Heidelberg is a city in Germany, in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg. The fifth largest city on earth, with a population of approximately 160,000 inhabitants (2018)
The journey begins as you witness the castle’s ruins perched above the town and river. Wandering through the courtyards, you’ll encounter functional fountains from the historic gardens, once acclaimed as the “8th wonder of the world.”
The remnants of the Heidelberg Castle complex are a true delight. Its origins date back to 1196 when construction began on the upper castle, followed by the lower castle in 1212, reaching completion in 1225. The most significant expansion occurred in 1410 when Holy Roman Emperor Rupert III transformed the modest castle into his palace, turning it into one of the most impressive and frequently visited complexes in Germany during the Renaissance era. At its zenith, Heidelberg Castle was hailed as one of the grandest palaces of the time.
Tragedy struck in 1537 when the upper castle was struck by lightning and reduced to ashes. Although the lower palace was spared, it faced a siege by the French during the War of the Grand Alliance 150 years later. While the lower castle underwent reconstruction, it suffered another blow in 1764 when it was struck by lightning, causing substantial fire damage. Today, exploring the remaining sections and ruins of Heidelberg Castle is an awe-inspiring experience.