Hello and Happy Monday! It’s time to share some more of my Viking River Cruise with you. My last post promised that I would share our visit to Altstadt, or Old Town in Heidelberg. So today I want to share images from the first part that we visited, Karlsplatz, or Carl’s Square.
Karlsplatz is directly below the castle in Old Town. It is named after the Grand Duke Karl Friedrich of Baden.
From here you have great views of not only the castle, but of the luxury homes on the hill. Remember the one with the suit of armor standing guard on the roof? There it is above the rooftops in the square.
In the 1970’s the city built an underground parking garage here. We didn’t see a lot of vehicles, except for bicycles – like in Amsterdam. But the streets are so narrow here, it would be hard for cars to get around.
And the streets are made of cobblestone, which made for careful walking. There was even a bit of graffiti here and there.
The center of the square features a fountain and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. The Academy was founded in 1909 and currently is in the former Grand Ducal Palace.
I love the doorway. The balcony on top with the large French doors and the decorative door within a door below.
The orange trim really stood out on the dreary day.
The fountain in front of the Academy is a fountain by Michael Schoenholtz. It is in honor of Sebastian Munster, who worked at a Franciscan Monastery in the sixteenth century, which the square was built on in 1803. For me this fountain was a little too modern for the square.
All of the buildings around the square had unique elements that made them stand out. I love the glided flowers above these windows that my friend June captured.
Here is a view of one of the narrow streets, which we would consider an alley.
We walked down this alley and came across this gate to a courtyard. I love how overgrown it looks with the wallflowers taking over, the disheveled inner doorway and the exposed stone under the plastered walls.
You can see that cars would have a hard time navigating these narrow passages.
We passed the Kulturbrauerei Brauhas. Its a hotel, restaurant and brewery all in one. And it has been in place in this historic building since the seventeenth century.
It too has a suit of armor, guarding the establishment with a pollaxe.
They really like their knights in armor here!
And there was a pretty door here on this building. If you don’t know by now, I kind of like to photograph doors, windows and architectural elements. This one was not ornately decorated but I liked the patina of the finish.
I photographed a few other doors in and around Karlsplatz. This one was a little more interesting – a double door with a transom above. On a pinkish, mauve colored building to boot.
And just look at those shutters and windows. I know some places will go out of the way to make their locations look like something out of a postcard, but these were even grimy and dirty, like they had weathered many, many storms. I don’t know if these were made to look authentic or not, but they looked like the real deal to me. They had so much character.
Another think I like to photograph are signs. And there were plenty on this trip. Like this sign for the Red Ox Inn. Don’t you just love the golden horns? It’s a popular student pub. Oh, did I tell you there is also the famous Heidelberg University not far away, too? The university dates to 1386 and is Germany’s oldest university. It also was the third university started by the Holy Roman Empire. Now the Red Ox Inn has not been around that long, but it has been there several hundred years – the building dates to 1703.
Another beautiful door I found was this blue door within a door at the Palais Boisserée. This large structure was built between 1703 and 1705 by the Duke of Sickengen. Later in the early 1800’s, two brothers Sulpiz and Melchior Boisserée lived here (giving it the name it goes by today) and stored a collection of German paintings here. The paintings are now in Munich and today the building is part of the University. Like the castle above the town, many great visitors of the German Romantic period visited here, such as Johan Wolfgang von Goethe. There is a plaque commemorating this on the building.
This little door was short and squat. It had a beautiful arched transom and I loved the yellow tiles on the stoop.
I found this Gundel Bakery and Cafe sign very pretty with its ornate scrollwork. It was a lovely little place on the corner with views of the castle above and a delicious aroma coming from inside.
It had flowers boxes on all the windows, which were super clean compared to many of the others we had seen so far. But our tour guide Evelyn was beckoning us to follow her to our next adventure in Altstadt so we left Karlsplatz and headed to our next section of Heidelberg’s Old Town…
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.