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Heidelberg and its Castle: Where Gumbo Was (#26)


Gumbo's nostalgic journey, in black and white, took him back to high school days living in Heidelberg, Germany as an Army brat. Heidelberg is one of Germany's most attractive cities, the seat of its oldest university and—by virtue of not having been bombed in World War II—for nearly 70 years, until last year, the headquarters of the U.S. army in Europe.


But its most famous attraction is the huge castle crowning the hill, which suffered heavy war 1683. As GarryRF guessed, the funicular railway in the puzzle picture was near the scene of a famous battle—the seige of the castle. Each summer, huge fireworks displays, visible from along the river, light up the castle as if it were burning again. Good for the tourist trade, turning a disaster into an attraction!


Sadly, only the two monochrome pictures are mine; few of the hundreds of pictures I made in my two years there have survived in usable form. But I'll be back there in 2015 to take some more.


The funicular itself is a popular attraction. It runs, on the route you see in the picture, from a market square in the lower city to a station at the castle (just inside the tunnel you see at the top), and then on to the Molkenkur, partway up the mountain. There are popular picnic grounds and a restaurant there. Then, switching cars, passengers can go on to the Konigstuhl (King's Chair), on the highest point in Heidelberg for spectacular views down into the city and the Neckar Valley.



Funicular car between Castle and Molkenkur




Heidelberg's narrow Hauptstrasse, which in my time was crowded with cars and trams, is now Europe's longest continuous pedestrianized street...but very touristy!



The two towers of the Alte Brucke (Old Bridge) are Heidelberg's signature


The Heiliggeistkirche (Holy Spirit church) appears in these two pictures, taken 50 years apart. There's little change on this side of the river, but a lot has happened on the other side! After the Reformation, by the way, the church was split by a wall down the middle of the nave into Catholic and Lutheran parts; the wall stayed until the 19th century.





Don't forget to check in tomorrow for Where in the World #27--I promise you, it won't be easy...or impossible.


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  • Heidelberg_by_whobee

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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