Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Heidelberg Castle in Germany

Heidelberg Castle or Heidelberger Schloss in German is a very popular ruin in Germany and is considered as one of the most prominent landmarks in Heidelberg. The castle ruins are  among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The Heidelberg Castle in Germany was built in the year 1214 in a Gothic Renaissance style and was expanded into two new castles. The large part of the castle was destroyed by lightning strikes in the years 1537 and 1764.
History of the Heidelberg Castle in Germany
Heidelberg Castle in Germany
Heidelberg was first mentioned in 1196 as “Heidelberch.”n In the year 1155, Conrad of Hohenstaufen was made the Count Palatine by his half-brother Frederick Barbarossa and the region became known as the Palatinate. There was a claim that Conrad’s main residence was on the Schlossberg (Castle Hill), that is also known as the Jettenbuhl, cannot be substantiated. The name “Jetenbuhl” comes from the soothsayer Jette, who was said to have lived in the Castle Hill. Jette is also associated with Wolfsbrunnen (or the Wolf’s Spring) and the Heidonloch (Heathen’s Well). The first mention of the Heidelberg Castle in Germany (in Latin: “castrum in Heidelberg cum burgo ipsius castri“) was in 1214, when Ludwin I received it from Hohenstaufen’s Emperor named Friedrich II. The last mention of a single castle was in 1294. In another document from 1303, the two castles are mentioned for the first time:
Ottheinrich Building in Heidelberg Castle
  • The upper castle on Kleiner Gaisberg Mountain, near today’s Hotel Molkenkur that was destroyed in the year 1537
  • The lower castle on the Jettenbuhl is the castle’s present site
Friedrich Building in Heidelberg Castle
Prince Ruprecht III was the first person who made the Heidelberg Castle as a royal residence. He even added several structures to it including the outer walls, the outlines in the upper level that are built with stone and the ground floors of the castle. Prince Ruprecht III also added an imperial building that was called the “Fountain Hall” across from the Heidelberg Castle in Germany. These two additional buildings in the Heidelberg Castle were raised up under the reigns of Federick IV and Ottneinrich. Currently, these two buildings in the castle are considered as one of the best buildings in terms of German architecture.
The Powder Tower
The west side of the Heidelberg Castle was built by Fredierick V that is known as the “English Building.” During the 30 Years War, the Heidelberg Castle and its gardens were devastated, but 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, sadly, it never happened.
Inside the Heidelberg Castle in Germany
In the year 1764, there was a bolt of lightening hit the Heidelberg Castle in Germany that resulted a severe damage. Later that year, the caste was changed to a quarry. The stones from the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle were later used in building houses in Heidelberg, Germany. However, house building was stopped by Charles de Graimberg, who tried to preserve the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle and who added King’s Hall to the castle in the year 1934.
Hortus Palatinus Garden
As of today, the King’s Hall is used for many events, such as dinners, parties, stage performances and several other events. The Heidelberg Castle Festival, which as held every summer, is also held on the castle’s courtyard, that features musicals and theater shows.
The Great Barrel
The Heidelberg Castle is open to the locals and international tourists every day. It opens at eight in the morning and closes at five in the afternoon. The admission fee is about 3 Euros for adults and 1.5 Euros for children.
Traveling to Heidelberg Castle 
If you wish to visit the Heidelberg Castle in Germany, the Frankfurt Airport operates a daily service to Heidelberg. There are also train services to the castle that are available from Mannheim. Moreover, there are number of public bus services that can take you to the Heidelberg Castle.
Heidelberg Castle’s corridor
Heidelberg Castle’s Church interior
Heidelberg Castle’s dining room