We head over to Germany to visit cities on the Rhein, starting at Heidelberg, a college town located just south of Frankfurt and the site of Heidelberg University, Germany's oldest university, founded in 1386. The Heidelberg Castle, overlooking the city, is one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. Initially constructed in the 13th century, the castle has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times, suffering from wars, fires, and lightning strikes.
A terrace in the castle provides great views of Heidelberg city below.
Descending into the castle cellar, we view the Heidlebert Tun, the world's largest wine barrel, built from one hundred and thirty oak trees, with an original capacity of 221,26 liters (58,574 US gallons), with a dance floor constructed on top of the barrel.
We wander back out through the castle, heading down into the city proper.
We wander into a small church, Jesuitenkirche, with lots of great whimsical sculptures integrated into the interior and exterior gardens of the building.
A few blocks away, we find a Christmas store, full of great ornaments and other decorations for the holidays to come later in the year.
We've enjoyed our quick exploration of Heidelberg and move to our next Rhein city.