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Monday, August 22, 2011

World Tour Guides to Heidelberg Castle

World Tour Places: One of the great eyes looking castle is Heidelberg Castle. It is a famous ruin in Germany and landmark of Heidelberg. The castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is located 80 meters (260 ft) up the northern part of the Konigstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. It is served by an intermediate station on the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway that runs from Heidelberg's Kornmarkt to the summit of the Konigstuhl. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt destroyed some rebuilt sections.

Heidelberg was first mentioned in 1196 as Heidelberch. In 1155 Conrad of Hohenstaufen was made the Count Palatine by his half-brother Frederick Barbarossa, and the region became known as the Palatinate. The claim that Conrad's main residence was on the Schlossberg known as the Jettenbuhl, cannot be substantiated. The name Jettenbuhl comes from the soothsayer Jetta, who was said to have lived there. She is also associated with Wolfsbrunnen and the Heidenloch. The first mention of a castle in Heidelberg is in 1214, when Ludwig I received it from Hohenstaufen Emperor Friedrich II. The last mention of a single castle is in 1294. In another document from 1303, two castles are mentioned for the first time:

  1. The upper castle on Kleiner Gaisberg Mountain, near today's Molkenkur (destroyed in 1537);
  2. The lower castle on the Jettenbuhl (the present castle site).

When Rupert III of Germany became the King (Emperor) of Germany in 1401, the castle was so small that on his return from his coronation, he had to camp out in the Augustinians' monastery, on the site of today's University Square. What he desired was more space for his entourage and court and to impress his guests, but also additional defenses to turn the castle into a fortress. In the 20th century, Americans spread Heidelberg reputation outside Europe. Thus, Japanese also often visit the Heidelberg Castle during their trips to Europe. Heidelberg has, at the beginning of the 21st century, more than three million visitors a year and about 1,000,000 overnight stays. Most of the foreign visitors come either from the USA or Japan. The most important attraction, according to surveys by the Geographical Institute of the University of Heidelberg, is the castle with its observation terraces. Some of the visitors fall in love with the town, so they decide to get married at the castle. There are about 100 weddings a year at the castle's chapel.

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