Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Heidelberg Castle

I got some really great recommendations on places to take quick day trips while we're here and one of them was Heidelberg Castle, or Heidelberger Schloss in German (schloss is German for castle).  Since hardly anything is open on Sundays, that makes them the perfect days to visit castles and museums since they are open almost every single day of the year.  This past Sunday, we decided to head to Heidelberg to check out the castle since it was going to be a gorgeous day.  It's only an hour drive from where we live, so we left in the morning and were back home by mid-afternoon.

Heidelberg Castle is a famous German ruin. The castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries. The earliest castle structure was built before AD 1214 and later expanded into 2 castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt destroyed some rebuilt sections.  Geez, talk about the odds of lightening striking twice.

 This is a picture of Heidelberg Castle and its grounds in 1650 before the fires and wars.

We drove up the windy hillside and parked in the lot situated above the castle, so we got to walk down through the courtyard on our way to the castle.

 Andy and Brady peeking down to the cool tunnel in the courtyard wall.

 Our first view of the castle on our approach through the courtyard.

Starting to view some of the "ruined" portions of the castle.

Andy was just blown away by the fact that a whole side of a brick wall had just sheered off in a war attack.

 We got our tickets to go inside and this is the clock tower passage, leading to the castle square.

 A look down inside the castle walls.

 Inside the castle square.

 Of course, Brady loves anything that has anything to do with water, so he was instantly drawn to the small fountain inside the castle square.

Once he was out of his stroller, all he wanted to do was walk.  He was really fascinated by the bricks on the ground and would stomp his feet.

 We walked through an arched passageway in the castle square that lead us out to the balcony and this is the view of the front of the castle that can been seen up high on the hill from the city below.

 A view of the town below.

 An unfinished rebuild.

We went down into the basement and they had some pretty impressive stores for wine or beer (I'm sure since we're in Germany it was beer).

 Our view on the way back to the car.

The fountain in the courtyard.

This was only the first of many castles we have plans to visit and the only ruin on the list.  I can't wait to explore more of the "fairytale" types of castles.

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