (NSDAP) and SS events. A few months later, the inauguration for a huge memorial cemetery (Ehrenfriedhof) completed the second and last NSDAP project in Heidelberg. This cemetery is located on the southern side of the old part of town, a little south of the Königstuhl hilltop. During WWII and after Wehrmacht soldiers were also buried on the premises. The U.S. Army used the "Thingsstätte" for cultural and religious events starting in the late 1940s and civilian use started in the early to mid 1980s for occasional concerts and other cultural events. Today, especially the celebrations on "Hexennacht" (Witches' Night, also called Walpurgis Night), the night from 30 April to 1 May, are a regular "underground" fixture at the Thingstätte. Thousands of mostly young people spontaneously congregate there to drum, to fire breathe and to juggle. The event has gained fame throughout the region, as well as a certain notoriety due to the amount of rubbish left behind.

On 29 March 1945, the Wehrmacht left the city after destroying three arches of the old bridge, Heidelberg's treasured river crossing, as well as the other more modern bridge crossing a little further downstream. The blown up bridges proved no obstacle for the U.S. Army forces (3rd Infantry, 7th Army), which entered Heidelberg on 30 March 1945. Heidelberg was handed over without any resistance by the civilian population.[1]

It has been theorized by some that Heidelberg escaped bombing in the Second World War because the U.S. Army wanted to use the city as a garrison after the war. In fact, as Heidelberg was neither an industrial center nor a transport hub, there was felt to be nothing worth bombing in Heidelberg. Being an old renowned university town probably contributed as well, as other such towns like T√ľbingen and G√∂ttingen were spared as well. Instead, allied air raids focused extensively on the nearby industrial cities of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen.

It's more likely Heidelberg was chosen by the U.S. Army due to its excellent infrastructure, state-of-the-art Autobahn (Freeway) Heidelberg-Mannheim, connecting to the Autobahn Mannheim-Darmstadt-Frankfurt and the U.S. Army installations in Mannheim and Frankfurt. The still intact railroad infrastructure was even more important in the late 1940s and early 1950s, since most heavy loads were still shuttled by train, not by truck. Additionally, Heidelberg offered the untouched "Grossdeutschland Kaserne" Wehrmacht installation, which became the Campbell Barracks soon after.

In 1945, the University re-opened at the initiative of surgeon Karl Heinrich Bauer and philosopher Karl Jaspers.[citation needed]

On 9 December 1945, US Army General George S. Patton had a car accident in the adjacent city of Mannheim and died in the Heidelberg US Army hospital on 21 December 1945. The funeral ceremony was held at the Heidelberg-Weststadt Christ Church (Christuskirche) and he was later buried at the 3rd Army cemetery in Luxembourg.[2]



Heidelberg experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb).

Climate data for Heidelberg
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high ¬įC (¬įF) 3.8
Average low ¬įC (¬įF) -1.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 55.9
Source: Intellicast[3] 2009-10-21

Historical sites

The old town

The old town (German: Altstadt), located at the southern side of the Neckar, is long and narrow and is dominated by the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle which perches 80 metres above the Neckar on the steep, wooded side of the K√∂nigstuhl (English: King's chair or throne) hill. The Karls¬īgate (Karlstor) is a triumphal arch in honour of the Prince Elector Karl Theodor, located at Heidelberg's very east. It was erected from 1775 until 1781 and designed by Nicolas de Pigage. The house "Zum Ritter Sankt Georg" (Knight St. George) is one of the few buildings to survive the War of Succession. Standing across from the Church of the Holy Spirit, it was built in the style of the late Renaissance. It is named after the sculpture at the top.

The "Marstall" was an arsenal of the Heidelberg Castle in which several different goods were stored. The 19th century building we see today was created in a neo-classical style. Since 1971, the "Marstall" has housed lecture halls of the university.

The old bridge is a stone bridge which was erected from 1786 to 1788. There is a medieval bridge gate on the side of the old town, originally part of its town wall. Baroque tower helmets were added as part of the erection of the stone bridge in 1788.

Historic map of the Heidelberg Castle.

Heidelberg Castle

The castle is a mix of styles from Gothic to Renaissance. Prince Elector Ruprecht III (1398‚Äď1410) erected the first representative building in the inner courtyard as a regal residence. The building was divided into a ground floor made of stone and framework upper levels. Another regal building is located opposite to the Ruprecht Building: The Fountain Hall. Prince Elector Philipp (1476‚Äď1508) is said to have arranged the transfer of the hall's columns from a decayed palace of Charlemagne to Heidelberg.

In the 16th and 17th century the Prince Electors added two representative palace buildings and turned the fortress into a castle. The two dominant buildings at the eastern and northern side of the courtyard were erected during the rule of Ottheinrich (1556‚Äď1559) and Friedrich IV (1583‚Äď1610). Under Friedrich V (1613‚Äď1619), the main building of the westside was erected, the so called "English Building".

The castle and its garden were destroyed several times (during the 30 Years' War and the Palatine War of Succession). When Prince Elector Karl Theodor who resided in Schwetzingen tried to restore the castle, lightning struck the Castle in 1764 and ended all attempts at rebuilding. Later on, the castle was misused as a quarry - castle stones helped to build new houses in Heidelberg. This was stopped in 1800 by Count Charles de Graimberg who made any effort he could to preserve the Heidelberg Castle. In spite of its Gothic interior, it was not before 1934, that the King's Hall was added.

Today, the hall is used for festivities, e.g. dinner banquets, balls and theatre performances. During the Heidelberg Castle Festival in the summer, the courtyard is the site of open air musicals, operas, theatre performances and classical concerts performed by the Heidelberg Philharmonics.

The castle is surrounded by a park where the famous poet Johann von Goethe once walked. The Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway runs from Heidelberg's Kornmakt to the summit of the Königstuhl via the castle.

View from the so called "Philosophers' Walk" (German: Philosophenweg) towards the Old Town, with Heidelberg Castle, Heiliggeist Church and the Old Bridge.

Philosophers' Walk

On the northern side of the Neckar, the Heiligenberg with the remains of the celtic fortress and the Philosophers' Walk (German: Philosophenweg) is located. This Walk derives its name from the fact that Heidelberg's philosophers and university teachers are said to have once walked and talked here. It shows excellent views of the old town and castle.

University of Heidelberg

Old university hall

Heidelberg is home to one of Europe's oldest educational institutes, the Ruprecht Karls University founded in 1386, more commonly known as the University of Heidelberg. Among the prominent thinkers associated with the university over the centuries are Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Jaspers, Hans-Georg Gadamer, J√ľrgen Habermas, Karl-Otto Apel and Hannah Arendt. Karl Drais, who invented the bicycle in 1817, was a student there. At the University of Heidelberg, chemists Posselt and Reimann discovered that nicotine was the main pharmacologically active component of tobacco. In 1860, Robert Bunsen and Kirchhoff discovered spectrum analysis here. Despite this long legacy of academic excellence, the University of Heidelberg was the first to expel all its Jewish professors and students when the Nazis rose to power. [4]

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Molecular Biology Organization, the German Cancer Research Center, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, and Botanischer Garten der Universität Heidelberg (university botanical garden) are located in Heidelberg.

Notable alumni

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, Otto Meyerhof, Wolfgang Ketterle, Georg Wittig and Carl Bosch (all except Robert Bunsen were winners of the Nobel prize).

Heidelberg churches

Church of the Holy Spirit: This church is shared between Protestant and Catholics and is one of the few buildings in Heidelberg to survive the many wars during the past centuries, being rebuilt after the French set fire to it in 1709 during the War of the Palatinian Succession. The church also has remains of the tombs and epitaphs of the past Palatinate electors. This Church stands reverently in the Marktplatz. In 1720, Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine came into conflict with the town's Protestants as a result of fully handing over the Church of the Holy Spirit to the Catholics (it had previously been split by a partition and used by both congregations). Prince Karl III Philip gave way, due to pressure for Prussia, Holland, and Sweden and repartitioned the wall. In 1936 the separating wall was removed and the church is now exclusively Protestant.

Church of the Jesuits: Construction of the Church of the Jesuits (Catholic) began in 1712, and was only completed with the addition of a Bell tower from 1866 - 1872. The church is also home to the Museum f√ľr sakrale Kunst und Liturgie or Museum of Ecclesiastical Arts.

Providence Church: This church (Protestant Evangelical) was built from 1659 to 1661. The Prince Elector of the Palatinate Karl Ludwig also gave it its name, which means ‚ÄúGod will ensure.‚ÄĚ The church was destroyed in 1693 from war, but was rebuilt in 1700. The north tower was added in 1717, and in the late 1800‚Äôs, the interior was redecorated in a neo-renaissance style. The oldest organ in Heidelberg was also built in this church by organ builder Matthias Burkard.

St. Peter's Church: St. Peter's Church (Lutheran) is the oldest church in Heidelberg, and was built sometime during the 12th century, although there is no exact documentation as to when.

Church of the Redeemer: The "Erloeserkirche" is a former Dominican Convent chapel, completed in 1724. Between the mid 19th century and 1914 it was used for worship by the English community in Heidelberg. In 1936 it became the parish church of the Old Catholics, who since 1971 have shared it with an Anglican congregation.

Museums and Exhibitions

Carl Bosch Museum: shows life and work of chemist and nobel prize winner Carl Bosch.

Documental and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma (Dokumentations- und Kulturzentrum Deutscher Sini und Roma): memories the Nazi genocide of the Sinti and Roma peoples.

German Packing Museum (Deutsches Verpackungsmuseum): gives an overview on the history of packing and wrapping goods.

German Pharmacy Museum (Deutsches Apothekenmuseum): located the castle.

Palatinate Museum (Kurpfälzisches Museum): offers a great art collection and some Roman excavation from the region.

President Friedrich Ebert Memorial: remembers the life of Germany's first democratic head of state.

Romanticism of Heidelberg

Romantic view of Heidelberg Castle ruins

Heidelberg was the center of the epoch of "Romantik" (Romanticism) in Germany. There was a famous circle of poets such as Joseph von Eichendorff, Johann Joseph von Görres, Arnim, and Clemens Brentano. A famous relic of Romanticism is the Philosophers' Walk (German: Philosophenweg), a scenic walking path on the nearby Heiligenberg, overlooking Heidelberg.

The "Romantik" epoch of German philosophy and literature, was described as a movement against classical and realistic theories of literature, an antipole to the rationality of the Age of Enlightenment. It elevated medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be from the medieval period as well as folk art, nature and an epistemology based on nature, which included human activity conditioned by nature in the form of language, custom and usage.

City districts

City districts of Heidelberg

Heidelberg consists of fourteen districts which are distributed in six sectors of the city. In the central area of the city are Altstadt, Bergheim, and Weststadt. In north Heidelberg are Neuenheim and Handschuhsheim. In the east are Ziegelhausen and Schlierbach. In the south are S√ľdstadt, Rohrbach, Emmertsgrund, and Boxberg and in the southwest is Kirchheim. In the west are Bahnstadt, Pfaffengrund, and Wieblingen.

A new city district, tentatively named "Bahnstadt", is planned on land located within Weststadt and Wieblingen. The new district will have approximately 5,000-6,000 residents and employment for 7,000.



In 2004, 81.8% of all people worked for service industries, including tourism. As a relic of the period of Romanticism, Heidelberg has been labeled a romantic town. This is used to attract more than 3.5 million visitors every year. Many events are organized to increase the attraction. In spring, the "Heidelberger Fr√ľhling" Classic Music Festival and the international easter egg market are conducted. In July and August there is a "Heidelberger Castle Festival" (Student Prince and others) On the first Saturday in June and September, and the 2nd Saturday in July ‚Äď the castle and the old bridge are illuminated with lights and fireworks. The old town autumn festival in September includes a Medieval Market with 40 booths, an arts and crafts market, a flea market and music from Samba to Rock. During advent there is a Christmas market throughout the oldest part of the city. A famous chocolate is called Heidelberger Studentenkuss (Heidelberg student kiss).

Heidelberg is located on four tourist roads: Bergstraße, Bertha Benz Memorial Route, Castle Road, and Straße der Demokratie (Road of Democracy).


Only 18% of employment is provided by industry. Printing and publishing are important enterprises, a center of the IT industry is nearby Walldorf and its SAP World Headquarters. Heidelberg with its long Hauptstrasse is a shopping magnet for the surrounding smaller towns. Noted pen manufacturer Lamy has its headquarters and its factory in Heidelberg-Wieblingen. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen has its headquarters there but its factory is loctated in Walldorf. Soft-drink company Wild-Werke, manufacturer of the Capri-Sonne (Capri-Sun in the U.S.) is located in Heidelberg-Kirchheim.


Heidelberg has a railway station on the Rhine Valley Railway. This station is also served by the RheinNeckar S-Bahn.

United States military installations

After World War II, Heidelberg was one of the few major cities in Germany not significantly damaged by Allied bombing. Situated in the American Zone of Germany, Heidelberg became the headquarters of the American forces in Europe. Several military installations remain, including Campbell Barracks (the former Wehrmacht Grossdeutschland-Kaserne) which is where headquarters for several units are located. including United States Army, Europe (USAREUR) and NATO's Component Command-Land Headquarters (Until 2004, designated Joint Headquarters Centre, and before that, LANDCENT). Campbell Barracks and Mark Twain Village are both in S√ľdstadt; Patton Barracks is in nearby Kirchheim. Nachrichten Kaserne in Rohrbach is home to the former Heidelberg Army Hospital, now designated the Heidelberg Health Center. Patrick Henry Village, the largest U.S. military housing area in the Heidelberg area, is located west of Kirchheim. These installations, including Tompkins Barracks and Kilbourne Kaserne in nearby Schwetzingen, plus the Germersheim Depot, make up U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg. (Link to the U.S. Army Garrison Web site).Tompkins Barracks is home to U.S. Army Installation Management Command Europe Region. The Heidelberg U.S. Army Air Field (Heidelberg AAF) has been converted to an heliport (mostly Blackhawk Helicopters) after the NATO Kosovo campaign.

The children of the Department of Defense employees based in Heidelberg tend to attend US Army operated schools on site rather than being integrated into German schools, one of them being Heidelberg Middle School. All told, there are currently four schools of this kind in Heidelberg.[5] This means that most have very little contact with local children or the population in general, even more so since 2002 when most installations and Barracks have been fenced and access is now for US Army staff and their families only.

The much enjoyed fair that was held for decades at Patrick Henry Village has been canceled since the stepped up security following 9/11.

On 19 October 2009 the U.S. Army announced that it will be building new headquarters for USAREUR in Wiesbaden. When the move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden will take place is not yet clear. The new building is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.[6]


  • February: "Ball der Vampire" (Ball of the Vampires) Celebrates Fasching (the German equivalent of Mardis Gras or Carnival) with a giant vampire-themed costume party at the local castle or city hall
  • March/April: "Heidelberger Fr√ľhling" Classic Music Festival
  • April: Half marathon - last weekend
  • May: Fr√ľhlingsmesse on the Messplatz
  • June, July and September: Heidelberger Schlossbeleuchtung fireworks display on philosophy's way, the old bridge crossing the river Neckar below the castle and the castle itself. The 1st Saturday of June and September and the second Saturday of July are the annual dates.
  • September, each last Saturday: "Old Town Autumn Festival".
  • October/November: Heidelberger Theater Days, "Enjoy Jazz", Stepdance -Festival and Workshops
  • November: "International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg"


Heidelberg is one of the centres of German rugby, alongside Hannover. In 2008-09, four out of nine clubs in the Rugby-Bundesliga are from Heidelberg, these being the RG Heidelberg, SC Neuenheim, Heidelberger RK and TSV Handschuhsheim

International relations

Heidelberg maintains sister city relationships (Städtepartnerschaft) with the following cities:

Use in popular culture

Heidelberg is the home of a professional Quidditch team operating within the fictional Harry Potter universe. The Heidelberg Harriers have been described as ‚Äúfiercer than a dragon and twice as clever‚ÄĚ.[7]

Notable Residences


See also


  1. ^ Fink, Oliver (2005), Kleine Heidelberger Stadtgeschichte, ISBN 978-3791719719 .
  2. ^ Patton#Accident and death
  3. ^ "Heidelberg historic weather averages". Intellicast. http://www.intellicast.com/Local/History.aspx?location=GMXX0053. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  4. ^ Son gets Dad's Auschwitz tattoo on own arm - Haaretz - Israel News
  5. ^ Our Districts and Schools Dependents Schools Europe website, accessed: 19 April 2009
  6. ^ US-Armee "erobert" Wiesbaden Public Radio and Television Network of Hesse, accessed: 24 October 2009.
  7. ^ Whisp, Kennilworthy (2001). Quidditch Through the Ages. WhizzHard Books. pp. 31‚Äď46. ISBN 1551924544. 
  • Steven P. Remy: The Heidelberg Myth: The Nazification and Denazification of a German University. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002. 329 P. ISBN 0-674-00933-9. (History about Spruchkammerverfahren-whitewashing in the proceedings before Dena. ..)

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Heidelberg (disambiguation).

Heidelberg is a city in the state of Baden-W√ľrttemberg in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Karl-Theodore-Br√ľcke and Schlo√ü in the background
Karl-Theodore-Br√ľcke and Schlo√ü in the background


It is no secret that Heidelberg is a jewel among German travel destinations. Heidelberg is located in the Neckar river valley right where the dark Odenwald (Forest of Odes) opens up towards the plains of the Rhine Valley. Heidelberg is home to the oldest university in Germany (est. 1386). With 28,000 students, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität (or Ruperto Carola, as the university is called in Latin) is one of Germany's larger academic institutions and boasts the full spectrum of an ancient academy, from Egyptian Studies to Computer Linguistics. The faculties for Medicine, Law and Natural Sciences are considered to be among the best in Germany. The university fostered the settlement of several other world class research institutions such as the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biological Laboratory (EMBL), Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Max-Planck-Institutes for Medicine, Astronomy, Nuclear Physics and others. In a nutshell, Heidelberg is an academic city with a rich history and shows many similarities to cities like Cambridge or Oxford (Heidelberg and Cambridge, UK are twinned).

During WWII, the city was almost completely spared by allied bombings which destroyed most of Germany's larger inner cities. As a result, Heidelberg has retained its baroque charm of narrow streets, picturesque houses and of course the world-famous Schloss (castle). After the war, the United States Armed Forces built large barracks on the southern end of the city. Therefore, Heidelberg's 130,000 inhabitants include not only the 28,000 students of the university, but also nearly 30,000 American citizens, almost all soldiers and their families. Together with the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, Heidelberg is truly an internationally and culturally diverse destination, despite its small size.

Over the years, Heidelberg has attracted numerous artists, intellectuals and academics from all over Europe and has sometimes been called a secret intellectual capital of Germany. People who have lived and worked in the city include the poets Joseph von Eichendorff, Jean Paul and Goethe, scientists such as Bunsen and Kirchhoff, philosophers such as the founder of the "Illuminati" order von-Knigge, atheist Ludwig Feuerbach, existentialist Karl Jaspers, political theorist Hannah Arendt and many more. Mark Twain wrote in A Tramp Abroad:

...Out of a billowy upheaval of vivid green foliage ...rises the huge ruin of Heidelberg Castle, with empty window arches, ivy-mailed battlements, moldering towers‚ÄĒthe Lear of inanimate nature‚ÄĒdeserted, discrowned, beaten by the storms, but royal still, and beautiful.

Get in

By plane

The nearest major airport to Heidelberg is in Frankfurt‚ÄĒLufthansa provides a shuttle bus between the airport and Heidelberg on an hourly basis, for about ‚ā¨35 for the round trip, which takes about one hour. Other nearby airports serviced by low-cost carriers include Frankfurt Hahn, Mannheim (mainly a domestic airport), Baden-Baden, and Stuttgart.

By train

The main train station is located in the western part of the city. There are direct train connections to Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim and Frankfurt.

By car

The A5 connects Heidelberg directly to Frankfurt and Karlsruhe. It's easy to reach from any direction.

Get around

The city runs a small rather effective system of trams and busses. The two most important nodal points are the main station and Bismarckplatz. Bus #32 and #33 connect the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) with the old city area; detailed maps, schedules and routes can be found online. A mountain railway runs between four stations (including the castle), linking the old city on the level of the river with the summit of the Königstuhl Mountain, about 400 m (1312 feet) above the city. The "Heidelberg Card", a tourist pass which includes public transportation, many museums and the mountain railway, can be bought at the tourist information.

Castle at Heidelberg
Castle at Heidelberg
  • The Altstadt (historical city center) and Hauptstrasse (main street)
  • The Castle: an audio guide tour of the castle and its grounds is available for a fee near the entrance. It is available in several languages, including English. There is also a statue to the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the castle gardens.
  • The Philosophenweg which can be found on the northern side of the city. It provides a wonderful view across the oldest part of the city. Here you can find the site of the famous Merian Stich (engraving) which is a popular illustration of Heidelberg.
  • The Heiligenberg mountain which boasts a wonderful view over the old town
  • The Thingst√§tte on top of Heiligenberg (an open-air theatre built by the Nazi regime in 1934 to host propaganda events)
  • Also on the Heiligenberg the remnants of a wall ancient Celts built to keep Germanic tribes out, the Heidenloch, a deep well with unknown origins, and the ruins of a 10th century cloister.
  • The Kurpf√§lzisches Museum on the Hauptstrasse contains interesting exhibits of items from Heidelberg's pre-history to modern times.
  • The old university on Universit√§tsplatz in the old city and the adjacent old armory which is now a student cafeteria (but also open to the public).
  • Jesuitenkirche has 1712 Baroque construction with modern touches inside.
Jesuitenkirche Heidelberg
Jesuitenkirche Heidelberg
  • The Heiliggeistkirche church is only one of many large and small churches, but definitely the one with the most interesting history. During the dark ages, it was the shelter of the Bibliotheka Palatina, Germany's oldest library. The Bibliotheka was stolen and brought to Rome but eventually returned in pieces. Today, parts of it can be visited in the University Library (also the oldest and probably the most valuable of its kind in Germany), which is situated close to the old university.
    View of cathedral from Heidelberg Castle
    View of cathedral from Heidelberg Castle

You can get a great view of the Heiliggeistkirche, Old Town, and the Neckar river bridge from the castle (Schloss Heidelberg).


The city boasts more than twelve cinemas, over eight theaters, including

  • Stadttheater the large state-run theater, and
  • Zimmertheater on Hauptstrasse, Germany's oldest private theater

There are also many progressive culture centers, including the famous Karlstorbahnhof in the east-end of the old city.

  • Don't miss out the exquisitely stocked but quite expensive record shop Vinyl Only on the university square.
  • For books in English, try The English Bookstore at Pl√∂ck 93 (tel: 06221-183001).
  • Go by the Cathedral during the day for small markets selling souvenirs
  • Snacks: Along the Hauptstrasse, which runs through the center of town, you will find several bakeries that serve local specialities including ‚ÄúBrezeln‚ÄĚ (pretzels). Department stores have a nice selection of delicatessen stalls called ‚ÄúMarkthallen‚ÄĚ where you can eat everything on the spot.
  • Many of the cafes in Heidelberg set up outside tables when the weather is fair, and these are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. A popular destination for summer cafe beer sipping and lounging is the Marktplatz, which is adjacent to the Heiliggeistkirche.
  • Meals: The Haupstrasse is plentiful with an amazing variety of restaurants. Dishes tend to be served in large portions, relatively inexpensive and of good quality. You can find something for almost every taste including Japanese, Indian, Italian, Chinese, German and Bavarian. American fast food and "D√∂ner" restaurants cater to the budget conscious and late-night crowds.
  • Supan's Thai Bistro, on the Hauptstra√üe right at the Universit√§tsplatz next to the "Vinyl Only" record shop. An excellent, reasonably priced, Thai restaurant, with great service.
  • Korean/Sushi restaurant, Heiliggeiststra√üe 3, close to the Marktplatz, next to the Hotel zum Rathaus, a seemingly little-known, but great sushi place (also serves Korean food).
  • Zum Goldenen Anker, Rungenweg, [0] 6221 / 4862
  • Elia, Promenadeplatz, [0] 6221 / 7820
  • Turmstube, Sch√ľtzenstr. , [0] 6221 / 20114
  • Kashmir, Strasse, [0] 6221 / 20719
  • Rizo, Lorchheimer-Str, [0] 6221 / 8801
  • Eatery, Breisacherstr. , [0] 6221 / 10079
  • Nabucco, Eichenweg, [0] 6221 / 18191
  • Perazza, Buschkoppel, [0] 6221 / 7234
  • Roter Ochs, Kumlbacher Str., [0] 6221 / 6528
  • Die Eselin, Aberlestra√üe , [0] 6221 / 13489
  • Bierhelder Hof, Sch√∂nfeldstrasse , [0] 6221 / 811
  • Kao Kao, Haupstr, [0] 6221 / 14012
  • La Locanda 26, Steubenstrasse 26, ‚ėé +49 (6221) 7268922, [1]. Opening Hours: 11.00 - 23.00 / Wednesday closed. middle. (49.423746,8.688297) edit


More than 300 bars, pubs, clubs, discotheques and the like, from Bavarian style tourist restaurants with deer antlers on the walls to extremely left-wing student bars which reserve the right to refuse police officers entry to the bar. You name it. Find your place and enjoy yourself. Heidelberg knows no curfew. Most bars close at 1am, but especially the students bars are often open until the early morning. Although the locals -- even the police officers -- are used to drunk tourists as well as to drunk students, please be calm on your way home and do not riot. As a remnant of the student revolts, Heidelberg has the largest ratio of policemen per capita and you may find yourself in the arms of an officer much faster than you think.

If you are a young person and happen to discover one of the student parties (which are quite numerous but advertised mostly by word-of-mouth), you scored the jackpot. Get inside, get a (dirt cheap) beer and have fun. But try and avoid being recognised as a tourist. No party ends before 3am and many run until 6 or 7am. Either Untere Straße or the Zieglers (Heidelbergs oldest students' bar) are frequently crowded with students.

  • Wines are produced around Heidelberg (e.g. Schriesheim, K√∂nigstuhl), but it might be difficult to get hold of them. Always a safe bet is a Riesling from Pfalz or some white wine from Baden instead, or try any of the numerous wines from other German wine regions.
  • Next to the Old Bridge, there are two small breweries: The Kulturbrauerei[2] in the Leyergasse and Vetter's Brauhaus in the Steingasse. Vetter's is famous for having one of the strongest beers in world (Vetter 33).
  • If you want to mix with the locals, try the Untere Strasse, which runs between the Hauptstrasse and the river, parallel to both. It is packed with the student bars, including the crowded:
  • Gro√üer Mohr. Small but highly recommended. Tuesday night the odds are high to find the Mohr besieged by medical students.
  • Sonderbar. The latter boasts a huge collection of absinthe, whiskeys and whiskys, as well as a very distinctive atmosphere.
  • Destille [3]. There is a tree in in the center of the establishment.
  • Trinidad [4]. This cocktail bar at the edge of the Old Town is small, but famous for its drinks and continuously receives praise in local restaurant guides.
  • O'Reillys, [5]. An Irish pub north of the river, just over the bridge from Bisi (Bismarckplatz).
  • Dubliner A good Irish pub at the center of Heidelberg Mainstreet (Downtown)
  • Ham Ham's A great place to chill, drink, and smoke.
  • Nektar A very relaxed and chill place to enjoy a drink and party
  • B.J.Z. Bar Great place to party in Emmertsgrund, its a B.Y.O.A. (Bring your own alcohol) and you can crash anywhere in the house

If you are looking for coffee rather than alcohol, Star Coffee[6] has two branches, one off Bismarckplatz and the other on the Hauptstrasse, serving a variety of coffees and offering free WiFi access. Fewer computers but more style are found in the two Moro Cafes [7], directly at the Alte Br√ľcke and one on the Hauptstra√üe.

Recently, most pubs close much earlier in the night, even on the weekends at around 2am. Just move to one of the numerous clubs, which usually have no entrance fee this late at night.

Be Safe

Heidelberg is an extremely safe city (even by German standards). However, women walking alone at night should take the usual precautions they would do anywhere else. Walking along the northern Neckar banks at night would not be advised, except in groups, particularly by the Studentenwohnheime (dorms). The shrubs are thick and it is very dark. Taxi rides are cheap (compared to big city standards), use as needed. There are also "Frauentickets" available for women, you can buy these coupons for 8‚ā¨ and they will cover the fare for anywhere in the city.

Don't walk on bicycle lanes (they are often painted in red, but always separated from the pedestrian lanes by a white line): Heidelberg has more cyclists than motorists, and many of them have a rather cavalier way of riding. The southern parallel street to Hauptstrasse (called Plöck) is the main traffic channel for student cyclists between Bismarkplatz and University Square. During the day it can be such a buzz, it's already a sight worth visiting. But watch out: Many cyclists feel safe from the tourists there and lose all their good manners.

  • Steffi's Hostel Heidelberg, Alte Eppelheimer Str. 50 (Just walk straight out of the station and cross the big street and the tram rails in front of you. On the other side there's a modern building, where you enter a shopping arcade (Kurf√ľrstenpassage ‚Äď Jack Wolfskin / Backpacker Store). Again you walk straight ahead through the passage and leave it on the opposite side. From the exit you can already see a big brick stone building in front of you. Here on the third floor above the Lidl supermarket, Steffis Hostel Heidelberg is situated.), ‚ėé +49 (0)6221/7782772 (), [8]. checkin: 10am - 1pm and 5pm - 8pm; checkout: until 12. Dorms from 20 Euro, everything included.  edit
  • Youth Hostel Heidelberg, Tiergartenstrasse 5, ‚ėé 06221/65119-0, [9]. (Jugendherberge Heildelberg) Large well maintained hostel, located on the eastern bank of the Neckar River, 25 min walk away from the central rail station. Public transportation: take bus 32 from central rail station towards north (Sportzentrum Nord), get off at Jugendherberge stop. Dorms from 28,30 EUR including breakfast and linen, various concession apply. Towels can be rented from the reception for additional 2 EUR.  edit
  • Hotel ISG, [10]. Hotel ISG is located in the suburb of Boxberg is about a 15 minute taxi ride from central Heidelberg. Fitted out in the Bauhaus style the rooms are comfortable enough (and the bathrooms are excellent) but there is nothing to do in Boxberg.  edit
  • Hotel Restaurant Scheid. Hotel Restaurant Scheid is a nice, quiet, reasonably priced hotel in the suburb of Schriesheim, a short tram ride north of Heidelberg. Schriesheim is built on a hill so if you are hitting the clubs, don't forget about the late 30 min. night walk up the hill from the tram stop (Schriesheim Bahnhof) to Hotel Scheid. Phone +49 (0)6203 6050.  edit
  • Ibis Heidelberg, Willy-Brand-Platz (Adjacent to the Hauptbahnhof), ‚ėé +49 (0/6221) 91 30 (, fax: +49 (0/6221) 91 33 00), [11]. ‚ā¨65.  edit
  • The Ritter, Hauptstrasse 178, (). The Ritter is the oldest building (1592) in Heidelberg that has outlasted all fires and wars that have haunted the city over the times. It can get a little noisy considering its location directly at the heart of the Altstadt. Japanese tourists seem to love taking photos of this picturesque renaissance establishment and have been seen in droves doing just that.  edit
  • Hip Hotel, Hauptstrasse 115, [12]. This was revamped in 2005 as a boutique hotel. Each room is modeled after a famous city, the most interesting room being the Zermatt (for Heidi and skiing fans).  edit
  • Hotel Neu Heidelberg, [13]. Hotel Neu Heidelberg is located in the west of Heidelberg's center. Recommendable 3 star hotel with lovely restaurant, nice breakfast buffet, terrace, garden, wlan, bicycles for guests, free parking, various int. tv channels, etc. Easily reachable by car and public transportation.  edit
  • Best Western Leonardo Hotel, [14]. Located 0.75km West of Bismarckplatz. Recently rebranded and still allegedly a four star hotel, but you'll struggle to work out why while you wait five minutes for the lift, or struggle to find anywhere to sit at the (poor) breakfast. The decor in the rooms has improved a little though.  edit
  • NH Hotel Heidelberg, [15]. Located about 1km west of the edge of the Altstadt, situated in an old brewery. However its been totally renovated and fitted out in a modernist decor, all glass, wood floors and exposed metal. Some of the rooms are very pleasant, though the ones overlooking the main road can be noisy. Food in the bar is disappointing.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza, [16]. A fairly standard anonymous business hotel is located just off Bismarckplatz. Rooms near the lifts can be extremely noisy, so are best avoided.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Heidelberg, Pliekartsfoerster Strasse 101, (toll free: 0800181 6068), [17]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Standard hotel that's about 5 kilometers outside of the center of Heidelberg. Amenities include a sauna and gym. Internet access comes at a hefty minimum price of ‚ā¨10 for 60 minutes or ‚ā¨17 for 24 hours if travelers are only looking to browse. For business users, it's even more expensive. ‚ā¨198 +.  edit
  • Der Europ√§ischer Hof, [18]. Located just on the edge of the Altstadt Der Europ√§ischer Hof a classic privately owned five star hotel. Pleasant atmosphere and attentive staff. Most of the rooms look out over the courtyard and are therefore admirably quiet.  edit
  • Hirschgasse Heidelberg, Hirschgasse 3 - 69120 Heidelberg, ‚ėé +49 6221 4540, [19]. checkin: 3 PM; checkout: 12 AM. The Hirschgasse is the oldest Hotel of Heidelberg and the oldest student dwelling house of Germany. It was first mentioned in a love story in 1472 and is nestled in a little side valley of a select residential area opposite the Heidelberg castle. An impressive walk along the River Neckar will take you to the Altstadt on the other side of the river. Mark Twain wrote about this in his book "A Tramp Abroad." The rooms are all unique and will delight Laura Ashley fans and the ones seeking a good shot of authentic romantic ambiance. It comes along with two restaurants: the historic Mensurstube with regional dishes and over 250 year old tables, even Count Otto von Bismarck carved his name into. The elegant Le Gourmet is a classic French restaurant with attentive but yet uncomplicated service and will delight your credit cards with a good value for a swipe. A vineyard only a stone's throw away from the hotel "Sunnyside upon the Bridge" provides a good local Riesling or Late Burgundy. from 125 to 335.  edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Heidelberg discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.

Simple English

Heidelberg Castle and the "Old Bridge"

Coordinates 49¬į24‚Ä≤44‚Ä≥N 08¬į42‚Ä≤36‚Ä≥E / 49.41222¬įN 8.71¬įE / 49.41222; 8.71
Country Germany
State Baden-W√ľrttemberg
Admin. region Karlsruhe
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Eckart W√ľrzner (Ind.)
Basic statistics
Area 108.83 km2 (42.02 sq mi)
Elevation 114 m  (374 ft)
Population 142,993  (31 December 2005)
 - Density 1,314 /km2 (3,403 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate HD
Postal codes 69115 ‚Äď 69126
Area codes +49 6221
Website www.heidelberg.de
[[File:|thumb|Heidelberg in Germany]]

Heidelberg is a city by the Neckar river in the south-west of Germany in the state of Baden-W√ľrttemberg. It has about 145,000 inhabitants and a well-known university. The old town and the castle of Heidelberg are well-known tourist attractions of Germany.

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