No trip to Heidelberg would be complete without a visit to the castle. Dominating the city from the brow of the hill, the castle offers breathtaking views over the old town and the River Rhine. The castle is host to the Schlossfestspiele castle pageant and also the fantastic firework displays that illuminate the castle several times a year. Built over a period spanning three centuries, the castle developed from being a simple medieval fortress into a splendid Renaissance palace. A royal structure nestled amid bucolic settings, the castle is one of the most spectacular sights to see in Heidelberg.
The Holy Spirit Church at Marktplatz in the center of Old Town is one of the few buildings that survived the fire in 1693. The church was constructed in the first half of the 15th Century and was also used as a last resting place for electors. Murals, stemming from the middle ages, are most impressive. The church's gallery was formerly used as the university library, the Bibliotheca Palatina. This famous collection of scriptures and prints was stolen in the Thirty Years War and brought to the Vatican, where it still resides.
Botanischer Garten der Universität Heidelberg is a stunning botanical garden which offers visitors an insight into the world of plants. In the greenhouses, you will find a variety of plants including orchids, cacti, and succulents among others. Plants of different bio-systems like upland moors, heathland, alpine or dune landscapes grow in the open-air grounds.
Schwetzingen Castle is large, beautiful and architecturally-rich. This castle is located in Schwetzingen and attracts tourists from all over the world. Originally an aristocratic getaway, it was remodeled frequently and also boasts fantastic gardens and water parterres. Schwetzingen Castle is also the home to the Schwetzingen Festival.
With a history that dates back to the 8th Century, Kloster Lorsch is one of the oldest religious sites in the region. The medieval monastery was built during the rule of the Carolingian dynasty and is a fine example of the architectural style prevalent during the era. Within the monastery complex, visitors will discover an array of historic structures including the majestic Torhalle.
Located on Schlossraum, Schloss Bruchsal dates back to the early 18th Century. The palace has Baroque architecture and was built as a residence for Prince Damian Hugo Philipp von Schönborn-Buchheim. The castle has fascinating interiors that reflect Rococo designs and features beautiful mythological frescoes, historic relics and ornate furniture which are quite noteworthy. Its baroque-styled staircase is a major attraction in the castle. The castle is also popular for being the only bishop's palace in the Upper Rhine region. It houses the Deutsche Musikautomaten-Museum and the Museum der Stadt Bruchsal. The castle is also known for hosting conferences and temporary exhibitions. Guided tours of the castle are available.
A historic and architecturally prominent landmark housed inside another equally, if not more, prominent landmark, the Alte Aula, or Old Hall, is one of the well-preserved remnants of the Old University of Heidelberg. Designed by the same man who designed the whole Old University, Josef Durm, the hall has been done in the Renaissance Revival style, with the walls adorned with painted murals really taking one's breath away. Though the hall is used primarily for university events, it is als used on a regular basis for concerts, lectures, and other events. Do call to know more.
Flanking the castle from the Artillery Garden, the bulwark was built in 1533 under Ludwig V and still shows impressing evidence of its time: the inner diameter is 14 meters, it is 40 meters (131 feet) above the valley, and the walls are seven meters thick. It was extended under Friedrich V as statues and inscriptions testify, and was used for courtly functions.