Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle
View of the Heidelberg Castle, Old Bridge & Neckar River.
Photo from: MK Media Productions, Creative Commons

The Heidelberg Castle, located in Germany, is a famous ruin and the signpost for Heidelberg. It was built in the year 1214 in a Gothic and Renaissance style, and was expanded into two new castles. A large part of the castle was destroyed by lighting strikes in the years 1537 and 1764.

Prince Ruprecht III was the first person who made the castle as a royal residence and added several structures to it including the outer walls, ground floors of the castle and the outlines in the upper level that are built with stone.  He also added an imperial building known as “Fountain Hall” across from the castle. These two buildings were raised up under the reigns of Frederick IV and Ottheinrich. Today, these two buildings are considered as best buildings in terms of German architecture.

The West-side of the castle, built by Frederick V, is known as the “English Building”. The castle and gardens were devastated during the time of 30 Years War, however it was restored by Prince Karl Ludwig to just later be destroyed by the French Army. Prince Karl Theodore tried campaigning for the restoration of the building, but it never happened.

In the year 1764 a bolt of lightening hit the castle and the castle was severely damaged, and later the castle was changed to a quarry. The stones from the ruins of the castle were later used in building the houses in Heidelberg. However this process was stopped by Charles de Graimberg, who tried to preserve the ruins of the castle and who added King’s Hall to the castle in the year 1934.

Today, the King’s Hall is used for many events such as parties, stage performances, dinners and several other events. The Heidelberg Castle Festival, which is held every summer, is also held in the castle courtyard, where musicals and theater shows are held.

The castle opens at 8 am and closes at 5pm. The entry fee is about 3 Euros for adults and 1.5 Euros for children.

Traveling to Heidelberg Castle

Frankfurt Airport operates daily service to Heidelberg. Frequent train services are available from Mannheim. In addition, there are number public bus services.

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