Heidelberg Castle - photo walk through

The large tower on the right (Dicker Turm) was mined by Louis XIV's army in 1693

It was my good fortune to find myself in Heidelberg for a couple of days and to explore its Thirty Years War and War of the Palatinate history.

Many of the defensive works were repeatedly reconstructed after sieges during the TYW and Nine Years War

The view from the castle down into the town and the Alte Bruecke over the River Neckar which is a Rhine tributary.

The castle towers above the town and is a patchwork of construction from very early medieval through to the 18th century. The most dramatic parts (and the most destroyed) are those associated with the Palatinate war and particularly the year 1693.

This massive tower was destroyed by de Tesse's troops in 1693
Much of the damage to the large round towers and more grand palatial components of the castle stemmed from that time.

Outer walls of the upper castle

Castle within a castle. This is the inner fortress containing most of the 14-18th century buildings

Inner layers of the castle build I think, in the 14th or 15th century

The Stuart Princess's Englischer Bau - now housing an open air theatre in the space

During the early Thirty Years War Heidelberg Castle and town was garrisoned by English troops under the command of the officers Vere, Burroughs and Herbert. It was besieged and stormed by Count Tilly and the Spanish general Cordoba in 1621 when the Palatinate fell to the Imperialists.

Wiki on Heidelberg Castle

Multi level bridge access into the inner court yard. The main gate in the clock tower on the left.

Ruprechtsbau  - the oldest intact building in the castle

Ruprechtsbau  - the oldest intact building in the castle

The Swedes captured it back for the Protestants in 1633 and the Imperialists took in back in 1635.

Inner courtyard from the gate. The building on the left is the oldest surviving. On the right a very, very deep well!
The Wiki entry above is particularly useful in explaining the destruction (still visible) wrought by the French in 1688 and 1693 when they blew the enormous 'fat towers' with mines and set fire to the town.

Glaeserner Saalbau

The mixture of different architectural styles combined with the complex layers of building and fortifications make Heidelberg Castle fascinating. I spent about two hours walking around the open access areas but did not see nearly enough.

John Casimir


Frederick (Pius)

Another Frederick

There is an interesting Scots connection - A Stuart princess, sister of James VI(and I) married the Elector in the early 1600s and one of the grandest apartment wings is called the Englischer Bau (perhaps it should really be the Schottischer Bau!)

16th Century palace - notice the sundial clock

The highest tower of the castle

Face of the palace looking onto Heidelberg town