Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg is a college town located just south of Frankfurt and is 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.  We start our visit with a tour of the castle.

 Castle buildings

A terrace in the castle provides great views of Heidelberg city below.

View from the castle

Descending into the castle cellar, we view the humongous wine cask (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).  There is also a dance floor constructed on top of the barrel.

 Wine storage

Dance floor on top of wine cask

We wander back out through the castle, watching a crew set up a stage for a forthcoming concert in one of the courtyards.

 Castle structures, stage installation

Descending into Heidelberg, we stroll the streets of the city to see what we can find.

 Streets of Heidelberg

 We wander into a small church, Jesuitenkirche, with lots of great whimsical sculptures integrated into the interior and exterior gardens of the building.

 Jesuitenkirche art

A few blocks away, we find the Christmas store, full of great ornaments and other decorations for the holidays to come later in the year.

 Christmas store

Soon it's time to return to our ship and continue up the Rhine, passing charming little towns, great small parks, ships travelling up and down the river, and people out on the banks of the river enjoying the day.

 Cruising up the Rhine

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