Early history

Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man
Homo heidelbergensis
Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species of the genus Homo which may be the direct ancestor of both Homo neanderthalensis in Europe and Homo sapiens. The best evidence found for these hominins date between 600,000 and 400,000 years ago. H...

" died at nearby Mauer
Mauer (Baden)
Mauer is a village in south western Germany. It is located between Heidelberg and Sinsheim in the Rhein-Neckar district in the state of Baden-Württemberg....

. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of worship were built on the Heiligenberg, or "Mountain of Saints". Both places can still be identified. In 40 AD, a fort was built and occupied by the 24th Roman cohort and the 2nd Cyrenaican cohort (CCG XXIIII and CCH II CYR). The Romans built and maintained castra
The Latin word castra, with its singular castrum, was used by the ancient Romans to mean buildings or plots of land reserved to or constructed for use as a military defensive position. The word appears in both Oscan and Umbrian as well as in Latin. It may have descended from Indo-European to Italic...

(permanent camps) and a signalling tower on the bank of the Neckar
The Neckar is a long river, mainly flowing through the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, but also a short section through Hesse, in Germany. The Neckar is a major right tributary of the River Rhine...

. They built a wooden bridge based on stone pillars across it. The camp protected the first civilian settlements that developed. The Romans remained until 260 AD, when the camp was conquered by German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...


Middle Ages

Modern Heidelberg can trace its beginnings to the fifth century. The village Bergheim (Mountain Home) is first mentioned in that period, in documents dated to 769 AD. Bergheim now lies in the middle of modern Heidelberg. The people gradually converted to Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. In 863 AD, the monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 of St. Michael was founded on the Heiligenberg inside the double rampart of the Celtic fortress. Around 1130, the Neuberg Monastery was founded in the Neckar valley. At the same time, the bishopric of Worms
Worms, Germany
Worms is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on the Rhine River. At the end of 2004, it had 85,829 inhabitants.Established by the Celts, who called it Borbetomagus, Worms today remains embattled with the cities Trier and Cologne over the title of "Oldest City in Germany." Worms is the only...

 extended its influence into the valley, founding Schönau Abbey
Schönau Abbey
Schönau Abbey in Schönau in the Odenwald, in the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis in Baden-Württemberg, was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1142 from Eberbach Abbey...

 in 1142. Modern Heidelberg can trace its roots to this 12th century monastery. The first reference to Heidelberg can be found in a document in Schönau Abbey
Schönau Abbey
Schönau Abbey in Schönau in the Odenwald, in the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis in Baden-Württemberg, was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1142 from Eberbach Abbey...

 dated to 1196. This is considered the founding date for Heidelberg. In 1155, Heidelberg castle and its neighboring settlement were taken over by the house of Hohenstaufen
The House of Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings in the High Middle Ages, lasting from 1138 to 1254. Three of these kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1194 the Hohenstaufens also became Kings of Sicily...

. Conrad of Hohenstaufen
Conrad of Hohenstaufen
Conrad of Hohenstaufen was the first hereditary Count Palatine of the Rhine.His parents were Frederick II of Swabia , Duke of Swabia, and his second wife Agnes of Saarbrücken...

 became Count Palatine of the Rhine . In 1195, the Palatinate passed to the House of Welf through marriage.
In 1225, Louis I, Duke of Bavaria
Louis I, Duke of Bavaria
Duke Louis I of Bavaria was the Duke of Bavaria in 1183 and Count Palatine of the Rhine in 1214. He was a son of Otto I and his wife Agnes of Loon. Louis was married to Ludmilla, a daughter of Duke Frederick of Bohemia.-Biography:Louis extended the duchy of Bavaria and founded many cities...

 obtained the Palatinate, and thus the castle came under his control. By 1303, another castle had been constructed for defense. In 1356, the Counts Palatine were granted far-reaching rights in the Golden Bull
Golden Bull of 1356
The Golden Bull of 1356 was a decree issued by the Reichstag assembly in Nuremberg headed by the Luxembourg Emperor Charles IV that fixed, for a period of more than four hundred years, important aspects of the constitutional structure of the Holy Roman Empire...

, in addition to becoming Electors
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

. In 1386, the University of Heidelberg was founded by Rupert I, Elector Palatine.

Modern history

The University of Heidelberg played a leading part in the era of humanism and reformation and the conflict between Lutheranism and Calvinism in the 15th and 16th centuries. Heidelberg's library, founded in 1421, is the oldest public library in Germany still intact. A few months after the proclamation of the 95 Theses, in April 1518, Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 was received in Heidelberg, to defend them. In 1537, the castle located further up the mountain was destroyed in a gunpowder explosion. The duke's palace was built at the site of the lower castle.
In November 1619, the royal crown of Bohemia was offered to the Elector, Frederick V
Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Frederick V was Elector Palatine , and, as Frederick I , King of Bohemia ....

. (He was married to Elizabeth
Elizabeth of Bohemia
Elizabeth of Bohemia was the eldest daughter of King James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, Ireland, and Anne of Denmark. As the wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, she was Electress Palatine and briefly Queen of Bohemia...

, eldest daughter of James I and VI of England and Scotland). He became known as the "winter king", as he reigned for only one winter before the Imperial House of Habsburg regained the crown by force. This overthrow in 1621 marked the beginning of the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

. In 1622, after a siege of two months, the armies of the Catholic League
Catholic League (German)
The German Catholic League was initially a loose confederation of Roman Catholic German states formed on July 10, 1609 to counteract the Protestant Union , whereby the participating states concluded an alliance "for the defence of the Catholic religion and peace within the Empire." Modeled...

, commanded by Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, captured Heidelberg. He gave the famous Bibliotheca Palatina
Bibliotheca Palatina
The Bibliotheca Palatina of Heidelberg was the most important library of the German Renaissance, numbering approximately 5,000 printed books and 3,524 manuscripts....

from the Church of the Holy Spirit to the Pope as a present. The Catholic Bavarian branch of the House of Wittelsbach gained control over the Palatinate and the title of Prince-Elector. In 1648, at the end of the war, Frederick V's son Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine
Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine
Charles Louis, , Elector Palatine KG was the second son of Frederick V of the Palatinate, the "Winter King" of Bohemia, and his wife, Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King James I of England ....

, was able to recover his titles and lands.

To strengthen his dynasty, Frederick arranged the marriage of his daughter Liselotte to Philip I, Duke of Orléans, the brother of Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, king of France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. In 1685, after the death of Charles Louis' son Elector Charles II
Charles II, Elector Palatine
Charles II was Elector Palatine from 1680 to 1685. He was the son of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine and Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel.Charles was a strict Calvinist. In 1671, his aunt Electress Sophia of Hanover arranged his marriage to Princess Wilhelmina Ernestina, daughter of King Frederick III...

, Louis XIV laid claim to his sister-in-law's inheritance. The Germans rejected the claim, in part because of religious differences between local Protestants and the French Catholics, as the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 had divided the peoples of Europe. The War of the Grand Alliance
War of the Grand Alliance
The Nine Years' War – often called the War of the Grand Alliance, the War of the Palatine Succession, or the War of the League of Augsburg – was a major war of the late 17th century fought between King Louis XIV of France, and a European-wide coalition, the Grand Alliance, led by the Anglo-Dutch...

 ensued. In 1689, French troops took the city and castle, bringing nearly total destruction to the area in 1693. As a result of destruction due to repeated French invasions related to the war of the palatinate succession coupled with severe winters, thousands of Protestant German Palatines emigrated from the lower Palatinate in the early 18th century. They fled to other European cities (where the refugees were called "the poor Palatines") and especially to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. In sympathy for the Protestants, in 1709-1710, Queen Anne's government arranged transport for nearly 6,000 Palatines to New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. Others were transported to Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

. They worked off their passage and later settled in the English colonies.

In 1720, religious conflicts with the mostly Protestant citizens of Heidelberg after he assigned a major church for exclusively Catholic use caused the Roman Catholic Prince-Elector Charles III Philip
Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine
Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine was a ruler from the house of Wittelsbach. He was Elector Palatine, Count of Palatinate-Neuburg, and Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1716 to 1742...

 to transfer his residence to nearby Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

. The court remained there until the Elector Charles Theodore
Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria
Charles Theodore, Prince-Elector, Count Palatine and Duke of Bavaria reigned as Prince-Elector and Count palatine from 1742, as Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1742 and also as Prince-Elector and Duke of Bavaria from 1777, until his death...

 became Elector of Bavaria in 1777 and established his court in Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

. In 1742, Elector Charles Theodore began rebuilding the Palace. In 1764, a lightning bolt destroyed other palace buildings during reconstruction, causing the work to be discontinued.

1803 to 1933

Heidelberg fell to the Grand Duchy of Baden
Grand Duchy of Baden
The Grand Duchy of Baden was a historical state in the southwest of Germany, on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918.-History:...

 in 1803. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden, refounded the University, named "Ruperto-Carola" after its two founders. Notable scholars soon earned it a reputation as a "royal residence of the intellect". In the 18th century, the city was rebuilt in Baroque style on the old Gothic layout.

In 1810, the French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 refugee Count Charles Graimberg began to preserve the palace ruins
Ruins are the remains of human-made architecture: structures that were once complete, as time went by, have fallen into a state of partial or complete disrepair, due to lack of maintenance or deliberate acts of destruction...

 and establish a historical collection. In 1815, the Emperor of Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, the Emperor of Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and the King of Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 formed the "Holy Alliance
Holy Alliance
The Holy Alliance was a coalition of Russia, Austria and Prussia created in 1815 at the behest of Czar Alexander I of Russia, signed by the three powers in Paris on September 26, 1815, in the Congress of Vienna after the defeat of Napoleon.Ostensibly it was to instill the Christian values of...

" in Heidelberg. In 1848, the German National Assembly was held there. In 1849, during the Palatinate-Baden rebellion of the 1848 Revolutions
Revolutions of 1848 in the German states
The Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, also called the March Revolution – part of the Revolutions of 1848 that broke out in many countries of Europe – were a series of loosely coordinated protests and rebellions in the states of the German Confederation, including the Austrian Empire...

, Heidelberg was the headquarters of a revolutionary army. It was defeated by a Prussian army near Waghaeusel. The city was occupied by Prussian troops until 1850. Between 1920 and 1933, the University of Heidelberg became the center of notable physicians Czerny, Erb, and Krehl; and humanists Rohde, Weber, and Gundolf.

Nazism and the war period

During the Nazi regime (1933–1945), Heidelberg was a stronghold of the NSDAP, the strongest party in the elections before 1933 (the NSDAP obtained 30% at the communal elections of 1930). The NSDAP received 45.9% of the votes in the German federal election of March 1933 (the national average was 43.9%). Non-Aryan university staff were discriminated against. By 1939, one-third of the university's staff had been forced out for racial and political reasons. The non-Aryan professors were sent off in 1933, within one month of Hitler's rise to power. The lists were prepared beforehand.

Between 1934 and 1935, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (State labor service) and University of Heidelberg students built the huge Thingstätte amphitheatre on the Heiligenberg north of the old part of Heidelberg, for Nazi (NSDAP) and SS events. A few months later, the inauguration of the huge Ehrenfriedhof memorial cemetery completed the second and last NSDAP project in Heidelberg. This cemetery is on the southern side of the old part of town, a little south of the Königstuhl
Königstuhl or Königsstuhl may refer to:* Königstuhl , a high mountain in Austria* Königstuhl , the highest point on the mountain of Donnersberg in Germany...

 hilltop. During WWII and after, Wehrmacht soldiers were buried there.

During the Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, and also Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom or series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938.Jewish homes were ransacked, as were shops, towns and...

on 9 November 1938, Nazis burned down synagogues at two locations in the city. The next day, they started systematic deportation of Jews, and sent 150 Jews to Dachau concentration camp. On 22 October 1940, during the "Wagner Buerckel event", the Nazis deported 6000 local Jews, including 281 from Heidelberg, to Camp Gurs
Camp Gurs
Camp Gurs was an internment and refugee camp constructed by the French government in 1939. The camp was originally set up in southwestern France after the fall of Catalonia at the end of the Spanish Civil War to control those who fled Spain out of fear of retaliation from Francisco Franco's regime...

 concentration camp in France. Within a few months, as many as 1000 of them (201 from Heidelberg) died of hunger and diseases. Among the deportees from Heidelberg, the poet Alfred Mombert
Alfred Mombert
Alfred Mombert was a German poet, born in Karlsruhe, and educated at the universities of Heidelberg, Leipzig, Munich, and Berlin. He practiced law for six years and then devoted himself to his literary work...

 (1872–1942) left the camp in April 1941 thanks to the Swiss poet Hans Reinhart. From 1942, the deportees that had survived internment in Gurs where deported to Eastern Europe, where most of them were murdered.

On 29 March 1945, the Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 left the city after destroying three arches of the old bridge, Heidelberg's treasured river crossing. They also destroyed the more modern bridge downstream. The U.S. Army (3rd Infantry, 7th Army) entered Heidelberg on 30 March 1945. The civilian population surrendered without resistance.

Some historians suggested Heidelberg escaped bombing in WWII because the U.S. Army wanted to use the city as a garrison after the war. As Heidelberg was neither an industrial center nor a transport hub, it did not present a target of opportunity. Other notable university towns, such as Tübingen
Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers.-Geography:...

 and Göttingen
Göttingen is a university town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.-General information:...

, were spared bombing as well. Allied air raids focused extensively on the nearby industrial cities of Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

 and Ludwigshafen.

The U.S. Army may have chosen Heidelberg as a garrison base due to its excellent infrastructure, including the Heidelberg-Mannheim Autobahn (freeway), which connected to the Mannheim-Darmstadt-Frankfurt Autobahn, and the U.S. Army installations in Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

 and Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

. The intact railroad infrastructure was more important in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when most heavy loads were still carried by train, not by truck. Heidelberg had the untouched "Grossdeutschland Kaserne" Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 installation. The US Army used it as the Campbell Barracks
Campbell Barracks
Campbell Barracks, in Heidelberg, Germany, is the location of the Headquarters of the United States Army in Europe and Seventh Army Campbell Barracks, in Heidelberg, Germany, is the location of the Headquarters of the United States Army in Europe and Seventh Army Campbell Barracks, in Heidelberg,...

 soon after.

History after 1945

In 1945, the University was reopened relatively quickly as a result of the initiative of a small group of professors, among whom were the anti-Nazi economist Alfred Weber
Alfred Weber
Alfred Weber was a German economist, sociologist and theoretician of culture whose work was influential in the development of modern economic geography.-Life:...

 and the philosopher Karl Jaspers
Karl Jaspers
Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system...

. The surgeon Karl Heinrich Bauer was nominated rector.

On 9 December 1945, US Army General George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

 had a car accident in the adjacent city of Mannheim, and died in the Heidelberg US Army hospital on 21 December 1945. The funeral ceremony was held at the Heidelberg-Weststadt Christuskirche (Christ Church), and he was buried in the 3rd Army cemetery in Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...


During the post-war military occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

, the U.S. Army used the Thingsstätte for cultural and religious events. Civilian use started in the early-to-mid 1980s for occasional concerts and other cultural events. Today, the celebrations on Hexennacht (Witches' Night, also called Walpurgis Night
Walpurgis Night
Walpurgis Night is a traditional spring festival on 30 April or 1 May in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. It is often celebrated with dancing and with bonfires. It is exactly six months from All Hallows' Eve.-Name:...

), the night of 30 April, are a regular "underground" fixture at the Thingstätte. Thousands of mostly young people spontaneously congregate there to drum, to breathe fire, and to juggle. The event has gained fame throughout the region, as well as a certain notoriety due to the amount of trash left behind.

The old town

The "old town" , on the south bank of the Neckar, is long and narrow. It is dominated by the ruins of Heidelberg Castle
Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle is a famous ruin in Germany and landmark of Heidelberg. The castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps....

, 80 metres above the Neckar on the steep wooded slopes of the Königstuhl
Königstuhl (Odenwald)
The Königstuhl , translated "Kings seat", is a 567 metre high hill in the Odenwald Mountains and in the city of Heidelberg, in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The Königstuhl summit allows visitors a spectacular view of the city of Heidelberg and the River Neckar as well as the Rhine Valley...

 (King's chair or throne) hill.
  • The Main Street (Hauptstrasse), a mile-long pedestrian street, running the length of the old town.
  • The old stone bridge was erected 1786-1788. A medieval bridge gate is on the side of the old town, and was originally part of the town wall. Baroque tower helmets were added as part of the erection of the stone bridge in 1788.
  • The Church of the Holy Spirit (Heiliggeistkirche), a late Gothic
    Gothic architecture
    Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

     church in the marketplace of the old town.
  • The Karls‘ gate (Karlstor) is a triumphal arch in honour of the Prince Elector Karl Theodor, located at Heidelberg's east side. It was built 1775-1781 and designed by Nicolas de Pigage.
  • The house Zum Ritter Sankt Georg (Knight St. George) is one of the few buildings to survive the War of Succession. Standing across from the Church of the Holy Spirit, it was built in the style of the late Renaissance
    The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

    . It is named after the sculpture at the top.
  • The Marstall (Stables), a 16th-century building on the Neckar that has served several purposes through its history. It is now a cafeteria for the university.

Heidelberg Castle

The castle is a mix of styles from Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 to Renaissance
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

. Prince Elector Ruprecht III (1398–1410) erected the first building in the inner courtyard as a royal residence. The building was divided into a ground floor made of stone and framework upper levels. Another royal building is located opposite the Ruprecht Building: the Fountain Hall. Prince Elector Philipp (1476–1508) is said to have arranged the transfer of the hall's columns from a decayed palace of Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 from Ingelheim to Heidelberg.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Prince Electors added two palace buildings and turned the fortress into a castle. The two dominant buildings at the eastern and northern side of the courtyard were erected during the rule of Ottheinrich (1556–1559) and Friedrich IV (1583–1610). Under Friedrich V (1613–1619), the main building of the west side was erected, the so called "English Building".

The castle and its garden were destroyed several times during the 30 Years' War and the Palatine War of Succession. As Prince Elector Karl Theodor tried to restore the castle, lightning struck in 1764, and ended all attempts at rebuilding. Later on, the castle was misused as a quarry; castle stones were taken to build new houses in Heidelberg. This was stopped in 1800 by Count Charles de Graimberg, who then began the preservation of the Heidelberg Castle.

Although the interior is in Gothic style, the King's Hall was not built until 1934. Today, the hall is used for festivities, e.g. dinner banquets, balls and theatre performances. During the Heidelberg Castle Festival in the summer, the courtyard is the site of open air musicals, operas, theatre performances, and classical concerts performed by the Heidelberg Philharmonics.

The castle is surrounded by a park, where the famous poet Johann von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

 once walked. The Heidelberger Bergbahn
Heidelberger Bergbahn
The Heidelberger Bergbahn, or Heidelberg Mountain Railway, is a two section funicular railway in the city of Heidelberg, Germany. The first section runs from a lower station at Kornmakt in Heidelberg's Altstadt, via an intermediate station at Heidelberg Castle, to an upper station at Molkenkur...

A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

 railway runs from Kornmakt to the summit of the Königstuhl via the castle.

Philosophers' Walk

On the northern side of the Neckar is located the Heiligenberg (Saints' Mountain), along the side of which runs the Philosophers' Walk , with scenic views of the old town and castle. Traditionally, Heidelberg's philosophers and university professors would walk and talk along the pathway. Farther up the mountain lie the ruined 11th-century Monastery of St. Michael
Monastery of St. Michael (Heidelberg)
The Monastery of St. Michael , on the Heiligenberg in Heidelberg, was a branch of the nearby Lorsch Abbey. The ruined complex that can be seen today was built beginning in 1023. The monastery was abandoned in the 16th century....

, the smaller Monastery of St. Stephen, a Nazi-era amphitheater, and the remains of an earthen Celtic hill fort
Hill fort
A hill fort is a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze and Iron Ages. Some were used in the post-Roman period...

 from the 4th century BC.

Heidelberg churches

There are many historical churches in Heidelberg and its environs. The Church of the Holy Spirit has been shared over the centuries since the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 by both Catholics and Protestants. It is one of the few buildings to survive the many wars during the past centuries. It was rebuilt after the French set fire to it in 1709 during the War of the Palatinian Succession
War of the Grand Alliance
The Nine Years' War – often called the War of the Grand Alliance, the War of the Palatine Succession, or the War of the League of Augsburg – was a major war of the late 17th century fought between King Louis XIV of France, and a European-wide coalition, the Grand Alliance, led by the Anglo-Dutch...

. The church has remains of the tombs and epitaphs of the past Palatinate electors. This Church stands in the Marktplatz next to the seat of local government. In 1720, Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine came into conflict with the town's Protestants as a result of giving the Church of the Holy Spirit exclusively to the Catholics for their use. It had previously been split by a partition and used by both congregations. Due to pressure by the mostly Protestant powers of Prussia, Holland, and Sweden, Prince Karl III Philip gave way and repartitioned the church for joint use. In 1936 the separating wall was removed. The church is now exclusively used by Protestants. Furthermore there is the Catholic Church of the Jesuits. Its construction began in 1712. It was completed with the addition of a bell tower from 1866 - 1872. The church is also home to the Museum für sakrale Kunst und Liturgie (Museum of Ecclesiastical Arts). The oldest church in Heidelberg is the St. Peter's Church (now Lutheran). It was built by early Christians (Catholics) sometime during the 12th century, although there is no exact documentation of the date.

Universities and academia

Heidelberg is known for its institutions of higher education. The most famous of those is the University of Heidelberg. Founded in 1386, it is one of Europe's oldest institutions. In fact, Heidelberg is the oldest university town of today's Germany. Among the prominent thinkers associated with the institution are Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

, Karl Jaspers
Karl Jaspers
Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system...

, Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method .-Life:...

, Jürgen Habermas
Jürgen Habermas
Jürgen Habermas is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his theory on the concepts of 'communicative rationality' and the 'public sphere'...

, Karl-Otto Apel
Karl-Otto Apel
Karl-Otto Apel is a German philosopher and Professor Emeritus at the University of Frankfurt am Main. Apel worked in ethics, the philosophy of language and human sciences. He wrote extensively in these fields, publishing mostly in German...

 and Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt was a German American political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact...

. The campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

 is situated in two urban areas and several buildings. In numerous historical buildings in the old town there are the Faculties of the Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, the Social Science and the Faculty of Law
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

. The Faculties of Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and Natural Science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

 are settled on the Neuenheimer Feld Campus.

Since 1904 there has been a College of Educational Science, the Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg; since 1979 there has been a college of Jewish Studies, the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg. It comprises nine branches specializing on both religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 and Jewish culture
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. The University of Applied Sciences in Heidelberg, the SRH Hochschule Heidelberg was founded in 1992, is accredited by the German state and is situated in the Science Tower in Wieblingen. The Schiller International University
Schiller International University
Schiller International University is a private American university with its main campus and administrative headquarters in Largo, Florida. It has campuses on two continents in five countries, each offering its own unique experiences to students: Largo; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Heidelberg,...

, a private American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 university is also represented with a campus in Heidelberg offering several undergraduate and graduate programs in the fields of International Business and International Relations and Diplomacy.


In addtition to the research centers and institutes of the university, there are numerous research institutions situated in the city of Heidelberg. Among them are the European Molecular Biology Laboratory
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is a molecular biology research institution supported by 20 European countries and Australia as associate member state. EMBL was created in 1974 and is an intergovernmental organisation funded by public research money from its member states...

 (EMBL), European Molecular Biology Organization
European Molecular Biology Organization
EMBO stands for excellence in the life sciences. The EMBO mission is to enable the best science by supporting talented researchers, stimulating scientific exchange and advancing policies for a world-class European research environment....

 (EMBO), the German Cancer Research Center
German Cancer Research Center
The German Cancer Research Center , is a national cancer research center based in Heidelberg, Germany...

 (DKFZ), Max Planck Institute for Medical Research
Max Planck Institute for Medical Research
The Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, is a facility of the Max Planck Society for basic medical research. Since its foundation, six Nobel Prize laureates worked at the Institute: Otto Fritz Meyerhof , Richard Kuhn , Walther Bothe , André Michel Lwoff , Rudolf...

, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
The Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie is a research institute of the Max Planck Society. It is located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany near the top of the Koenigstuhl, adjacent to the historic Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Königstuhl astronomical observatory.The institute was founded in...

, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
The Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik is aresearch institute in Heidelberg, Germany.The institute is one of the 80 institutes of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft , an independent, non-profit research organization. The Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics has been founded in 1958 under the...

, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
The Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law is a legal research institute located in Heidelberg, Germany. It is operated by the Max Planck Society...



Heidelberg is home to 23 elementary school
Elementary school
An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

s. There are several institutions of secondary education
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

, both public and private, representing all levels of the German school system. There are 14 Gymnasiums, with six of them private. With 52% of secondary students attending a Gymnasium, Heidelberg sits above the German average, perhaps because a large number of academics live in Heidelberg and its environs. They include the Bunsen-Gymnasium, the Helmholtz-Gymnasium, the Hölderlin-Gymnasium and the Elisabeth-von-Thadden-Schule. Then there are seven Realschule
The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It has also existed in Croatia , Denmark , Sweden , Hungary and in the Russian Empire .-History:The Realschule was an outgrowth of the rationalism and empiricism of the seventeenth and...

, ten Hauptschule
A Hauptschule is a secondary school in Germany and Austria, starting after 4 years of elementary schooling, which offers Lower Secondary Education according to the International Standard Classification of Education...

 and nine vocational school
Vocational school
A vocational school , providing vocational education, is a school in which students are taught the skills needed to perform a particular job...

s (the so-called Berufsschule). In addition, there are several folk high schools with different specialisations.


In 2004, 81.8% of people worked for service industries, including tourism. As a relic of the period of Romanticism, Heidelberg has been labeled a "Romantic town". This is used to attract more than 3.5 million visitors every year. Many events are organized to attract visitors. Heidelberg is located on four tourist roads: Bergstraße, Bertha Benz Memorial Route
Bertha Benz Memorial Route
The Bertha Benz Memorial Route is a German tourist and theme route in Baden-Württemberg and member of the European Route of Industrial Heritage...

, Castle Road
Castle Road
The Castle Road is a theme route in southern Germany and a small portion in the Czech Republic, between Mannheim and Prague.It was established in 1954...

, and Straße der Demokratie (Road of Democracy).


Only 18% of employment is provided by industry. Printing and publishing are important enterprises; nearby Walldorf
Walldorf is a town in the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis of Baden-Württemberg in Germany.Walldorf is currently probably best known as the city that headquarters the world's third largest software company SAP, but it is also the birthplace of the millionaire John Jacob Astor, at the time of his death the...

 is a center of the IT industry and SAP
SAP AG is a German software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, with regional offices around the world, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software...

 World Headquarters. Noted pen manufacturer Lamy
Lamy is a producer of fountain pens in Europe. The company is German-owned and its presence is particularly strong there. Josef Lamy, who was a sales representative for The Parker Pen Company in Germany, founded the business in 1930 by purchasing the Orthos pen manufacturer. Lamy was a pioneer in...

 has its headquarters and factory in Heidelberg-Wieblingen. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is a German precision mechanical engineering company with head offices in Heidelberg . It is a manufacturer of offset printing presses sold globally. The company has a worldwide market share of more than 47% in this area and is the largest global manufacturer of...

 has its headquarters here; its factory is loctated in Walldorf. Soft-drink company Wild-Werke, manufacturer of the Capri-Sonne (Capri-Sun in the U.S.) is located in Heidelberg-Kirchheim.

With its long Hauptstrasse, Heidelberg is a shopping destination for people from the surrounding smaller towns.


Heidelberg has a railway station
Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof
is the central station for Heidelberg. In 2005 it was used by 30,472 passengers daily and is one of the largest passenger stations in Baden-Wurttemberg. The main station entrance opened in 1955 in Willy-Brandt-Platz in the western district of Heidelberg, on the edge of the district. Diagonally...

 on the Rhine Valley railway and Intercity Express (ICE) trains call. This station is served by the RheinNeckar S-Bahn
RheinNeckar S-Bahn
The Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn forms the backbone of the urban rail transport network of the Rhine Neckar Area, including the cities of Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen....


United States military installations

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Heidelberg was one of the few major cities in Germany not significantly damaged by Allied bombing. Situated in the American Zone of Germany, Heidelberg became the headquarters of the American forces in Europe. Several military installations remain, including Campbell Barracks
Campbell Barracks
Campbell Barracks, in Heidelberg, Germany, is the location of the Headquarters of the United States Army in Europe and Seventh Army Campbell Barracks, in Heidelberg, Germany, is the location of the Headquarters of the United States Army in Europe and Seventh Army Campbell Barracks, in Heidelberg,...

, the former Wehrmacht Grossdeutschland-Kaserne, where headquarters for several units are located. These include US Army, Europe (USAREUR) and NATO's Component Command-Land Headquarters. (Until 2004, this was designated Joint Headquarters Centre, and before that, LANDCENT).

Campbell Barracks and Mark Twain Village
Mark Twain Village
Mark Twain Village is a United States Army installation located in the Südstadt district of Heidelberg, Germany. It is one of two American bases in the United States Army Garrison Heidelberg that house American soldiers and their families...

 are both in Südstadt; Patton Barracks is in nearby Kirchheim. Nachrichten Kaserne in Rohrbach is home to the former Heidelberg Army Hospital, now designated the Heidelberg Health Center. Patrick Henry Village
Patrick Henry Village
Patrick Henry Village, also called PHV, is a United States Army installation at Heidelberg, Germany. It opened in 1947 after World War II and was named after Patrick Henry, first and sixth Governor of Virginia.-General information:...

, the largest U.S. military housing area in the Heidelberg area, is west of Kirchheim. These installations, including Tompkins Barracks and Kilbourne Kaserne in nearby Schwetzingen, plus the Germersheim Depot, used to make up the U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg. Tompkins Barracks is home to U.S. Army Installation Management Command Europe Region. The Heidelberg U.S. Army Air Field (Heidelberg AAF) was converted to an heliport (mostly Blackhawk Helicopters) after the NATO Kosovo campaign.

The children of United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 employees based in Heidelberg tend to attend on-base schools operated by the DODDS-E (Department of Defense Dependents Schools - Europe). There are three schools of this kind: Heidelberg High School
Heidelberg High School
Heidelberg High School is a school operated by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located on the premises of Mark Twain Village, a housing area for American military members and their families in Heidelberg, Germany. It is one of DoDDS's original five high schools opened in 1946...

 in Mark Twain Village (Mark Twain Elementary School closed at the completion of the 2010-2011 school year), and Heidelberg Middle School
Heidelberg Middle School
Heidelberg Middle School is an American school in Heidelberg, Germany. The students attending HMS are the children of Department of Defense employees. Heidelberg Middle School is located on Patrick Henry Village. It contains 650 students in grades 6-8. The current principal of HMS is Stephanie...

 and Patrick Henry Elementary in Patrick Henry Village. Many of the families live in the local communities and have the wonderful opportunity to experience the German culture. The military bases are simply isolated for security reasons. Most US installations and Barracks have been fenced. The fences are to keep those who are not authorized out and those who are authorized, safe. Access is limited to US Army staff and their families only. The much-enjoyed fair that was held for decades at Patrick Henry Village has been canceled since the stepped up security following 9/11.

On 19 October 2009 the U.S. Army announced that it will be building new headquarters for USAREUR in Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 275,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 10,000 United States citizens...

. The move from Heidelberg will take place in 2012 and 2013, and will be completed by 2014. By 2015 all United States forces will have moved out of Heidelberg. The barracks and the housing areas will be handed over to the German state for conversion to civilian use.


Throughout the year there are different regular festivals and events hosted and organized in Heidelberg. In February, the Ball der Vampire (Ball of the Vampires) is arranged and Fasching, the equivalent of Mardis Gras or Carnival in some German region, with a giant vampire-themed costume party at the local castle or city hall is celebrated. In March or April the Heidelberger Frühling (Heidelberg Spring), the Classic Music Festival and the international Easter egg market are conducted. During the last weekend of April there is an annually organized half marathon. In the summertime there are the Frühlingsmesse on the Messeplatz (May) and Illumination of the castle and bridge with lights and fireworks take place. In September, each last Saturday the Old Town Autumn Festival is held. It includes a Medieval Market, an arts and crafts market, a flea market, and music from Samba to Rock. During October or November there are the Heidelberger Theater Days and a jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 festival. Every year in November the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg
International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg
Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival is an annual film festival held jointly by the cities of Mannheim and Heidelberg in Baden-Württemberg. The festival was established in 1952. In Mannheim there are six cinema centres and 19 single cinemas.The festival presents arthouse films of...

 take place in the city, too. The festival presents arthouse films of international newcomer directors and is held jointly by both of the cities. During Christmas there is a Christmas market throughout the oldest part of the city. A famous gift is the chocolate called Heidelberger Studentenkuss (student kiss).

Museums and exhibitions

Among the most prominent museums of Heidelberg are for instance the Carl Bosch Museum which shows life and work of chemist and Nobel Prize-winner Carl Bosch
Carl Bosch
Carl Bosch was a German chemist and engineer and Nobel laureate in chemistry. He was a pioneer in the field of high-pressure industrial chemistry and founder of IG Farben, at one point the world's largest chemical company....

. Then there is the Documentation and Culture Centre of German Sinti and Roma (Dokumentations- und Kulturzentrum Deutscher Sini und Roma) describing the Nazi genocide of the Sinti
Sinti or Sinta or Sinte is the name of a Romani or Gypsy population in Europe. Traditionally nomadic, today only a small percentage of the group remains unsettled...

 and Roma peoples. The German Packing Museum (Deutsches Verpackungsmuseum) gives an overview on the history of packing and wrapping goods whereas the German Pharmacy Museum (Deutsches Apothekenmuseum) which is located in the castle illustrates the story of Pharmacy in Germany. The Kurpfälzisches Museum
Kurpfälzisches Museum
The Kurpfälzisches Museum is a museum of art and archaeology in Heidelberg, Germany. It is located in the Palais Morass. It was founded in the late 1870s, when the city of Heidelberg purchased the private collection of the artist and art historian Charles de...

 (Palatinate Museum) offers a great art collection and some Roman archeological artifacts from the region. In the honour of Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany .When Ebert was elected as the leader of the SPD after the death of August Bebel, the party members of the SPD were deeply divided because of the party's support for World War I. Ebert supported the Burgfrieden and...

 one established the President Friedrich Ebert Memorial
President Friedrich Ebert Memorial
The President Friedrich Ebert Memorial in Heidelberg remembers the life and work of Friedrich Ebert, who was born there on 4 February 1871. From humble origins, he became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and was finally elected as the first German democratic head of state in 1919...

 which remembers the life of Germany's first democratic head of state. Besides, there are guided tours in most of the historical monuments of Heidelberg, as well as organized tourist tours through the city available in several languages.

Romanticism of Heidelberg

Heidelberg was the centre of the epoch of Romantik (Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

) in Germany. There was a famous circle of poets, such as Joseph von Eichendorff, Johann Joseph von Görres
Johann Joseph von Görres
Johann Joseph von Görres was a German writer and journalist.-Early life:Görres was born at Koblenz. His father was moderately well off, and sent his son to a Latin college under the direction of the Roman Catholic clergy...

, Arnim, and Clemens Brentano
Clemens Brentano
Clemens Brentano, or Klemens Brentano was a German poet and novelist.-Overview:He was born in Ehrenbreitstein, near Koblenz, Germany. His sister was Bettina von Arnim, Goethe's correspondent. His father's family was of Italian descent. He studied in Halle and Jena, afterwards residing at...

. A relic of Romanticism is the Philosophers' Walk , a scenic walking path on the nearby Heiligenberg, overlooking Heidelberg.

The Romantik epoch of German philosophy and literature, was described as a movement against classical and realistic theories of literature, a contrast to the rationality of the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. It elevated medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be from the medieval period. It also emphasized folk art, nature and an epistemology based on nature, which included human activity conditioned by nature in the form of language, custom and usage.


Heidelberg is one of the centres of Rugby union in Germany
Rugby union in Germany
Rugby union in Germany is a minor sport. The German Rugby Federation had 108 member clubs and 11,656 members.-Governing body:The German Rugby Federation is the governing body for rugby union in Germany...

, along with Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

. In 2008-09
Rugby-Bundesliga 2008-09
-Overview:The 2008-09 modus was somewhat different from the previous season. The competition had been expanded from eight to nine teams. The final, which used to be determined by the top-two teams of the regular season was now played by the two winners of the semi-finals which pair the first placed...

, four out of nine clubs in the Rugby-Bundesliga
The Rugby-Bundesliga is the highest level of Germany's rugby union league system, organised by the German Rugby Federation.The league is predominantly amateur, with only two of the ten clubs in the league being professional outfits,the SC 1880 Frankfurt and Heidelberger RK.-History:The German rugby...

 were from Heidelberg, these being RG Heidelberg
RG Heidelberg
The RG Heidelberg is a German rugby union club from Heidelberg, currently playing in the Rugby-Bundesliga. Apart from rugby, the club also offers the sport of rowing.-History:The club was formed on 4 June 1898 as a rowing club...

, SC Neuenheim
SC Neuenheim
The SC Neuenheim is a German rugby union club from Heidelberg, currently playing in the Rugby-Bundesliga. Having won nine men's and twelve women's German championships as of 2004, the club is one of the most accomplished in Germany.-History:...

, Heidelberger RK
Heidelberger RK
The Heidelberger Ruderklub is a German rowing club and rugby union club from Heidelberg, currently playing in the Rugby-Bundesliga....

 and TSV Handschuhsheim
TSV Handschuhsheim
The TSV Handschuhsheim is a German rugby union club from Heidelberg, currently playing in the Rugby-Bundesliga. Apart from rugby, the club also offers other sports like association football, handball and tennis.-History:...

. Heidelberger TV
Heidelberger TV
The Heidelberger TV is a German rugby union club from Heidelberg, currently playing in the 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West. Apart from rugby, the club also offers other sports like basketball, tennis and badminton....

 has a rugby department.

Rugby League Deutschland
Rugby league in Germany
Rugby league is a minor sport in Germany. The national governing body for the sport, Rugby League Deutschland, is an associate member of the Rugby League European Federation...

 has two teams based in Heidelberg, Heidelberg Sharks
Heidelberg Sharks
Heidelberg Sharks are a rugby league club in the town of Heidelberg in Germany. They were founded in 2005 and are consequently one of the more established teams in Germany. They will be playing in the first German domestic league competition in 2008. Many of Germany's national team players also...

 formed in 2005 and Rohrbach Hornets
Rohrbach Hornets
Rohrbach Hornets are a rugby league team from Heidelberg, Germany. They were founded in 2007 and will be playing their first season of rugby league in 2008....

 formed in 2007.

International relations

Heidelberg maintains sister city relationships (Städtepartnerschaft) with the following cities:
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, since 1957 Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, since 1961 Rehovot
Rehovot is a city in the Center District of Israel, about south of Tel Aviv. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 112,700. Rehovot's official website estimates the population at 114,000.Rehovot was built on the site of Doron,...

, Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, since 1983 Simferopol
-Russian Empire and Civil War:The city was renamed Simferopol in 1784 after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire by Catherine II of Russia. The name Simferopol is derived from the Greek, Συμφερόπολις , translated as "the city of usefulness." In 1802, Simferopol became the...

, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, since 1991 Bautzen
Bautzen is a hill-top town in eastern Saxony, Germany, and administrative centre of the eponymous district. It is located on the Spree River. As of 2008, its population is 41,161...

, Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, since 1991 Kumamoto, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, since 1992

Use in popular culture

Heidelberg features in the 1968 film The Girl on a Motorcycle
The Girl on a Motorcycle
The Girl on a Motorcycle , also known as Naked Under Leather, is a 1968 British-French film starring Alain Delon, Marianne Faithfull, Roger Mutton, Marius Goring, and Catherine Jourdan. It was listed to compete at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival, but the festival was cancelled due to the events of...

, the University being the ultimate destination of Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Evelyn Faithfull is an award-winning English singer, songwriter and actress whose career has spanned five decades....

's character. Heidelberg is the home of a professional Quidditch
Quidditch is a fictional sport developed by British author J. K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series of novels. It is described as an extremely rough, but very popular, semi-contact sport, played by wizards and witches around the world...

 team operating within the fictional Harry Potter universe
Harry Potter universe
The fictional universe of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of fantasy novels comprises two separate and distinct societies: the wizarding world and the Muggle world...

: the Heidelberg Harriers have been described as “fiercer than a dragon and twice as clever”. Heidelberg is the residence of fictional character Nina Fortner/Anna Liebert in the anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 series, Monster
A monster is any fictional creature, usually found in legends or horror fiction, that is somewhat hideous and may produce physical harm or mental fear by either its appearance or its actions...

, by Naoki Urasawa
Naoki Urasawa
is a Japanese manga artist.-Early life:He graduated from Meisei University with a degree in economics. In 2008, Urasawa had a guest teaching post at Nagoya Zokei University, where he taught classes on manga.-Manga career:...


Notable inhabitants

  • Jose Rizal
    José Rizal
    José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

     , National Hero of the Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

  • Muhammad Iqbal
    Muhammad Iqbal
    Sir Muhammad Iqbal , commonly referred to as Allama Iqbal , was a poet and philosopher born in Sialkot, then in the Punjab Province of British India, now in Pakistan...

     (1877-1938), Poet
    A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

    , Philosopher, national poet of Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

  • Antje Duvekot
    Antje Duvekot
    Antje Duvekot is a singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Somerville, Massachusetts. holds three top songwriting awards, including the Kerrville New Folk Competition's Best New Folk Award, Boston Music Award for Outstanding Folk Act and Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting...

     (*1976), singer-songwriter
    Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

  • Hans-Georg Gadamer
    Hans-Georg Gadamer
    Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method .-Life:...

     (1900–2002), philosopher
  • Michael Fassbender
    Michael Fassbender
    Michael Fassbender is an Irish-German actor. He is best known for playing Lt. Archie Hicox in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and Magneto in the superhero blockbuster X-Men: First Class...

     (*1977), actor
    An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

  • Ian Harding
    Ian Harding
    Ian M. Harding is an American actor.Harding was born in Heidelberg, Germany to a military family. His family moved to Virginia a few years later, where he joined the drama club at his high school, Georgetown Preparatory School. He was elected by his class to give the commencement address...

     (*1986), actor
    An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

  • Harald zur Hausen
    Harald zur Hausen
    Harald zur Hausen is a German virologist and professor emeritus. He has done research on cancer of the cervix, where he discovered the role of papilloma viruses, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008.-Biography:Zur Hausen was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, went to...

     (*1936), virologist
    Virology is the study of viruses and virus-like agents: their structure, classification and evolution, their ways to infect and exploit cells for virus reproduction, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their use in research and therapy...

    , Nobel Laureate
    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the field of life science and medicine. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in his will...

  • Dietmar Hopp
    Dietmar Hopp
    Dietmar Hopp is a German software entrepreneur. He was one of the founders of SAP AG in 1972 with other former IBM employees Hans Werner Hector, Klaus Tschira, Claus Wellenreuther and Hasso Plattner...

     (*1940), software entrepreneur
    An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

  • Paul Kirchhof
    Paul Kirchhof
    Paul Kirchhof is a German jurist and tax law expert. He is also a professor of law, member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and a former judge in the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany , the highest court in Germany.Kirchhof obtained a doctorate at the early age of 25 having...

     (*1943), former Judge
    A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

     in the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
    Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
    The Federal Constitutional Court is a special court established by the Grundgesetz, the German basic law...

  • Karl A. Lamers
    Karl A. Lamers
    Karl A. Lamers in Duisburg is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union , currently serving as Deputy Chairman of the Defence Committee of the German Parliament and as President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly....

     (*1951), politician
    A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

    , President
    A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

     of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
    NATO Parliamentary Assembly
    Founded in 1955, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly serves as the consultative interparliamentary organisation for the North Atlantic Alliance. Its current President is Karl A...

  • Ananda Mahidol
    Ananda Mahidol
    Ananda Mahidol was the eighth monarch of Thailand under the House of Chakri. At the time he was recognized as king by the National Assembly, in March 1935, he was a nine-year-old boy living in Switzerland. He returned to Thailand in December 1945. Six months later, in June 1946, he was found shot...

     (1925–1946), King of Thailand
  • Heinrich Neal
    Heinrich Neal
    Heinrich Neal was a German Capellmeister at Heidelberg, born to the artist David Dalhoff Neal and Marie Ainmiller, and brother to dramatist Maximilian Dalhoff Neal...

     (1870–1940), composer
    A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

    , directed the Heidelberg Conservatory of Music.
  • Christiane Schmidtmer
    Christiane Schmidtmer
    Christiane Schmidtmer was a German actress, fashion model and nude model of the 1960s and 1970s.-Early life:Christiane Schmidtmer was born in Mannheim, Germany to Gertrud and Jakob Schmidtmer on Christmas Eve 1939...

     (1939–2003), Hollywood actress and model
    Model (person)
    A model , sometimes called a mannequin, is a person who is employed to display, advertise and promote commercial products or to serve as a subject of works of art....

  • Klaus Schütz
    Klaus Schütz
    Klaus Schütz is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party .-Biography:He was Mayor of West Berlin from 1967 to 1977, serving as President of the Bundesrat in 1967/68. After his resignation he worked as German Ambassador to Israel until 1981 and Director General of the Deutsche Welle...

     (*1926), politician
    A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

  • Silvia Renate Sommerlath (*1943), Queen of Sweden
  • Albert Speer
    Albert Speer
    Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office...

     (1905–1981), German architect and Third Reich minister
  • Petar Beron
    Petar Beron
    Dr. Petar Beron was a famous Bulgarian educator. He created the first modern Bulgarian primer, erroneously called the Fish Primer because of the dolphin drawn in the end of the book .-Biography:Petar Beron was born around 1800, probably in 1799, in the town of Kotel in a rich family...

     (1799-1871), Bulgarian educator
  • Vasil Radoslavov
    Vasil Radoslavov
    Vasil Radoslavov was a leading Bulgarian liberal politician who twice served as Prime Minister. He was Premier of the country throughout most of World War I....

     (1854-1929), Bulgarian Prime Minister

Notable people who died in Heidelberg

  • Robert Bunsen
    Robert Bunsen
    Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen was a German chemist. He investigated emission spectra of heated elements, and discovered caesium and rubidium with Gustav Kirchhoff. Bunsen developed several gas-analytical methods, was a pioneer in photochemistry, and did early work in the field of organoarsenic...

     (16 August 1899), chemist
    A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

  • Felix Heinrich Wankel (9 October 1988), mechanical engineer and inventor


See also

  • Heidelberg Center for American Studies
    Heidelberg Center for American Studies
    The University of Heidelberg's Heidelberg Center for American Studies is an interdisciplinary institute for higher education, a center for advanced research, and a forum for public debate on topics related to the United States of America...

  • Heidelberg University (Ohio)
  • Schiller International University
    Schiller International University
    Schiller International University is a private American university with its main campus and administrative headquarters in Largo, Florida. It has campuses on two continents in five countries, each offering its own unique experiences to students: Largo; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Heidelberg,...

External links

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