2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

European River Cruise - Heidelberg and Rudesheim, Germany

Straight from Wikipedia, "Heidelberg Castle ( German: Heidelberger Schloss) is a ruin in Germany and landmark of Heidelberg. The castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps.
The castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is located 80 metres (260 ft) up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. It is served by an intermediate station on the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway that runs from Heidelberg's Kornmarkt to the summit of the Königstuhl.
The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections."
Picture of Schloss Heidelberg from Wikipedia
Straight from Wikipedia, "Frederick V, Elector Palatine married the English king's daughter Elizabeth Stuart. The marriage involved great expense. Expensive festivities were organized and for them; he commissioned the Elizabeth gate at the piece garden be built."  This is the front side of the gate.

This is our Program Director Randy as he told us the story of the gate.

Another photo of the front of the gate. Now to continue the story. Frederick had obstructed the view of the gate from Elizabeth's view during construction.  On their first day as a married couple, he told her he had a wonderful gift for her and bid her look out the window. 

This is the back of the gate that she saw from her window.  Not such a pretty gift.
Photos of the ruins

View of the city of Heidelberg from the front of the ruins.

View of Old Bridge (Alte Brücke - 1786-88),  where it crosses the Neckar River.

Looking down into the moat.  It's really deep.

We entered the inner courtyard through this arched door

Looking up you could see the points of the portcullis.  The portcullis is a strong, heavy grating that slides up and down in vertical grooves which is lowered to block a gateway to a fortress.

Another story were heard was about the witch and the Iron Ring.  A huge, stout wooden door guarded the castle entrance.   During wartime the only way in or out for messengers was an iron wicket gate.  Hanging on the wicket is a large iron ring.  This is a photo of the wicket door embedded in the large wooden door.  The iron ring was a door knocker during peace time.  Legend has it that the castle will belong to whoever is able to bite through the iron ring.  Many tried with no results except broken teeth. One day an old witch crept up to the gate and began gnawing on the ring.  She bit and bit but became frustrated and gave up.  After she departed the guards found a crack in the ring.  Sorry my photo isn't good enough for you to see the crack in the ring.

Entering the courtyard.

Every king of the castle had buildings constructed.  The contractor on this building insisted his two little boys be allowed to come to work with him.
They fell to their deaths one day so this decoration over the door is a memorial to them.

One of the Renaissance Wings built by Elector Otto-Heinrich is covered in statues.

There's a sundial on this tower.
Closer shot of sundial

Well head
The other Renaissance Wings built by Elector Otto-Heinrich. Of the original three stories, only the bottom one is intact.

The following photos are of the statuary on the façade.

David with Goliath's head

This tree was just so lovely up next to the red blocks of the wall.

Closer shot of foliage and flowers.

Side of the castle facing the river.

Looking out at the Old Bridge again.

There's a large concrete patio in flanking the river-facing side of the ruins.  In it is this foot-print.  There's a story about it being created when someone jumped out one of the windows but I don't remember the details.

One of the towers surrounding the patio

Then we were off to the wine cellar.  This wine "barrel" is over 12' tall.  Absolutely huge.

There is an interesting little story that the wine steward (a dwarf named Perkeo), who refused any drink but wine, had his wine goblet switched for one containing water by some pranksters. As a heavy wine drinker accustomed to guzzling his drink he had downed the water before realizing the switch. According to the story he immediately dropped dead from heart failure.  He was a castle mascot. 

Loved the sign in six different languages.  The English says "Walk in the steps of cellarmaster "Perkeo" by having a glass of the most delicate red wine above the large barrel."  So the 12' barrel isn't the large barrel.  

....this is.  The largest wine cask in the world!  It is 28.7 feet long and 23 feet in diameter. It held 58,573 US gallons.  We walked up and over it but that's a waste of time.   

The Castle went though a few wars.  At the end of the Nine Years War, the French set fire to it and blew the front off the Fat Tower.

Our bus took us back to the Main Street of Heidelberg.   Heidelberg is a college town and this is one of the students drinking spots. 

You'll have to click to enlarge this photo with information about the city.


Because of the angle of the sun, it was hard to get a photo of the castle from Marktplatz.

Sculpture in Marktplatz.

Sculpture by the Church of the Holy Spirit.

Our lunch in Heidelberg.  Yummy!

As we were wandering the street, this pizza delivery vehicle sped by us.  It is a college town so I'm sure the pizza places get a lot of business. 

We were taken to this hall at Heidelberg University where a student told us about higher education in Germany.  The University was founded in 1386 on instruction of Pope Urban VI.  It is Germany's oldest university and one of the  world's oldest surviving universities.  There are almost 30,000 students spread across its many campuses.  

Yes you read it right.  There was a student prison at Heidelberg University.   Used as an official jail between 1778 and 1914,  it wasn’t as strict as a regular one. Students were detained here for minor offences such as disturbing the peace, and so were still allowed to attend their lectures – as long as they returned when their class was over.
The walls of the jail are filled with the incarcerated stundents’ writings, images, and portraits.

They even covered the bottom of the steps.

The toilet.  I wonder how they handles dividing the sexes since the university went co-ed in 1899.

Back out at the old bridge, we see another one of those monkeys showing us a mirror.

The bus hauled us all back to our ship docked at Rudesheim.

The crew had been filling our water tanks while we were gone.

Lemon pie with blueberry sauce.  Such a pretty presentation.

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