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One of few places in Europe not touched by World War II, Heidelberg had already risen from the ashes once, after it was burned by Louis XIV in 1691. Most of the buildings in the old town date from that time. The city is the home of Heidelberg University, founded in 1386 and ranked by many as the finest University in Germany and one of the best in the world. At the end of World War II it became the headquarters of United States Army Europe (USAEUR). Wander in the old town at the foot of the hill among 18th- and 19th-century buildings, take the Bergbahn up the hill to explore the ruins of the castle (plan lunch at the Müenpick Castle ...

One of few places in Europe not touched by World War II, Heidelberg had already risen from the ashes once, after it was burned by Louis XIV in 1691. Most of the buildings in the old town date from that time. The city is the home of Heidelberg University, founded in 1386 and ranked by many as the finest University in Germany and one of the best in the world. At the end of World War II it became the headquarters of United States Army Europe (USAEUR). Wander in the old town at the foot of the hill among 18th- and 19th-century buildings, take the Bergbahn up the hill to explore the ruins of the castle (plan lunch at the Müenpick Castle Restaurant) and cross the Neckar River to walk the historic Philosopher’s Way on the other side. Goethe, Jefferson and Mark Twain loved this town. At night try the Jazzhaus HD in a 17th century beer cellar for jazz, rock and blues or Cave 54. Look for the Heidelberger Fröhling music festival late April-May, fireworks from the castle early May, June and July, and Christmas on Ice (Karlsplatz) and the Christmas market late November to Christmas. A two-day Heidelberg Card includes admission to most sites and discounts.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in Southeastern Germany along the Neckar river, in the region of Baden Wurttemberg, an hour south of Frankfurt.
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Come here in spring and fall and for culture, or even in winter. Summer can get crowded.