The River Neckar
Heidelberg is located along the banks of the River Neckar, and is settled within lush surroundings on either side.
With its imposing Renaissance castle peering down protecting it.
The ruins today dominate the skyline and put pay to the myth that lightning doesn’t strike twice.
Not only has this elegant figure had to fight off troops, it has also been subject to two separate lightning assaults, the first in 1537 and then again 1764. Despite all this, the castle ruins are still very beautiful.
Gateway to Heidelberg
Along the south bank of the river, the Old Bridge Gate remains.
The bridge itself, built of Neckar valley sandstone in the 18th century by Prince Karl Theodore, replaces previous structures which were made of wood, and were continually being destroyed by war and floods.
Next to the Old Bridge Gate you will see the latest Heidelberg Bridge Monkey. This bronze sculpture was installed in 1979.
It is believed that there has been Heidelberg Bridge Monkey as far back as the 15th century.
It is believed that the legend surrounding this primate 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.
The old town
Heading south from the Old Bridge Gate, you stroll into the Baroque style ‘Old Town’, with its welcoming lanes and squares.
When you wander into the town square, Marktplatz, you are immediately greeted by the impressive late Gothic church “Church of the Holy Spirit’, with its imposing steeple rising above the rooftops of the surrounding cafes.
Although it is in a fairly touristy part of the town, we had a fantastic experience, the staff were really friendly, and we enjoyed the wonderfully varied selection of local cuisine and beer.
Inspired to visit Heidelberg?
Does the historic old town tempt you? would you like to rub the brass monkey for luck?
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