This article first appeared on the original TannerFamilyOnline site in the summer of 2005. This is the first of five day trips we took during a one week period during our first summer there together. This article is originally dated June 25, 2005 and was written by Heather after being in country for only 3 months.
Well today is my birthday-the milestone of 30 already. Odd, I don’t feel like I should be 30.
We had checked out some websites so see what was the best way of getting to the castle—castles around here aren’t always easy to get to. Downtown Heidelberg isn’t great to drive in either-crazy traffic and trying to find parking is a challenge in itself. We found a parking garage-thanks to the help of a website that had wonderful suggestions. This garage happens to be right under the train that goes up to the castle.
For those like me that have a thing with heights-it was like being on a roller coaster–you know that slow climb to the top-right before it shoots you down a steep slope. I was glad to be on solid ground again. I haven’t been to many castles yet, but this one definitely tops them! It’s huge! It was like it’s own little city-no need to go down into the valley at all. And once again–the views—spectacular. A great view of the bridge and Neckar river. We waited on taking the guided tour. We’ll do that when everyone gets here. We were able to see a few things though.
Heidelberg has the biggest wine barrel in the country. It holds over 58,000 gallons of wine. On the top of this barrel is a dance floor! There’s too much history on this place to put it all in here, so here’s a site to read about it. The courtyards go forever it seems like.
We found what must have been a bath house dated 1738. Water was still flowing from the fountain and it felt so nice down there. It was really hot and humid this day. The stone that was used to build these buildings keeps everything so nice and cool.
At one end of a courtyard there’s three big fountains. The middle fountain has a big statue of King Neptune. The other two fountains are just rock-it looks as if statues were once there but were either destroyed or more likely stolen.
Behind the fountains is caved area that’s caged off, but the outside has animal statues around it. Apparently it must have been the stable areas-I did get pictures of the inside-it’s used for garden storage now. The castle has been destroyed and rebuilt many times.
It’s also gone through lots of owners. You can see Roman era influence in a lot of the buildings. There’s also a great picture I took of a sundial on one of the tower walls.
Also, as we walked the outer edge of the castle I got a picture of a tower that was missing one of it’s sides. Well, I looked down, and there sits the other side of the tower. A lot of this castle is in ruins because of so many wars and right now the government is trying to decide if they should restore the castle or leave it as it is now.