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“Pic of the Week”. March 01, 2013. Dusk in Heidelberg, Germany

2013-009-March  01

One of many tragedies of war is that a country’s history and heritage are badly damaged, even destroyed.  Many of Europe’s cities were extensively ravaged by bombing and shelling in World Wars I and II, which is especially true of Germany.  These injured cities throughout Europe have been rebuilt but their historic charm is largely lost.

The beautiful small city of Heidelberg fortunately was spared the damage of the great wars because it was a university town without a manufacturing base, so it was not attacked.  It’s a beautiful city of about 150,000, still with a famous university, that I’ve had the privilege of visiting twice.  To gain the view seen in this photo I had to hike a while on the opposite bank of the River Neckar, on the Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s walk).  The old city is dominated by Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle) sitting on a hill to the left (the castle has a fascinating pharmacy museum worth seeing, in addition to the usual old castle stuff).  The Altstadt (old city) is accessed through the gate by the old bridge at the center of the photo.  The tower of the Gothic Heilligeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit) dominates the town.  Heidelberg is a lovely place to stroll through!  You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you visit.

(Click on thumbnail to enlarge)

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2 Responses to “Pic of the Week”. March 01, 2013. Dusk in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Paul Heymont says:

    Great Picture!

    I lived in Heidelberg 1959-61 as a military dependent, and ranged out of the “golden ghetto” as much and often as I could. The Philosophenweg (and a small tavern below it) were favored haunts with my friends.

    Worth mentioning that while Heidelberg escaped damage in World War II, it was not immune to war; the Castle was burned by French troops in the 1680s, in the dynastic wars that ranged across large parts of Europe at the time; the event is celebrated(?) each summer by fireworks shows that give the impression that it is burning again.

    And one note on the Heiliggeistkirche: It’s Lutheran now, but from about 1700 until 1936 it was partitioned down the length of the nave so that it could serve both Protestants and Catholics.

    • Dr. Fumblefinger says:

      Thanks for the detailed and helpful comments, Paul. It would have been a cool town to hang out for a few years.