A Guide to ‘Losing Your Heart’ in Heidelberg, Germany, My Home for a Decade

I lost my heart in Heidelberg…so goes a line from a famous German song of the same name (Ich hab’ mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren).

Heidelberg has romantic castle ruins, cobbled riverside walkways, and a gorgeous setting nestled between two leafy mountains. With these charming attributes, it’s no wonder why visitors often “lose their hearts” in this southwestern German city.

I called this fairy tale community home for ten years, so I’m often asked for advice about things to do in Heidelberg. In response, I created this guide for first-timers who want to best enjoy this graceful city on the Neckar River. I’ve covered everything from historic tidbits and tasty eateries to shopping spots and places to soak up the best views.

All recommendations are within walking distance of Heidelberg’s Old Town (Altstadt). The Hauptstrasse (Main Street) is the Old Town’s epicenter.

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Capturing the Colour from East to West

“The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us from the mystic realm of color. Our entire being is nourished by it. This mystic quality of color should likewise find expression in a work of art.” -Hans Hoffman

Two lovely and talented photographers nominated me to submit entries into the Capture the Colour Contest whose entries have been sweeping the world. Thank you, Marina Chetner, and Vielen Dank, Cornelia Weber for your nominations. I’m honored and flattered!

Readers, I encourage you to check out these creative ladies’ websites: Marina Chetner: Be Inspired Through Travel &  Bikram Yoga Musings & Cornelia Weber Photography.

Without further ado, here are my Capture the Colour submissions from Vietnam, Germany, France, and India:

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Love in the Air at the Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle Grounds at Sunset View of Altstadt and Neckar

The Heidelberg Castle grounds are one of my favorite spots to stroll. When I was just a young babe in a Kinderwagen, my mother posed for a now-iconic family photograph at the castle’s main overlook spot (Scheffelterrasse), with me in tow. Twenty years after that shot was snapped, I moved from the United States — back to Germany — into a Heidelberg apartment almost visible among the terracotta roofs in that original photograph.

Realizing my connection to this romantic spot, my husband proposed atop an elegant stone bench nearby several years ago. Later that year, we were married in the castle’s chapel following a Doctor Zhivago-esque snowfall. My teeth still chatter thinking about it, but I’m warmed by the memories of that incredible night.

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

With a golden sun overhead yesterday, 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 the 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.

Snails, Wild Boar & Fairy Tales: Exploring Heidelberg’s Enchanting Forest

The forested hills cradling Heidelberg’s Old Town have been one of my favorite settings in which to explore and escape for the past decade. Before I met my husband, Shawn, I often made the ascent there independently to ponder life goals or jot hand-written letters to family and friends. Sometimes, I’d take friends or my parents along for the serene hike. Now, Shawn and I go there together — whether to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or to commune with nature under the trees’ exquisite canopies.

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