Remember in my last post about my Viking River Cruise I told you about the interesting signs that we found in Heidelberg? Today I want to share a few more with you. There were so many interesting ones to see and I definitely did not get pictures of all of them but here are a few more, along with a little information about their significance.
This sign has a very romantic story behind it. The sign is for Cafe Knösel. Many years ago a chocolatier by the name of Fridolin Knösel created a chocolate confection that students at the University could give to young ladies as a token of their affection of which their Governesses would approve. He whimsically called it a Student’s Kiss and it was an immediate hit. It became a sweet way to send a message from one to another and so a tradition was born. Today the tradition is carried on, using the original 1863 recipe.
This sign is for the Carl Theodor Restaurant and Distillathaus, which is located right by the entrance to the Old Bridge, or the Karl Theodor Bridge. This of course is the old stone bridge that crosses the Neckar River and connects the Altstadt district of Heidelberg to the Neuenheim district across the river. The bridge was built in 1788 by Elector Charles Theodor and is the ninth bridge erected across the Neckar at this point. With all the wars in this region of Germany, most everything has been rebuilt. And it is funny that they call this the Old Bridge since it is the newest one built at this site. But, this is the sign for the establishment that bears the name of the Elector responsible for the bridge. It was not as elaborate as many of the other signs that I photographed but was pretty none the less.
Now I am not sure you would consider this a sign, but it definitely caught my eye. It is a gilded hive with honey bees and it is on the oldest Cafe in Heidelberg, the Cafe Konditorei Knosel. Since the building where this gilded gem resides is a place where food has been served for centuries, perhaps it indicates that sweets or honey could have been purchased here. Remember, often times the signs for establishments were literal representations of the type of business or a significant symbol related to the structure. Anyway, it really stood out against the burgundy painted walls of the restaurant.
The sign farthest away in this picture has another symbol that associates how close it is to the Old Bridge, a Bridge Monkey. There is a large bronze statue of a Bridge Monkey by the bridge and it represents a moral – the monkey holds a mirror so that those that look at it must remember that they are not better than the one holding the mirror and they should always remember this. The story of the Bridge Monkey was said to have come about to ensure that those that lived in Heidelberg did not think better of themselves than those that did not live in Heidelberg. I like that story, it is from long ago but still holds true today.
This sign is just so pretty! It is another sign with symbolism. The golden pike refers to fish found in the Neckar and the hotel is by the Old Bridge, with a lovely view of the Neckar. The Hotel is also known for their wines, so naturally grapes are incorporated into their sign.
This sign for the Hotel Hollander Hof Restaurant features a little man smoking a pipe. The hotel is named after the Dutch travelers that centuries ago frequented the hotel. It also is near the Old Bridge and has wonderful views of the Neckar River.
This is another fun sign that lets you know instantly you may find beer here. It has a barrel and on top there are hops and wheat sheaves, two main ingredients in German ale.
The Hard Rock Cafe sign is simple and definitely modern. But the sign holder features decorative wrought iron scrollwork. Evidently, this establishment was not part of the actual Hard Rock chain, notice the catch phrase – it is not what is on other Hard Rock establishments. In February of this year this restaurant closed so I assume the sign is no longer there.
This sign for the White Swan is beautifully painted. And interesting to us, it was folded against the building rather than sticking out perpendicular like the other signs in the city. We almost missed it. And it has neon lighting to illuminate it, many others had small spot lights to provide night time illumination.
This is the last of the signs that I was able to photograph while in Heidelberg. It is another very interesting sign, featuring a man in a Fez, smoking a cigar for a Tobacco Shop.
I fell in love with these signs in every little town we visited along our journey down the Rhine. But there still are a few more aspects of Heidelberg I want to share with you. 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.