Above the Rooftops of Heidelberg: Views from the Church of the Holy Spirit

With a golden sun overhead, Shawn and I ascended to the Heiliggeistkirche’s platform. I hadn’t made the climb up the 600 year-old Gothic church’s curvy staircase since 2002, so I was pleasantly surprised by the splendid panorama!

On the sandstone perch overlooking Heidelberg’s Altstadt or old town, ladybugs congregated. Swallows soared. The Church of the Holy Spirit’s bells tolled, as if to summon Old Man Winter, who was eagerly waiting in the wings so late into the crimson and gold season.

Autumn was in all her glory yesterday, though – the trees of the hillsides cradling the Altstadt were painted in vibrant fall hues. Crispy leaves danced on the cobblestoned streets below. People soaked up the sun’s warmth at outdoor cafés.

We left the roost feeling very lucky – not only for having mingled with so many ladybugs (they are considered to be a good luck symbol in Germany) but also for having chosen the perfect day for an ascent over such a glorious city!

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

13 thoughts on “Above the Rooftops of Heidelberg: Views from the Church of the Holy Spirit

    1. Vielen Dank & happy you’ll subscribe! I’ve enjoyed your ‘Denglisch’ posts that focus upon Germany’s quirky aspects and it’s great that your wife is such a good sport. I’ve been here for 10+ years, my hubby only one, so he’s regularly shedding light on some of the funnier differences that are probably ingrained in me now. :) From which city is your wife originally?

  1. Wonderful shots of my home city! I live right in the middle of the Old City, not far from the Holy Ghost Church. I travel 5 months a year, but wherever I go and think of Heidelberg, I see exactly what you photographed.

    1. Vielen Dank for your kind comments, Cornelia! I lived just up the street from you (on Theaterplatz/Hauptstrasse) for ten years. Die Welt ist klein. :) How lucky that you get to travel 5 months each year – do you concentrate on just one region? Having just left Heidelberg, my husband have been on sabbatical for the past 4 months. We’re looking forward to seeing Heidelberg again in April, but this time as visitors… I look forward to exploring your images in greater depth!

  2. As my fiance lives in Grand Rapids/Mi I go there 2 months in winter and 3 months in summer. From there we travel a lot within the US and Latin America. We plan to live somewhere in Europe in a few years – maybe in Ireland as he has an Irish background. You are lucky to be in warm Asia! Greetings from rainy Heidelberg!

    1. Cornelia, sounds as though you have the best of both worlds! We have it on our Travel Wish List to next visit Latin America…

      I’m enjoying peeking at your images from Heidelberg, by the way. So nice to see ‘home.’ It doesn’t sound as though it’s changed much – rainy winter days and street artists on Theaterplatz… How I miss Sahara’s food as well as delightful German breads and the Schnitzel Haus’ Käsespätzle.

  3. Oh, I miss the bread when I am in the US!! What I miss here in Heidelberg is the Whole Food Supermarket in Ann Arbor and Amy’s vegan chocolate cake! You will love Latin America! We loved Buenos Aires – it’s very European.

    1. We’ll definitely need to add Buenos Aires to the list then… Can you believe I’ve never been to a Whole Food supermarket? I’ve been in Heidelberg for the past 10 years and have missed out on a lot of American culture, I suppose!

  4. Oh well … I always watch out for such supermarkets – I’ve been a vegetarian nearly all my life and actually more vegan than vegetarian (though I eat cheese), so I love to shop there.

    1. We’re now in India and thrilled by the delightful vegetarian options; it’s certainly a lot easier here to eat veggie than in Germany. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend, Cornelia!

    1. Oh, I miss it so, Judy! I lived in Heidelberg for ten years, and moved away just about a year ago. Do your friends go there for business or pleasure?

      I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to hit my favorite Heidelberg haunts when we visit my parents in Germany next month. How I miss my favorite Schnitzel restaurant, with 100 different varieties (turkey, with an amazing side of Käsespätzle, which are German noodles). The Middle Eastern cuisine at the kebab shops is also delicious – sure to inspire a foodie like you. :)

      1. They actually have family there. Their parents were in the Air Force and loved it so much that they remained there! Thank you for asking : )

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