Heidelberg: for lovers
If you suddenly find yourself more intelligent, it’s because neuronal effervescence is another of its side effects. Not in vain the university, which today is the seat of learning for some 30,000 students, formed the minds of twelve Nobel prizewinners, with distinguished academics and students like Robert Schumann, Gadamer, Brentano, Mandelstam, Hegel, Arendt, Heidegger, Max Weber, Karl Jaspers and Habermas.
But don’t be put off by lists; Heidelberg is a striking city for individuals and couples alike. Here, three million tourists a year find themselves shedding their jaded urbanite energy and miraculously reviving their ability to be amazed. The city’s genuine landscapes are mostly to blame. The legendary postcard shot of the castle, symbolically dominating Königstuhl hill for more than 700 years, has become a cliché of grandeur. There’s also Karl-Theodor-Brücke, the Old Bridge, the perfect viewpoint over the river Neckar, and the squares of Marktplatz and Kornmarkt, which compete to be the city’s favourite sights and in which farmers still sell their produce, just like they did back in the Middle Ages. And all surrounded by the natural wealth of the Odenwald forest mountain range.
If walls could speak
Heidelberg Castle is really a complex of twenty buildings. Made into a monastery in 1100, it was devastated by the French in the 17th century. Today it's still possible to be amazed at the palaces of Ottheinrichsbau (1556) and Friedrichsbau (1592), both of which are German Renaissance architectural treasures.