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Sights / Culture

The Heidelberg Castle is the landmark of our venerable city and its ruins magically attract every visitor. Within the walls of the Castle, the moving history of the Counts Palatine comes alive. Wander through the ruins of the old Ruprecht building or through the library. Gaze at the ruined "Krautturm" tower. Or you could marvel at the Renaissance facades of the Ottheinrichsbau - it has the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps.

If you should travel during summer to Heidelberg, you shouldn’t miss out the sunset from the castle terrace – a must for all romantics.

Above the Heidelberg Suites, the Philosophers’ Walk passes by, which inebriated poets and philosophers with a marvelous view over the Neckar valley. The ideal interplay of nature and civilization might have been the initiation of the "Heidelberg Romanticism" – a national culture reformation which has been influenced by the romantics Achim von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, Joseph Görres and Joseph von Eichendorff. This movement made Heidelberg the paragon and the stronghold of Romanticism (approx. 1804 – 1815). It is exactly this era, which you can rediscover at the Heidelberg Suites.

Close to the Philosopher’s Walk you will find the Philosopher’s Garden, the Eichendorffanlage, the memorial stones for Liselotte Princess Palatine and the poet Friedrich Hölderlin, as well as the "Meriankanzel" und Merian’s View (Merianblick).

The stunning view of Heidelberg will be the adequate reward for your work out: the Philosopher’s Walk can be reached by a steep path called "Schlangenweg" (Snake's path), starting at the northern end of the Old Bridge or via Neuenheim. Due to its mild climate, it is also the exotic vegetation that makes this place very extraordinary. You will find pines, cypresses, lemon trees or palm trees and in spring you may even marvel at the first almond trees in bloom. During summer the spectacular sunsets with a magnificent panoramic view across the Neckar will lift up your soul.

An exceptional relic from National Socialism is the Thingstaette on the Heiligenberg. The Thingstaette is an open-air amphitheatre built by the Nazi party and opened in 1935 by Joseph Goebbels. It was mainly used as a propaganda platform. On top of the Heiligenberg there are two abbey ruins, the Michaelskloster and the Stephanskloster, built on the foundations of former Celtic and Roman temple ruins. Climb up the numerous stairs and feel the spirit of this old religious site. You can reach the Heiligenberg and the Thingstaette by car or by bus.

Take your time when you wander through Heidelberg’s Old city - there is a lot to discover in the small medieval alleys. Like all tourists, you should not miss the market place with the fountain "Herkulesbrunnen" and the town hall. Well worth seeing is also the Church of the Holy Spirit (Heiliggeistkirche). Afterwards, treat yourself with a coffee at the legendary "Café Knoesel", it is Heidelberg’s oldest café. Here, the chocolaty "Student Kiss" was once invented, a very popular souvenir.

What would Heidelberg be without the historical buildings of the university? The most important building, the university library, accommodates a museum where you can find old manuscripts and codices. One of these is the Codex Manesse, the most comprehensive source for texts of love songs of the Middle Ages. From November 2010 until February 2011 the Codex Manesse will be presented within the 625-years-old anniversary of the museum.