Ich hab’ mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren, (I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg). So goes a line from a German musical of the same name.
For the past ten years, I have called Heidelberg, Germany home, also falling for this extraordinary place’s charms.
What do I most adore about this graceful city on the Neckar River? Here are just a few things I love about 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 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 over her majestic castle on stormy summer days.
Neighborhood children filing along in charming Hauptstrasse processions carrying homemade lanterns (for St. Martin’s Day) or pretzel-clad, spring-welcoming wands (the 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 humble recorder.
Studentenkuß chocolates, delicate pastries and Gummibärchen treats to sweeten any day.
Walls cloaked in veils of deep-green ivy.
The rowers’ chants — audible from our bedroom window — as they power their sleek boats along 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, and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
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.
Might this epitomize the best of both worlds?
Have you also ‘lost your heart’ in Heidelberg? What are your favorite spots in this German city?
Where in the World?
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.