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Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss)

Heidelberg Castle





Location: Heidelberg  Map

Constructed: 12th century

Tel. 06221 538 431

Official site

Open: 10am- 4pm Tue- Fri, 11am- 5pm Sat, Sun Apr- Oct

gardens 9am- 7:30pm, Apr- Oct, 9am- 4:30pm Nov- March


Entrance Fee: Adult Apr- Oct €8, Nov- Mar €6

Garden: Apr- Oct €4, Nov- March €2.5




Description of Heidelberg Castle


Heidelberg Castle stands in the city of Heidelberg in Baden- Württemberg region of Germany. Palace complex was built in several steps and different architectural styles including Renaissance and early Baroque (14th- 17th century). Heidelberg was abandoned after fire in the 18th century. Its reconstruction began only in the late 19th century. Heidelberg Castle construction began in the late 12th century on the orders of Conrad of Hohenstaufen. He later was made Count of Palatine by his half- brother Frederick I Barbarossa. This noble chose a strategic point on 300 feet high hill overlooking the city. Original fortress was torn down to make its way for newer buildings. Today the olderst part of the Heidelberg Castle are towers Ruprehtsbau and Pulvertum that date back to the 14th century.


In the 16th century Elector Otto Heinrich built himself a personal palace- residence. The height of levels was different so it lookes out of sink with the earlier medieval castle. The ground flood housed the festive hall. Now this part of the building houses a German Pharmacy Museum.


Friedrich Palce is one of the latest parts of the Heidelberg complex. It dates to the early 17th century. It is decorated with magnificent statues of members of the Wittelsbach family, including emperor Charlemagne.


Over several centuries Heidelberg Castle was reconstructed several times changing its layout. By the end of the Medieval times Heidelberg Fortress was reconstructed as a residence for local noblemen rather than a military stronghold. On 24 October 1688 French troops took the castle, but next year they withdrew from the stronghold. Before they left they blew up military fortifications including the Fat Tower. Later in 1693 French again captured Heidelberg and finished their job by burning down walls and towers completely reducing the castle to ruins.


Just to make things worse Mother Nature finished whatever was left of the magnificent fortress. Karl Theodor, ruler of Bavaria, was about to move into his new residence, but on June 23rd 1764 a lighting struck the structure and started a fire. Karl Theodor changed his mind about moving to a new location and decided to avoid settling here. Heidelberg Castle was abandoned and locals started looting building material from Heidelberg.


Destruction of Heidelberg Castle was stopped only in the late 19th century as reconstruction project began. Reconstruction didn't rebuilt the original castle. Instead it tried to preserve whatever was left of the original structure. Every summer Heidelberg Castle hold theater and music festivals. Additionally the interior of the castle houses a restaurant, exhibitions, museum management and the Foundation of Friends of the Castle.



Perkeo the Dwarf of Heidelberg Castle

Perkeo the Dwarf is a legendary figure in the history of the Heidelberg Castle. His nickname is believed to come from a phrase "Perche No?", which is translated as "Why not?". It was his common response for anyone who offered him a drink. His colourful bronze figure is found in the wine cellar of the fortress. Wooden barrels here could hold over 195,000 litres of wine and as the legends goes Perkeo was quiet frequent here. Court jester and guardian came originally from Southern Tyrol and came here to serve Elector Karl Philipp (1716- 42). Local legend claim that the dwarf died from accidentally drinking a glass of water rather than his favourite wine.











Kurpfalzisches Museum
Hauptstrasse 97
Tel. 06221- 583- 40 20
Open: Tue- Sun (Wed: 10am- 9pm)






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