Why I Adore Heidelberg, Germany: Celebrating Ten Years in the Loveliest of Cities…

‘Ich hab’ mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.’ So goes a line from Raimund’s musical comedy of the same name. For the past ten years, I too have lost my heart in Heidelberg. What do I love most about this graceful city on the Neckar River? Here are but just a few reasons why I adore Heidelberg:

-Cobblestone lanes that gobble up the heels of a lady’s shoes – at least once during every stay in the charming city.

-Her shrimp-colored sunsets.

-The symphony of her Altstadt church bells which sing on every hour, but most joyously at 11 o’clock on Sunday mornings.

-The way she comes alive each spring with appearances of daffodils, tulips and cherry blossoms in the most unexpected of places.

-The ability to tell time by peering out our living room window to see the glimmering hands of the clock on St. Peterskirche’s copper steeple.

-The manner in which her buildings and flora are dressed in a confectioner’s-like sugar snow – at least twice during each winter.

-Parades on the Hauptstrasse: the appearance of men in vibrant medieval costumes proudly twirling flags with the city’s lion emblem emblazoned on them.

-The clouds that mysteriously roll in on grey mornings, caught between the Heiligenberg and Königstuhl mountains.

-The rainbows that often flourish in the azure-blue sky over her majestic castle on stormy summer days.

-Neighborhood children filing along in charming Hauptstrasse processions carrying homemade lanterns or pretzel-clad, spring-welcoming wands in tow (St. Martin’s Day & Sommertagsfest).

-Window boxes overflowing with geraniums, peonies and pansies.

-All the street artists passionately performing on Theaterplatz, the square below our fifth-floor apartment: flame throwers, Bohemian folk vocalists, singers with soul and harmonicas, the cellist who plays ‘The Swan’, steel drummers, jugglers, children giving their first public performance on a recorder…

-Studentenkuß chocolates, delicate pastries and Gummibärchen treats to sweeten any day.

-Building-sides cloaked in veils of deep-green ivy.

-The rowers’ chant – audible from our bedroom window – as they power their sleek boats on the Neckar River.

-Her graceful Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Buildings and iron fences with a touch of whimsy, flair and elegance.

-Walking on her trees’ crunchy leaves on the grounds of her imposing castle… Seeing the silhouette of these grand trees gracefully reaching out over the castle walkways.

-The image of her sky aglow with fireworks during Castle Illuminations, New Year’s Eve and private castle engagements.

-Swallows that dance in the sky high above her red-clay rooftops.

-Reaching her forested hills in a matter of moments so as to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Yet, once among her evergreens and Sequoias, still being able to hear the street artists and church bells in the magical city below… This epitomizes ‘the best of both worlds’.

Have you also ‘lost your heart in Heidelberg’? What are your favorite spots in this lovely German city? 

Where in the World?

 

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24 Comments on “Why I Adore Heidelberg, Germany: Celebrating Ten Years in the Loveliest of Cities…

  1. Some very fine reasons to love Heidelberg! Ten years is a very long time, I am glad you made the best out of it and the city will always be worth coming back to. I myself am thinking about settling there when I’ve had enough of traveling and exploring other parts of the world….
    Love your pictures from the forest!! You seem to have lived right in the Altstadt, what a hustle and bustle! I was in Rohrbach and Kirchheim, so a bit away but still close enough to get to the Alstadt comfortably…
    Wish you a successfull sabbatical!

    • Laura, thanks for your well wishes and kind comments. Yes, we live in the Altstadt, and like you, I once lived in Rohrbach. I love the quaint, main street there (the name escapes me). I’ll be posting an article on hiking in Heidelberg’s forest in the coming days, so keep posted! Wishing you extensive globetrotting, and perhaps some day our paths will cross in Heidelberg!

    • :-) And I thought that during my sabbatical, I’d have tons of time to document all the adventures… It’s a challenge to find writing time when so many new ones await – just on the other side of your guest house’s courtyard!

  2. good work in both aspects, writing and shooting! Heidelberg is one of a kind! Have you ever been walking on some rooftops in Heidelberg Altstadt?If not, Do it! (if you need a possibility, get in contact :D)

    best,

    patrick

    • Greetings, Patrick – many thanks for your thoughtful comments and the offer to explore Heidelberg from a new perspective! I’ve technically moved away from HD, but am back to Germany (Bavaria) visiting at the moment. I would love to get some birds’ eye views of Heidelberg, though. I did a post from the Heiliggeistkirche platform last fall – what other fun spots can you recommend? :)

      • private spots, but you will get access, if you know the right persons :D. One is the rooftop of the wonderful palais rischer, located in the untere straße 11.

      • That sounds like a fabulous perch! Wish we could be in Heidelberg today, as I bet it’s a splendid day for snapping. Hopefully in the coming weeks… Enjoy the weekend, Patrick!

  3. Those are some wonderful reasons.. beautiful images, you’ve convinced me to go :)

    • JW, thanks for your kind words! I’m happy to have recruited another visitor to beautiful Heidelberg – when you make it there, feel free to drop me a line with any questions. And, via your writings & pics, I see you’ve been to China. That’s a spot that we’re really hoping to make it to soon. How long did you spend there?

      • Thanks Tricia! China’s lovely. I’ve been here for over a month now and am leaving in a week. Not nearly enough time but I saw a good chunk. I’d recommend southern and SW China (Yunnan/Sichuan) and Shanhai/Suzhou/Nanjing were highlights from Eastern China. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask!

      • Savor your last days then! Thanks very much for the pointers about where to go. We were in Asia for 5 months and just left India. We decided that instead of cramming in another country, it was best to enjoy China on a future trip. Did you get your visa at home or on the road?

      • Good thinking. I got my visa through a service back in the states because I wasn’t close enough to an embassy to do it on my own. I’ve heard a lot of different stories about people having trouble with their visas and allotted time, so in China’s case I’d take care of that ahead of time. But I’m sure some places are no trouble if you do your research. Good luck.

      • Thanks for the visa pointers. We got a few of ours (India, Vietnam) while on our Asian trip, but since I’ve been living overseas for the past decade, I wondered how it differed getting it Stateside or on the road.

        Enjoy your travels – how I miss Asia right now!

  4. We visited Heidelberg last June – it was so beautiful I wanted to stay longer. Thanks for all the gorgeous photos. They brought back such lovely memories.

    • Carol, I understand why! :) Did you have a favorite spot or two? I really enjoy strolling along the Philosophers’ Walk and the castle courtyard in the morning.

      Hope you’re having a super weekend; thanks again for dropping in!

  5. As you know, I have travelled a bit, but I have never been to Heidelberg! Shame on me. Mind you, after perusing this delightful post, I feel as though I’ve been there, in a way. I can see why you love it so.

    • Seeing the lovely subjects you photograph, I definitely think you’d take a liking to its charms. We just paid Heidelberg a visit the other day. It was a rather teary departure for me, since I’m not sure when we’ll next return. The city holds such a special place in my heart, and a plethora of memories.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog! We just got back from a Rhine River cruise where we got a chance to spend a nice afternoon in Heidelberg. My wife and I split up on this excursion: she went shopping in the Old Town while I toured the castle ruins on top of the hill. We both enjoyed ourselves.

    • Crowcanyonjournal, my pleasure! I’m not surprised that you had a lovely time in Heidelberg – I miss it so! My husband and I had a winter wedding in that castle, and I’ve spent many afternoons buying sweet treats and other fun items on the Hauptstrasse, where your wife probably shopped. Did you know that Mark Twain once stayed in a hotel not far from the castle? I believe it’s just been recently renovated into luxury condominiums.

      A pleasure to connect & until next time! :)

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