Hello and Happy Friday! The week is flying by! Today I want to share more about Heidelberg Castle with you and my Viking River Cruise. On Wednesday I shared the lovely and romantic Elisabeth Gate and today I will share a little more from our exploration at the castle.
Another interesting spot on the outer edges of the castle is a tablet on a wall referred to as the Goethe Tablet. It was placed here in 1961 to replace a previous tablet on the wall of what was once the aviary of the castle. It features a poem by Marianne von Willemer written after she met Johann Wolfgang Goethe, a German poet at the Castle.
Here is a shot of the lovely wall of the observation deck on the side of the moat. Yes, this castle, which sits high on a hill above the city had a moat as part of its defensive system.
At some point it was drained and turned into a lush lawn or garden area. It is said that at one time deer and even a bear lived in this enclosed area. Not sure that would have been much fun for them!
I love how green everything was while we were there. And the wallflowers were in full bloom!
The wall across from where we were on the observation deck was a mere ruin in several areas.
And it had become overgrown with wallflowers and other wall climbing plants…even trees had started to grow in the corner of what used to be the Prison Tower.
There was even a lilac bush blooming on top of the Prison Tower. It was Easter when we were in Germany and lilacs were blooming everywhere we went.
And if you look closely on the red sandstone blocks, you can see inscriptions on each one. They are some kind of symbols or numbers, not sure exactly what the stand for, but they are there. And the sandstone is the same as the Elisabeth Gate – all of it was mined locally in the Neckar Valley.
The large tower is the Clock Tower, also known as the Gate Tower because that is where the present day entrance into the castle is. Behind that building wall is the inner courtyard area of the castle. We are still outside the main castle walls.
Here is a little better view of the Gate Tower. This castle has been here in some shape or form since the thirteenth century and has been destroyed, rebuilt and added on to many, many times.
This gate was built in 1528. It was destroyed during one of the many wars to plague the region and this one is the rebuilt gate of 1718.
The building you see here to the left in the picture above is the Ruprechtsbau, named for King Ruprecht and is one of the oldest buildings here at the castle.
Each time additions were made, the same sandstone was used, so even though buildings may be hundreds of years apart in age, that same building material helps make them look like they are all one big complete building. These steps go to the English Building, built in the 1600’s for Elisabeth Stuart’s arrival.
The corner ruins on the right are of the Library. The building in between the English Building and Library is the Frauenzimmerbau.
The shell of the destroyed English Building or Englischer Bau.
Al those windows!
And here is the Frauenzimmerbau. On the other side is the Friedrichsbau and the inner Courtyard. Each time a new Elector or King inhabited the castle, they would add their own touch with a new wing or building so there are many names to the many buildings here.
Mark Twain visited here in 1878 and fell in love with the city and the castle. He even wrote several chapters in A Tramp Abroad about his experiences here.
It was neat to think we were walking probably in some of the same exact places he walked and probably seeing some of the same things he saw since most of the castle has not been restored and has been unchanged since the time he visited. Except maybe some of the greenery taking over the walls. Maybe that is something new.
And here you can better see why the Gate Tower was also called the Clock Tower.
A large and beautiful clock resides at the top. And it was telling us it was time to move on to the next area of the castle. Stay tuned!
This is not a sponsored post. This is my experience from my trip with Viking River Cruises. Email me to find out how you can save $100 when you book your first cruise with Viking through their referral program.