Here is a side steet off of the Hauptsrobe.
This famous building is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Heidelberg. It dates back to 1592, and is called the "Knights House". Currently a hotel called the "Ritter", it was built by Huguenot, Charles Beleir. He was a very rich and powerfull cloth merchant. For a while it acted as a town hall in the 1600's, but for the past 300 years it has been the hotel "Ritter".
Here is a shot of one of the many University of Heidelberg Buildings. It dates back to the 1700's, and was not only a city Armory, but also served as military stables. Nowdays it is used as a "canteen" or chow hall for the students.
Here is a picture of the famous Heidelberg Castle ruins. Just below it is the far eastern end of the Hauptsrobe. The Romans build a fort here in about 80AD....but by 700 AD the Romans were long gone, and the Germanic people had started building stone fortifications on the same location.
Here is a shot from the lower embattlements just below the main Castle Gates, looking down upon the city of Heidelberg, and across the Neckar River to the outskits of Neuenheim.
Here is a shot from the same location, looking up at the ruins fo the castle. The walls of the castle are up to 7 meters thick (22 feet), but with the implementation of guns, the defenses of the castle became ineffective.
To get into the castle, it is necessary to go thru many gateways and doors. Each gateway was located at a "turn" in the path going up, and there were many arrow and gun defensive ports and barracks areas.
There were also large enclosed halls and corridors with arrow holes in them as well. Getting an enemy army thru these defenses would have been very daunting.
Here is a picture of Teresa and me inside one of these defensive rooms on our way still going up to the main gate.
Here is the last of about 5 open defensive courtyards before entering the main courtyard just up and to the left of this picture.
There was a very large amount of stone scultures, gargoyles, statues and other wall decorations. Here is one of about 100 lion heads, each one about 3 foot by 3 foot. They covered several buildings sides and doorways.
Another shot looking down into the Hauptsrobe and also of one of the very old stone bridges crossing the Neckar River. The bridge here is called the Karl-Theodor Bridge, and dates back to 1788.
A nice shot of Teresa with the city of Heidelberg behind her. It was a very brisk day. The days were in the mid 30's at best, and the nights were in the 20's.
And a shot of yours truely, with the "Philosophers Walk" path behind me on the opposite hill. More on that later.
Here is the back of the "Frederick Building" which was built in 1607 by Frederick IV. On the building's interior side, Frederick had large stone statues made of his ancestors of the Wittelshbach Dynasty, dating all the way back to the Emperor Charlemagne.
Hiking all around the castle was a thirsty business, so here I am taking a break and drinking from an oak wine barrel, that held up to 125,000 liters of wine!
Not to be outdone, Chris takes a drink from the largest oak wine barrel ever actually used in the world, which held 225,000 liters! (58,000 Gallons) It was made from 130 Oak Trees, and had a dance floor built on top of it.
Here is another shot of the "Frederick Building" from further away in the inner courtyard. Each higher level of windows was made slightly smaller, to help give the illusion of greater height of the building.
The original castle was started back in the 11th century, and many generations of "Prince Electorates" who lived here added on to the site. Here is an inner courtyard that was originally a moat.
The castle was the scene of many battles, and the castle was conquered several times. In 1693, French troops under command of King Louis the 14th conquered the castle, and put several tons of gunpowder in this turret, and then set it off. The French were trying to destroy the turret, and succeeded only in blowing out half the wall in one piece. The tower was originally built in 1460.
Here is another shot of the same tower from up on the hillside of the gardens.
Another view looking west to the castle from the gardens on the east side of the castle. The ruined tower is barely visiable on the far left side behind the trees.
A view of the front of the castle, overlooking the city. The middle part to the left of the tower was destroyed by fire in 1764. The fire was caused by a lightening strike on the castle.
In the gardens on the east side of the castle is several fountains. Here is one of the fountains, featuring Neptune. The gardens were destroyed in 1622, and rebuilt partially in 1814.
This is called the "Ocean Grotto", and was part of the original garden area. It is the entrance to a small underground chamber.
A view of the Ocean Grotto from up on one of the terace areas of the East garden.
Here is a painting of what the castle looked like at the height of it's power and beauty, probably around 1680.
A closer view of the ruined tower. Inside the rooms of the tower were cannon emplacements, gunnery locations, gunpowerder magazines and other armory equipment.