Art & Places: Madonna at Kornmarkt, Heidelberg, Germany

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” ~Michelangelo.



In the case of the beautiful baroque statue above, it was sculpted  by Peter von den Branden in 1718.

Known as Madonna of the Corn Market (Kornmart in German language), this statue still stands proudly in the Kornmarkt, where she is appreciated not only for her religious meaning, but her artistic as well.

As Mary (Maria) became the patron saint of Catholic belief in the Palatinate, this statue was built by the Jesuits for The Prince Elector, who was trying to persuade the people of Heidelberg to switch to Catholicism. He failed as many of the Protestants preferred to migrate out of Heidelberg.

Mary demonstrates three typical characteristics of this period: Queen of Heaven, a virgin and Lady of Victory. She stands with her baby (Jesus) in hand on a gilded round cloud formation supported by four cherubs. The baby has his right hand raised in a blessing gesture wile his left hand holding a spear in the head of the snake dragon which represents the Protestants.

The statue stands on a pedestal base (7.38m high) equipped with three fountains bowls and was created in red sandstone. Other materials include various metals such as copper, brass and iron.

Information source:
Tourism Heidelberg – Madonna of the Corn Market

Wikipedia – Madonna Kornmarkt
Databank – Konrmarkt Madonna


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Altstadt, Heidelberg

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.

neckarriver 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 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.

zumritter 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

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German Pharmacy Museum

Once inside Heidelberg Castle, it is a must to visit The German Pharmacy Museum (Deutsches Apotheken-Museum). This museum is located in the ground floor of the ruined Ottoheinrich Building.

The German Pharmacy Museum has an astonishing collection of over 20,000 objects representing the history of  medical sciences, with a focus on the history of pharmacy. Its collection is world renown and one of the largest and finest, spanning two thousand years of pharmaceutical history. There are all kinds of potions and medicines displayed in original cabinets, and lots of information on the history of pharmacies in general.

Here are some photos that I captured with a little bit of explanation:

During the 15th/16th century, there were numerous wooden vessels in this shape in every pharmacy, often decorated with coats of arms. They served for the keeping of dried substances like herbs, roots and seeds.

Statues of Aesculap (god of healing) and Hygieia (his daughter), standing on the preparation table. They are holding the symbol of medicine in their hands. The scale with porcelain pedestal were from the year 1830 (France). The mixing table has 60 drawers with ingredients; more ingredients are in the shelf, in beautiful glass vessels.

Drawers up-close: herbal medicines are kept here.

Beautiful jars and vessels to keep medicines.


Officina of the convent St. Ursula at Klagenfurt,Austria, 1730. The officina was moved in 1952 and been here in the German Pharmacy Museum since 1957.


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Heidelberg Castle

Visiting Heidelberg is not complete without visiting the schloss (castle). The castle has been one of Germany’s most important cultural monuments since early 19th century.

Heidelberg Castle.

Proudly stands on the Königstuhl hillside, Heidelberger Castle dominates the skyline, looming over Altstadt; the old town. The view of the old town can be seen from the castle’s Belvedere terrace.

The castle has a history almost as old as the city itself. The first parts of the castle were constructed around 1300, but it wasn’t before Prince Elector Ruprecht III (1398 – 1410) that the castle was used as a regal residence. Until it was destroyed by lightning in 1764 leaving it permanently uninhabitable, the castle was the residence for most of the Prince Electors. In 1800, Count Charles de Graimberg began the difficult task of conserving the castle ruins.

Surrounding an inner courtyard, the castle is a combination of several buildings, highlighting a different period of German architecture;  Ruprecht Building (the oldest residential building),  Hall Building, Ottoheinrich Building, Friedrich Building and English Building.

The facade of the Friedrichsbau (Friedrich Building) is adorned with 16 elaborate statues of princes, which Friedrich IV had erected during his reign (1592-1610).

Friedrich Building.

Lion heads on the wall of Friedrich building.

Adornment on the wall of  Ottoheinrich Building.

Here are more pictures I took around the castle:

The castle’s gatehouse featuring sculptures of guardians.

Lion’s head close-up.

Johann Casimir on Friedrich building.

Ich war hier!





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Heidelberg houses in watercolor

I was like ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’-ing as I walked around Heidelberg’s Old Town, one of the most beautiful places in Germany. The harmonious ensemble of castle, old town and river nestled in the hills of the Odenwald already inspired poets, artists and painters as well as stimulated scientists. Today, it still fascinates millions of visitors from all over the world.

The view was spectacular and the buildings were so beautiful that it inspired me to draw! Because I love to draw buildings, I drew one from the photo that I captured from Heidelberg.

Heidelberg houses | watercolour on watercolour paper.

I actually went to Heidelberg with a tour bus and to draw on location was not possible due to time restriction. You know, the tour guy will let you explore with a be-back-here-in-30 minutes condition.

So what I did was, captured as many photos as I want, giving consideration of the angles that I see beautiful for drawing, and later choose the best ones as my drawing references.

Is drawing houses or buildings difficult? Well, it depends on you. If you have the passion, you can do it. Do you have the passion to draw houses or buildings? Then, read on.

Here are few tips that I can share with you about drawing buildings from photograph:

1. Travel to places with interesting buildings. The world has a lot to offer.

2. Capture as many photos as you want — from urban skylines to historical architectural wonders.

3. Transfer your photos onto your computer and look for the best one for a start.

4. Observe the building you want to draw. Zoom in to look at the details. You can crop out the part you don’t want to draw.

5. Print it out. You can opt to refer directly from your computer but that will restrict you to your work station only. If you print it out, you can draw wherever you like — the sofa, the garden, cafes, while waiting for bus, etc. Remember that you don’t have to finish the drawing in one go.

6. When you have the photo reference in front of you, start drawing out the building shapes and later the roof. Start from left to right or right to left. Or top to bottom, vice versa. You decide.

7. After you have the outline of the building, draw the details. Refer back to your photo. Add in as many details as you can.

8. Try not to use a ruler. Good thing about art is that lines are not meant to be straight. There’s a beauty in jagged lines. Here’s a close-up of my lines from above painting:

 9. Don’t forget to color it. You can opt to trace it again with drawing pen.

Enticed enough? Go travel and take loads of building photos! Here are the original photo reference for the above painting:

If you compare this to my painting, you will notice that I left out many details. I just put in necessary details which I see fit. 


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Emila in Heidelberg!

I love Heidelberg!

And I owe it all to Sedunia Travel. I was looking for tour sponsorship before I went to Frankfurt and Sedunia Travel was so kind to sponsor me a tour to Heidelberg (Tuesday) as well as around Frankfurt City (Saturday- tomorrow)! The arrangement has been made before I leave for Frankfurt.

Heidelberg is a city in south-west Germany. The fifth-largest city in the State of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Mannheim, Karlsruhe and Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. In 2009, over 145,000 people lived in the city. Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald.

A former residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate, Heidelberg is the location of Heidelberg University, well known far beyond Germany’s borders. Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination due to its romantic and picturesque cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle and the baroque style Old Town.

 I have hundreds of pictures taken here, will upload onto Picasa and share with you soon!

Thank you Sedunia Travel again for the tour.

If you are travelling somewhere and need to book a tour, do contact Sedunia Travel. Travel is not just their business, it’s their way of life. They are passionate about discovering new experiences and sharing them with their customers.

Please contact SeduniaTravel today to book the best and largest selection of tours and holidays around the world:
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