After visiting the Kornmarkt in Altstadt, Heidelberg while on my Viking River Cruise, we headed down to the next square, Marktplatz, which simply is the main market square. And we happened upon the Church of the Holy Spirit, or Heiliggeistkirche.
This is the most famous church in Heidelberg. Remember when we were on the Atlan at the Castle, we could see several churches dominating the skyline of Old Heidelberg, or Altstadt? Well this was the largest one in our view from the castle.
This end of the church backs up to the Marktplatz and there are stalls attached to the church where you can buy souvenirs. There are also several cafes and a fountain in the square. It was still early when we arrived on our walking tour so the cafes were empty for the most part and most of the souvenir stalls were not open yet.
This is the third actual church building on this site. The church itself was first mentioned in 1239. What we see today was reconstructed in the early 1700’s after the church was burned to the ground. Really, there was always so much war and destruction in this area of Germany.
Throughout history, the church has been used by both Catholics and Protestants.
And sometimes both faiths used at the same time. There was a partition put in place so that they could both conduct services at the same time without disturbing each other.
We did not take a tour inside, but there were lovely details on the outside, like this Madonna and Child found on a corner.
Beautiful carved doors with cherubs. And more of that beautiful Nekar Valley sandstone.
A carving inside an archway going into the church features more of the sandstone.
In 1936 the partition was removed and now the church is strictly Protestant. It is a beautiful structure from any angle.
In the 1970’s the church became part of the famous Hippie movement. It is near the University, so there always is a youthful presence in Heidelberg.
It would have been nice to tour the inside but we had more to see as we moved on with our tour guide Evelyn.
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.