The German city of Heidelberg is perhaps best known for its romantic castle ruins, its highly esteemed university, and its Old Town, which is studded with mostly baroque architecture.
Having lived in Heidelberg for 10 years, the city means additional things to me though.
It’s where I held some of my first real world jobs, where I came to know myself, and where my husband and I were married. The city also served as the backdrop for introductions to new friends, as well as meet-ups with loved ones from back home who made the journey overseas to see me. It was my launching pad for exploring new lands, my window on the world for an entire decade.
I left Heidelberg in 2011, and for six years, I didn’t return “home.” However earlier this month, Shawn and I made a return visit to this special city on the Neckar River.
The autumn leaves were at their peak. My fifth-floor apartment’s exterior walls still wore a raspberry shade of paint. And the castle hadn’t lost its allure.
The sound of car tires rolling on the Old Town’s cobbled lanes was both comforting and familiar. So too was the aroma of beer being made in one of the Heidelberg’s most beloved breweries. There was also the sight of recognizable turrets — even quirky faces — adorning the Old Town’s buildings. It’s funny how all these details came back.
I used to spend hours walking Heidelberg’s historic streets, soaking up the architecture, wondering who had lived inside the classic old buildings over the centuries.
In this collage, I’ve “collected” all types of windows: a ruined Gothic window in the Heidelberg Castle, a red and pink flower-framed one belonging to the city’s town hall (Rathaus), and the gorgeous window that adorns the Renaissance-style Hotel zum Ritter.
Also featured is one of my old windows. It’s no longer the frame through which I view the world. However, I’m glad I had the chance to write a chapter of my own story there.
Where in the World?
- Heidelberg is located about 95 km (60 miles) from the city of Frankfurt.
- For more information about Heidelberg, peruse Heidelberg’s Tourist Information Center.
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.