Heidelberg Castle is one of Germany’s most famous castles, along with the Munich Residenz and Hohenzollern Castle.
It’s nestled on top of a hill overlooking the city Heidelberg. Not surprisingly in the summer it is packed with tourists. In spite of all the tourists, I still find it simply majestic:
It’ not just the exterior walls of Heidelberg Castle that are beautiful, the interior walls also demanded my attention:
Heidelberg Castle is not all beauty though, it is over 700 years old after all.
In many ways Heidelberg it reminds me of an elegant older woman’s face. It looks beautiful from a distance, but when you get too close you start seeing all the wrinkles, reflecting the age of its owner. But instead of judging the wrinkles as flaws, it just makes the woman more beautiful and gives her even more depth. And Heidelberg Castle definitely has it’s “wrinkles” after being damaged by fire not once, but three times. Twice by the French in war and the third time when it was struck by lightening making it uninhabitable.
It houses the World’s Largest Apothecary Museum (Deutsches Apotheken Museum). Admission is included with your ticket. At the Apothecary Museum visitors can see over 20,000 pharmacy related objects. The collection dates back over 2000 years and a quick look at the medical equipment makes you thankful that you didn’t live in the middle ages. As regular readers know, I love my quirky museums with the World’s Largest Pig Museum in Stuttgart still being one of my favorites.
Wine lovers may be interested in the Heidelberg Tun. It’s the world’s largest wine barrel measuring 7m high x 8.5 m wide. It could hold 220,000 liters of wine. Why was such a large wine barrel needed at Heidelberg Castle? To hold the taxes from the wine growers who often paid in wine. Legend has it that the wine barrel watcher used to imbibe so much that when he drank water by mistake he died.
There’s also the Castle Lighting, an event that takes place several times throughout the summer and reenacts one of the castle burnings. It is then followed by fireworks.
And the view from Heidelberg Castle is not too bad either:
An hour south of Heidelberg you can continue your castle journey with Schloss Ludwigsburg, which is my favorite castle tour, before heading further south to Hohenzollern Castle and the small, yet worth visiting Lichtenstein Castle.