I believe I haven’t share my experience visiting the Altstadt (Old Town), Heidelberg, Germany. Make yourself a coffee while reading this post with many interesting photos I captured for you.
Altstadt, the oldest part of Heidelberg, sits just below the Schloss. It extends along the Neckar River for a mile, with Karlstor on one end, and Bismarckplatz on the other.
Neckar River on the left, Altstadt on the right.
Altstadt is a wonderful combination of old and new buildings, narrow streets, market squares, arts, history, science, shopping, eating and relaxing.
The Hauptstraße is the main road through the Altstadt, and is where most of the shopping is located. It is Europe’s longest car free zone (1.6km).
Other points of interest that can be found in the Altstadt include the Kornmarkt, the Church of the Holy Spirit, Hotel Zum Ritter and the Old Bridge.
Above is the Kornmarkt (Corn Market) which was once used for the collection and trade of agricultural goods. Seen at the background is the Town Hall (Rathaus). Rathaus was built first in 1701 after the War of the Palatinate Succession. In 1751 Prince Elector Karl Theodor embellished the building, and then in 1886, the east building was added. In 1908, part of the Town Hall was destroyed by a fire, and so once more had to be rebuilt. The building was expanded in 1961, adding another wing as well the bell tower.
Church of the Holy Spirit (Ghost).
One of the few buildings in Heidelberg to survive the many wars during the past centuries is the Church of the Holy Spirit which stands reverently in the Marktplatz. The construction of the church was completed in 1544 since the the foundation was laid in 1398. The church has been home to Catholics and Protestants alike throughout the centuries. In 1706 a divider separating the two denominations was put in when both wanted to have services there, and it remained until the 1930’s. The church also has remains of the tombs and epitaphs of the Palatinate electors as well as a collection of manuscripts.
Hotel Zum Ritter.
Hotel ZumRitter is located directly opposite the Church of the Holy Spirit on the Hauptstrasse. It was built in 1592, and is one of the very few buildings in Heidelberg to have survived the War of the Palatinate Succession. It is considered to be one of the most remarkable examples of the late German Renaissance period.
Prince Elector Carl Theodor built the Old Bridge in 1786. Although the fifth bridge built over the Neckar in this location, it was the first stone bridge to be constructed. The twin towers on the city side of the river were once part of the city wall, and contain dungeons used for housing criminals. In the center of these, hanging above the portcullis, is a plaque giving acknowledgement to Austrian troops who helped defend the bridge against a French attack in 1799. One of the most notable items on the bridge is the statue of a monkey holding a mirror. The legend surrounding this curious statue tells us that it symbolizes the fact that neither the city-dwellers nor the people who lived outside the city were better than the other, and that they should look over their shoulder as they cross the bridge to remember this.
I hope you enjoy reading this. I have hundreds of photos captured here and I will post more when time permits.
Information source: Tourism Heidelberg