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Heidelberg Offers Visitors a Window to the Past

October 20, 2011 - 2:25am
Heidelberg Offers Visitors A Window To The Past
Located in southwestern Germany, Heidelberg has long captivated tourists with its beautiful cityscape and romantic atmosphere. Sitting on the banks of the River Neckar, the small city of 145,000 has an old world charm that makes it a popular stop on affordable European tours.

The most well-known landmark in the city is undoubtedly Heidelberg Castle. Sitting about halfway up the Königstuhl hillside, the enormous ruins date back to the 12th century. However, a lightning bolt destroyed much of the original building in 1537 and it had to be rebuilt. Still, what stands before visitors today is one of the most recognizable icons of the city.

Another highlight of Heidelberg is its quaint Old Town section. The neighborhood is located directly below the castle and is home to many buildings from the city's older days, one of which is the Church of the Holy Spirit. Many people believe the building dates as far back as 1239, but its towering steeple still looms over the neighborhood.

Also located in the Old Town neighborhood is the Karls' Gate. Completed in 1781, the monument was built in honor of Prince Elector Karl Theodor, a popular member of Bavarian royalty remembered for his love of arts and sciences. 

Travelers who are looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of bigger cities, but still want excitement, romance and history, may want to set their sights on Heidelberg as their next destination.