We headed south to Heidelberg this morning to visit Schloss Heidelberg, the castle up on the hill above the city. The weather was a bit iffy with a bit of snow and rain on the trip down but luckily it remained mostly dry while we were in old town Heidelberg. It was a bit cold though with a bit of snow on the ground and dark with an overcast sky.
Upon arriving at the old town station in Heidelberg, we spotted this gate, the Karlstor.
On the opposite side was the Neckar, the river that runs through Heidelberg. It has locks for shipping to move up and down the river.
We crossed the street and walked into the old town area. We encountered this fantastic view of the castle above from the Karlsplatz. There were very few people around during the cold morning.
This sculpture, the Sebastian-Münster-Brunnen, sat in the middle of the plaza. It is a fountain, though it is off during the winter.
The fountain with the castle in the background.
We continued onward to the adjacent plaza, the smaller Kornmarkt, or grain market.
Normally, there is a funicular that runs up the mountain to the castle and beyond. However, it is currently down for scheduled yearly maintenance. So, we took the stairs. Many, many stairs.
The stairs were very close to the castle wall near the top.
Looking back as we are about to reach the top.
After buying tickets, we first walked around the garden area on the west side of the castle. It is above the wall that was visible as we walked up the stairs.
A closer look at parts of the castle. It is huge, though in mostly ruined state.
There is a really nice view of the city down below.
The plaza where we started the walk up is visible near the center of the photo. In the background, we can see the Karl-Theodor-Brücke, better known as the Alte Bruke or Old Bridge, across the Neckar. It was built back in 1788. On the opposite side of the bridge, there is a path leading up the mountain.
The tower at the northwest corner is very broken! It is missing perhaps 75% or so! The partial tower is visible from the town as well, though its not entirely obvious if you aren’t looking for it.
We backtracked and entered the castle below a tall clock tower.
Looking back at the tower once we entered the castle. There were a few large tour groups present while we were visiting. It seems that certain areas can only be visited on a guided tour. The tours that we saw didn’t seem to coincide with the tour schedule so they may be third party tours rather than the ones offered by the castle.
Looking into the castle courtyard, we saw a grand palace, the Friedrich Building, directly ahead.
A very similar view as we walked further in.
Looking back, we can see the tower we walked under. To the left is an old well. On the right is one of the buildings that you can’t enter unless on a tour.
We walked up to the palace building to check out some of the statues on the outside. It is all very elaborate!
To the right is the remains of another palace, the Ottheinrich Building. It is in worse condition and is really just a facade on the upper floors. It currently holds an apothecary, or pharmacy, museum.
There is a passage that more or less goes under the Friedrich Building and comes out on the opposite side. There is a great view of the Neckar! We could see the dam and shipping locks by where we exited the S-Bahn.
There is a similar view of the Old Bridge to what we saw earlier.
Part of the broken tower is visible when looking to the west. It would probably fill more than half the frame if it was still complete.
There is also a great view of the palace buildings.
We went back to the courtyard and headed down into the Barrel Building. It is named for a huge wine barrel. After entering the room, we noticed this to our right!
But then, we noticed this one! It is huge!
It is possible to walk up atop it and then back around and down. There isn’t really any way to effectively photograph the whole thing as the room it is in is only a little bigger.
Looking up at the front from the ground.
We next went to the apothecary museum. It has many artifacts inside showing what an apothecary would have had in the eras before modern pharmacies.
There were a few rooms with many items neatly on display.
There were also rooms showing the equipment that would have been used to produce various medications.
Afterwards, we exited the castle grounds and went to the garden to the east. It has a great view of the castle! Here, we could see another tower that has fallen apart. It looks like the entire side has broken off.
Looking towards the Neckar, we could see the external wall of the Ottheinrich Building.
We continued walking to the northern edge of the garden. It is separated from the castle by a small valley and is a good distance away. A great view of the castle and city below!
A good view of the Ottheinrich Building from this direction as well as the castle wall below it.
We took a path that leads down in the valley between the garden and the castle. It ultimately heads back into the city where we started our walk up earlier in the morning.
From the valley, we could see the garden to the east. It is atop the arched wall at the center of the frame.
After returning to the city, we headed to the Marktplatz, next to the Kornmarkt. We could see the castle just above some of the buildings around the plaza.
The Heiliggeistkirche, Church of the Holy Spirit, is at the western edge of the plaza.
We went inside to take a look. Its big windows allow quite a bit of light in. The interior is very different from the extremely ornate churches that we recently saw in London.
A King and Queen of Germany. King Rupert was responsible for the creation of the castle and palace at Heidelberg.
After having lunch, we decided to walk to the Old Bridge. There was a gate and a pair of towers leading to the bridge.
From the bridge, we could see the city as well as the castle in the distance.
Looking upstream, we could see the dam and shipping lock on the right. We also saw a bit of blue sky!
We also saw a bit of blue sky in the opposite direction, though not as much.
A very nice view of the entire castle as well as the garden on the left!
The bridge was briefly illuminated by the sun just after we walked back!
We started to make our way back to the S-Bahn station. On the way, we passed back through the Marktplatz. The same view that we had earlier, but with a bit of blue sky.
And, the same view from Karlsplatz that we had in the morning.
One final look at the castle as we continued walking.