Heidelberg is a city in
of 2008, over 145,000 people (about 10% of which are US citizens)
live within the city's area. Heidelberg is a unitary authority
. The Rhein-Neckar-Kreis rural district surrounds and has its seat in the
city, but the city itself does not form a part of it.
lies on the river Neckar at the point
where it leaves its narrow, steep valley in the Odenwald to flow into
the Rhine valley where, northwest of Heidelberg, it joins the river
Rhine at Mannheim.
Heidelberg is part of a densely populated region known as the
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Approximately 1,000,000 years ago, the
"Heidelberg Man", whose
jaw-bone was discovered in 1907, the earliest evidence of human
life in Europe, died at nearby Mauer.
In the 5th century BC there was a Celtic
fortress of refuge and place of worship on the
, 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 (permanent camps) and a signalling tower on the
bank of the Neckar and built a
bridge with wooden top on stone pillars across the river
The first civilian settlements would develop under
the protection of the camp. The Romans remained until 260 AD, when
the camp was conquered by German tribes.
Modern Heidelberg can trace its beginnings to the 5th century when
the village Bergheim
("Mountain Home") is first mentioned
in documents dated to 769 AD. Bergheim
now lies in the
middle of modern Heidelberg.
In 863 AD
the monastery of St. Michael was founded on the
Heiligenberg inside the double rampart of the Celtic
fortress, and around 1130 the Neuberg Monastery was founded in the
Neckar valley. At the same time the bishopric of Worms extended its influence into the valley, founding
Abbey in 1142.
Modern Heidelberg can trace its
roots to this monastery.
In 1155, Heidelberg castle and its neighbouring settlement are
taken over by the house of Hohenstaufen
, and Conrad of Hohenstaufen
"Count Palatine of the
" ( ).
In 1195, the Palatinate passed to the House of Welf
reference to Heidelberg can be found in a document in Sch√∂nau
Abbey dated to 1196.
This is considered the
founding date for Heidelberg.
In 1225, Louis I, Duke of
obtained the Palatinate, and thus also the castle,
which is mentioned in a document.
In 1303, two castles are mentioned; the one located further up the
mountain was destroyed in a gunpowder explosion in 1537. The palace
of today was then built at the site of the lower castle.In 1356,
the Counts Palatine were granted far-reaching rights in the
in addition to
the University of
Heidelberg was founded by Rupert I, Elector
The University 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
was received in Heidelberg, to defend them.
The siege of Heidelberg 1622
In 1620, the royal crown of Bohemia was offered to the Elector,
, eldest daughter
of James VI of Scotland
became known as the "winter king", as he only reigned for one
winter until the Imperial house of
regained the crown by force. This marked the beginning
of the Thirty Years' War
In 1622, after a siege of two months, the armies of the Catholic League
, commanded by
Johann Tserclaes, Count
, captured Heidelberg. He gave the famous Bibliotheca Palatina
Church of the Holy Ghost 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
, was able to recover his titles and lands.
In order to strengthen his dynastic power, he married his daughter
Philip I, Duke of
, the brother of Louis
, king of France. In 1685, after the death of Charles Louis'
son Elector Charles II
Louis XIV laid claim to his sister in law's inheritance. The claim
was rejected, and war
ensued. In 1689, city and castle were both taken by French troops,
who brought about an almost total destruction in 1693.
religious conflicts with the citizens of Heidelberg caused the
III Philip to transfer his residence to nearby Mannheim, where it remained until the Elector Charles Theodore became
Elector of Bavaria in 1777 and
established his court in Munich.
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.Heidelberg fell to
the Grand Duchy
of Baden in the year 1803. Charles Frederick, Grand
Duke of Baden
re-founded the University, named "Ruperto-Carola"
after its two founders. Notable scholars soon earned it a
reputation as a "royal residence of the intellect".
In 1810, the French
began with the preservation of the palace
and the establishment of a historical
In the 18th century, the city was rebuilt in Baroque style on the
old Gothic layout.
In 1815, the Emperor of Austria, the Emperor of Russia and the King
of Prussia formed the "Holy Alliance" in Heidelberg.
In 1848, it was decided to have a German National Assembly in
Heidelberg. In 1849, during the Palatinate-Baden rebellion,
Heidelberg was the headquarters of a revolutionary army which was
defeated by a Prussian army near Waghaeusel. Until 1850, the city
was occupied by Prussian troops.
Between 1920 and 1933, the University of Heidelberg's reputation
was enhanced by a number of notable physicians (Czerny, Erb, Krehl)
and humanists (Rohde, Weber, Gundolf).
Nazi and post-war era
During the Nazi regime (1933‚Äď1945), Heidelberg was a stronghold of
, which was the strongest party in
the elections before 1933. The NSDAP received approximately 50% of
the votes in the last free elections before WWII.
Non-Aryan university staff were discriminated against, and by 1939,
the University had "lost" one third of its staff due to racial and
During the Kristallnacht
on 9 November
1938, Nazis burned down synagogues at two locations in the city.
day systematic deportation of Jews started, and 150 Jews were sent
to the Dachau
concentration camp. On 22 October 1940 during the "Wagner
Buerckel event", 6000 local Jews, including 280 from Heidelberg,
were deported to a concentration camp in France, Camp Gurs.
1934 and 1935, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (State labor service) and
enthusiastic University of Heidelberg students built a huge
amphitheatre, called "Thingst√§tte", located on the
Heiligenberg north of the old part of Heidelberg for Nazi
(NSDAP) and SS
A few months later, the inauguration for a huge
memorial cemetery (Ehrenfriedhof
completed the second and last NSDAP project in Heidelberg. This
cemetery is located on the southern side of the old part of town, a
little south of the K√∂nigstuhl
hilltop. During WWII and after Wehrmacht soldiers were also buried
on the premises. The U.S. Army used the "Thingsst√§tte" for cultural
and religious events starting in the late 1940s and civilian use
started in the early to mid 1980s for occasional concerts and other
cultural events. Today, especially the celebrations on "Hexennacht"
(Witches' Night, also called Walpurgis
), the night from 30 April to 1 May, are a regular
"underground" fixture at the Thingst√§tte. Thousands of mostly young
people spontaneously congregate there to drum, to fire breathe and
to juggle. The event has gained fame throughout the region, as well
as a certain notoriety due to the amount of rubbish left
On 29 March 1945, the Wehrmacht
city after destroying three arches of the old bridge, Heidelberg's
treasured river crossing, as well as the other more modern bridge
crossing a little further downstream. The blown up bridges proved
no obstacle for the U.S. Army forces (3rd Infantry, 7th Army),
which entered Heidelberg on 30 March 1945. Heidelberg was handed
over without any resistance by the civilian population.
It has been theorized by some that Heidelberg escaped bombing in
the Second World War because the U.S. Army wanted to use the city
as a garrison after the war. In fact, as Heidelberg was neither an
industrial center nor a transport hub, there was felt to be nothing
worth bombing in Heidelberg. Being an old renowned university town
probably contributed as well, as other such towns like T√ľbingen and G√∂ttingen were spared as well. Instead, allied air
raids focused extensively on the nearby industrial cities of
Mannheim and Ludwigshafen.
It's more likely Heidelberg was chosen by the U.S. Army due to its
excellent infrastructure, state-of-the-art Autobahn
Heidelberg-Mannheim, connecting to the Autobahn
Mannheim-Darmstadt-Frankfurt and the U.S. Army installations in
Mannheim and Frankfurt.
The still intact railroad infrastructure
was even more important in the late 1940s and early 1950s, since
most heavy loads were still shuttled by train, not by truck.
Additionally, Heidelberg offered the untouched "Grossdeutschland Kaserne
installation, which became the Campbell Barracks
In 1945, the University re-opened at the initiative of surgeon Karl
Heinrich Bauer and philosopher Karl Jaspers.
On 9 December 1945, US Army General George S. Patton
had a car accident in the adjacent city of
Mannheim and died in the Heidelberg US Army hospital on 21 December
funeral ceremony was held at the Heidelberg-Weststadt Christ Church
(Christuskirche) and he was later buried at the 3rd Army cemetery
in Luxembourg. 
Heidelberg experiences an oceanic
climate classification Cfb
The old town
old town ( ), located at the southern side of the Neckar, is long and
narrow and is dominated by the ruins of the Heidelberg
Castle which perches 80 metres above the Neckar on the
steep, wooded side of the K√∂nigstuhl ( ) hill.
The Karls¬īgate (Karlstor) is a
triumphal arch in honour of the Prince Elector Karl Theodor,
located at Heidelberg's very east. It was erected from 1775 until
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
. It is named after the sculpture at
The "Marstall" was an arsenal of the Heidelberg Castle in which
several different goods were stored. The 19th century building we
see today was created in a neo-classical style. Since 1971, the
"Marstall" has housed lecture halls of the university.
The old bridge is a stone bridge which was erected from 1786 to
1788. There is a medieval bridge gate on the side of the old town,
originally part of its town wall. Baroque tower helmets were added
as part of the erection of the stone bridge in 1788.
The castle is a mix of styles from Gothic
.Prince Elector Ruprecht
III (1398‚Äď1410) erected the first representative building in the
inner courtyard as a regal residence. The building was divided into
a ground floor made of stone and framework upper levels. Another
regal building is located opposite to the Ruprecht Building: The
Fountain Hall. Prince Elector Philipp (1476‚Äď1508) is said to have
arranged the transfer of the hall's columns from a decayed palace
In the 16th and 17th century the Prince Electors added two
representative 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‚Äď1559) and Friedrich IV (1583‚Äď1610). Under Friedrich V
(1613‚Äď1619), the main building of the westside 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). When Prince
Elector Karl Theodor who resided in Schwetzingen tried to restore
the castle, lightning struck the Castle in 1764 and ended all
attempts at rebuilding. Later on, the castle was misused as a
quarry - castle stones helped to build new houses in Heidelberg.
This was stopped in 1800 by Count Charles de Graimberg who made any
effort he could to preserve the Heidelberg Castle. In spite of its
Gothic interior, it was not before 1934, that the King's Hall was
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
Bergbahn funicular railway runs
from Heidelberg's Kornmakt to the summit of the K√∂nigstuhl via the
[[File:View on the old Heidelberg.jpg|thumb|center|650px|View from
the so called "Philosophers' Walk"( ) towards the Old Town, with Heidelberg
Castle, Heiliggeist Church and the Old
northern side of the Neckar, the
Heiligenberg with the remains of the celtic fortress and the
Philosophers' Walk ( ) is located.
This Walk derives its
name from the fact that Heidelberg's philosophers and university
teachers are said to have once walked and talked here. It shows
excellent views of the old town and castle.
University of Heidelberg
Heidelberg is home to one of Europe's oldest educational institutes, the
Ruprecht Karls University founded in 1386, more commonly
known as the University of Heidelberg.
Old university hall
Among the prominent thinkers associated
with the university over the centuries are Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
, Hans-Georg Gadamer
, J√ľrgen Habermas
, Karl-Otto Apel
and Hannah Arendt
, who invented the bicycle
was a student there. At the University of Heidelberg, chemists
Posselt and Reimann discovered that nicotine
was the main pharmacologically
active component of
. In 1860, Robert Bunsen
discovered spectrum analysis
here. Despite this long
legacy of academic excellence, the University of Heidelberg was the
first to expel all its Jewish
professors and students when the Nazis
Molecular Biology Laboratory
, European Molecular
, the German Cancer Research Center
,Max Planck Institute
for Medical Research, Max Planck
Institute for Astronomy, Max
Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Institute for
Comparative Public Law and International Law, and Botanischer Garten der Universit√§t
Heidelberg (university botanical
garden) are located in Heidelberg.
Robert Wilhelm Bunsen
, Wolfgang Ketterle
, Georg Wittig
(all except Robert Bunsen were winners of the Nobel
Church of the Holy Spirit:
This church is shared
between Protestant and Catholics and is one of the few buildings in
Heidelberg to survive the many wars during the past centuries,
being rebuilt after the French set fire to it in 1709 during the
War of the Palatinian
. The church also has remains of the tombs and
epitaphs of the past Palatinate electors. This Church stands
reverently in the Marktplatz. In 1720, Karl III Philip, Elector
Palatine came into conflict with the town's Protestants as a result
of fully handing over the Church of the Holy Spirit to the
Catholics (it had previously been split by a partition and used by
both congregations). Prince Karl III Philip gave way, due to
pressure for Prussia, Holland, and Sweden and repartitioned the
wall. In 1936 the separating wall was removed and the church is now
Church of the Jesuit's:
Construction of the Church
of the Jesuit's (Catholic) began in 1712, and was only completed
with the addition of a Bell tower from 1866 - 1872. The church is
also home to the Museum f√ľr sakrale Kunst und Liturgie or Museum of
This church (Protestant
Evangelical) was built from 1659 to 1661. The Prince Elector of the
Palatinate Karl Ludwig also gave it its name, which means ‚ÄúGod will
ensure.‚ÄĚ The church was destroyed in 1693 from war, but was rebuilt
in 1700. The north tower was added in 1717, and in the late 1800‚Äôs,
the interior was redecorated in a neo-renaissance style. The oldest
organ in Heidelberg was also built in this church by organ builder
St. Peter's Church:
St. Peter's Church (Lutheran)
is the oldest church in Heidelberg, and was built sometime during
the 12th century, although there is no exact documentation as to
Church of the Redeemer:
The "Erloeserkirche" is a
former Dominican Convent chapel, completed in 1724. Between the mid
19th century and 1914 it was used for worship by the English
community in Heidelberg. In 1936 it became the parish church of the
Old Catholics, who since 1971 have shared it with an Anglican
Romanticism of Heidelberg
Heidelberg was the center of the epoch of "Romantik" (Romanticism
) in Germany. There was a famous
circle of poets such as Joseph
, Joseph von
, Arnim, and Clemens
. A famous relic of Romanticism is the Philosophers'
Walk ( ), a scenic walking path on the nearby Heiligenberg,
The "Romantik" epoch of German philosophy and literature, was
described as a movement against classical and realistic theories of
literature, an antipole to the rationality of the Age of Enlightenment
. It elevated
medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be from
the medieval period as well as folk art, nature and an epistemology
based on nature, which included human activity conditioned by
nature in the form of language, custom and usage.
City districts of Heidelberg
Heidelberg consists of fourteen districts which are distributed in
six sectors of the city. In the central area of the city are
Altstadt, Bergheim, and Weststadt.
In north Heidelberg are
Neuenheim and Handschuhsheim. In the east are Ziegelhausen and Schlierbach. In the south are
S√ľdstadt, Rohrbach, Emmertsgrund, and Boxberg and in the
southwest is Kirchheim.
In the west are Bahnstadt, Pfaffengrund, and Wieblingen.
A new city district, tentatively named "Bahnstadt", is planned on
land located within Weststadt and Wieblingen. The new district will
have approximately 5,000-6,000 residents and employment for
In 2004, 81.8% of all 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 increase the attraction. In spring, the "Heidelberger
Fr√ľhling" Classic Music Festival and the international easter egg
market are conducted.In July and August there is a "Heidelberger
Castle Festival" (Student Prince
and others)On the first Saturday in June and September, and the 2nd
Saturday in July ‚Äď the castle and the old bridge are illuminated
with lights and fireworks.The old town autumn festival in September
includes a Medieval Market with 40 booths, an arts and crafts
market, a flea market and music from Samba to Rock.During advent
there is a Christmas market throughout the oldest part of the city.
A famous chocolate is called Heidelberger Studentenkuss (Heidelberg
Heidelberg is located on five tourist roads: M√§rchenstrasse
, Bertha Benz Memorial Route
, and Stra√üe der Demokratie
Only 18% of employment is provided by industry. Printing and
publishing are important enterprises, a center of the IT industry
is nearby Walldorf and its' SAP World
Heidelberg with its long Hauptstrasse is a
shopping magnet for the surrounding smaller towns.Noted pen
has its headquarters and its
factory in Heidelberg-Wieblingen. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen
its headquarters there but its factory is loctated in Walldorf.
Soft-drink company Wild-Werke, manufacturer of the Capri-Sonne
in the U.S.) is located in Heidelberg-Kirchheim.
United States military installations
After World War II
, Heidelberg was one
of the few major cities in Germany not significantly damaged by
Allied bombing. Situated in the American
of Germany, Heidelberg became the headquarters of the
American forces in Europe. Several military installations remain,
including Campbell Barracks (the
former Wehrmacht Grossdeutschland-Kaserne) which is where
headquarters for several units are located. including United States
Army, Europe (USAREUR) and NATO's Component
Command-Land Headquarters (Until 2004, designated Joint
Headquarters Centre, and before that, LANDCENT).
Barracks and Mark
Twain Village are both in S√ľdstadt; Patton Barracks is in nearby
Nachrichten Kaserne in Rohrbach is home to the
former Heidelberg Army Hospital, now designated the Heidelberg
Health Center. Patrick-Henry-Village
, the largest
U.S. military housing area in the Heidelberg area, is located west
of Kirchheim. These installations, including Tompkins Barracks
and Kilbourne Kaserne
in nearby Schwetzingen,
plus the Germersheim Depot, make up U.S. Army Garrison
( Link to the U.S. Army Garrison Web
).Tompkins Barracks is home to U.S.
Installation Management Command Europe Region.
U.S. Army Air Field (Heidelberg AAF) has been converted to an
heliport (mostly Blackhawk Helicopters) after the NATO Kosovo
The children of the Department of Defense employees based in
Heidelberg tend to attend US Army operated schools on site rather
than being integrated into German schools, one of them being
Heidelberg Middle School
All told, there are currently four schools of this kind in
Heidelberg. This means that most have very little contact with
local children or the population in general, even more so since
2002 when most installations and Barracks have been fenced and
access is now 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 a
new headquarter for USAREUR in Wiesbaden.
When the move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden
will take place is not yet clear. The new building is scheduled to
be completed by the end of 2012.
- February: "Ball der Vampire" (Ball of the Vampires) Celebrates
Fasching (the German equivalent of Mardis Gras or Carnival) with a
giant vampire-themed costume party at the local castle or city
- March/April: "Heidelberger Fr√ľhling" Classic Music
- April: Half marathon - last weekend
- May: Fr√ľhlingsmesse on the Messplatz
- June, July and September: Heidelberger Schlossbeleuchtung
fireworks display on philosophy's way, the old bridge crossing the
river Neckar below the castle and the castle itself. The 1st
Saturday of June and September and the second Saturday of July are
the annual dates.
- September, each last Saturday: "Old Town Autumn Festival".
- October/November: Heidelberger Theater Days, "Enjoy Jazz",
Stepdance -Festival and Workshops
- November: "International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg"
Heidelberg is one of the centres of German rugby, alongside Hannover.
, four out of nine clubs in
Heidelberg, these being the RG
, SC Neuenheim
, Heidelberger RK
and TSV Handschuhsheim
Heidelberg maintains sister city
relationships (St√§dtepartnerschaft) with the following
- Cambridge, United
Kingdom, since 1957
- Montpellier, France, since
- Rehovot, Israel, since
- Simferopol, Ukraine, since 1991
- Bautzen, Saxony, since
- Kumamoto, Japan, since
Use in popular culture
Heidelberg is the home of a professional Quidditch
team operating within the fictional
Harry Potter universe
described as ‚Äúfiercer than a dragon and twice as clever‚ÄĚ.
File:Karl Theodor, Statue, Heidelberg.JPG|Karl Theodor Statue on
the Bridge.File:2007-09-01 Germany Heidelberg AlteBruecke
Castle and BridgeImage:Heidelberg_Fromcastle_hb.JPG|Heidelberg's
old city centre from the castle
as seen from the bridgeImage:Inside_Heidelberg_Castle.jpg|Interior
courtyard of the castleImage:Heidelberg Seitenstra√üe.jpg|The
"Untere Stra√üe" (lower street), a typical side street in the Old
TownImage:Heidelberg Jesuiten Kirche.jpg|Catholic
JesuitenkircheImage:HD - Alte Br√ľcke - Tor.jpg|"Old Bridge" gate
seen from the bridgeImage:Heidelberg bridge enterence.jpg|The "Old
Bridge" gate seen from the townImage:Heidelberg Monkey.jpg|The
"bridge monkey" next to the
gateImage:Old_Bridge_in_Heidelberg.jpg|The "Old Bridge", seen from
the townImage:Old_Bridge_From_Castle.jpg|The "Old Bridge", seen
from the castleImage:Heidelberg_Bridge_Night.jpg|Heidelberg at
Image:Heidelberg - University Library.jpg|
University LibraryFile:Hotel Ritter - Heidelberg.JPG|Hotel Ritter,
building constructed in 1592
- Steven P. Remy: The Heidelberg Myth: The Nazification and
Denazification of a German
University. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002. 329 P.
ISBN 0-674-00933-9. (History about
Spruchkammerverfahren-whitewashing in the proceedings before Dena.