International and national travelers love the city on the Neckar.
Over 200 years ago Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote in his diary, “There is something ideal about the city and all that surrounds it, if I may say so.” Other poets of the Romantic period, such as Joseph von Eichendorff, Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim, also fell under Heidelberg’s magic spell, as did author Mark Twain, composer Robert Schumann and artist William Turner.
And rightly so. There is much to see within the confines of this city; a wide array of sights and all so accessible. The majestic Heidelberg Castle, towering over the Old Town, is the jewel in the crown. Perhaps what makes it such a gem is the fact that it has been a ruin for over 300 years.
The long history of Heidelberg is inextricably interwoven with that of its over 600 year-old university, the Ruperto Carola, with its historical auditorium, the Alte Aula, almost sacred in its appearance. It is the oldest university in Germany.
Once upon a time, scholars dressed in starched frock-coats could be seen strolling ponderously along the famous Philosophers’ Walk, the Philosophenweg. From this vantage point, the panoramic view over Heidelberg is unique – what lies before you is a spectacular postcard vista of the Old Town, the Old Bridge, the Castle and the almost 600 meter high Königstuhl, the holt overlooking the city. From the Philosophers’ Walk, a winding path takes you down towards the Old Bridge, the Alte Brücke, another stonelike landmark of the former royal residence Heidelberg.
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Heidelberg Image Video
Lean Back and immerse yourself in a beautiful trip through Heidelberg:
Heidelberg - a marriage of romance and science
At the Old Bridge, the Nepomuk Terrace is the place for romantics – at the Lovers’ Stone, the Heidelberger Liebesstein, lovers can attach a lock as a symbol of their undying love. A few steps away lies the Old Town, the Altstadt, with its picturesque squares, churches, museums and numerous other sights. In the quaint little lanes, alleyways and secluded courtyards of the historic city center, there are plenty of surprises awaiting the curious visitor.
City of Science
The charm of Heidelberg’s Old Town is coupled with the most modern scientific pursuits. The symbiosis began some 200 years after the founding of the city, when the foundation stone was laid for Germany’s oldest university “Ruperto Carola” in 1386. Today it is one of eleven universities of excellence in Germany and ranks amongst the leading universities worldwide. As such, the University of Heidelberg is at the center of an impressive research network and is closely associated with numerous non-university research institutions such as companies in the Heidelberg region – particularly in the area of Life Sciences. Heidelberg’s University Hospital, the Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, is synonymous with internationally acclaimed medical innovation and is one of the leading centers for medicine in Europe. It is here that more than 50 specialized departments with roughly 1.900 beds can treat around 66.000 in-patients and over 1 million out-patients each year.
The German Cancer Research Center, the Deutsche Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany and works closely with the university. The Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center, the Heidelberger Ionenstrahl-Therapiezentrum (HIT), is currently the only therapy institution in Europe also working with heavy ions. It is the world’s first heavy ion treatment facility with a 360° rotating beam delivery system (gantry).
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), which is operated by 18 European countries and whose headquarters are in Heidelberg, is dedicated to fundamental research in biology. The Max Planck Society has four institutes in Heidelberg – the Institutes for Medical Research, Astronomy, Nuclear Physics and Foreign and International Criminal Law.
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