Our last stop on our gorgeous 2014 mother/daughter Alpine Tour was Heidelberg, Germany! We spent most of our visit above the city in the ruins of Heidelberg Castle. Not only is it great to explore this beautiful pink/orange castle, but you also get an absolutely fantastic view of the orange rooftops of Heidelberg and the river.
Heidelberg Castle was built in the early 13th century, although it was expanded, destroyed by war and fire, reconstructed and burned again from a lightening strike. The castle has been preserved since the 19th century when a French count saw the importance of preserving this, and lived in part of the abandoned castle to keep watch over the courtyard.
This footprint is a bit of a legend. Apparently, the queen was tired of the king always being away, waging wars, etc. so she took a lover- a knight- and one night the king came home early to find the knight in bed with his wife. The knight had no choice but to jump from the window, or the king would have killed him instantly, and when he jumped out the window he made this footprint in the stone! Now, for the really fun part! It’s said that any man whose foot fits in this hole is a fantastic lover.
My gorgeous mama and me outside the castle.
Inside the castle there is an absolutely massive wine barrel. The first one you see seems massive, but it’s nothing compared to the big one!
Although this barrel is easily three times as tall as I am, it wasn’t as big as what was just around the corner.
This massive barrel can hold 57,853 gallons! Crazy! Although, these days it’s really just used as a tourist attraction, you can climb a tight spiral staircase to walk on top of this massive barrel!
Walking up the stairs to the top
Looking down over the edge
Walking back down around the opposite side
A shot of the front of the barrel and the spiral stairs to the left
After a sufficient exploration of the castle we walked down this path into the city of Heidelberg.
While in Heidelberg’s Old Town we wandered, stopping in churches, enjoying looking at old brick buildings, walking on bridges and doing a bit of shopping!
This church was closed by the time we made our way down there, so we only got to peer through the plexiglass divider, but it actually reminded me of San Petronio in Bologna, Italy.
This statue is a 1979 “recreation” of a similar statue from the 17th century. When we asked what the purpose of the monkey statue was, I was surprised at the answer. Apparently, the original (on the opposite side of the river) was meant to serve as a reminder to all the citizens of Heidelberg- rich and poor- that everyone is the same, and that if you look into the mirror of the monkey all you will see is another monkey. I LOVE IT!
This is the beautiful old town bridge. If I get to return to Heidelberg (hopefully when it’s a bit warmer) I would really like to do the Philosopher’s Walk. Across the bridge there is a path that goes along a mountain that, traditionally, professors at the university walk and talk along. There are a few historical sites/remnants along the way too! (Add it to the to-do list, I suppose!)
My beautiful mama strolling on the bridge
Beautiful statues on the bridge
We spent the last hour or so of the night just hanging out and having some mother/daughter time, sipping cocktails to keep the cold away. This was such a great trip, and I always love the opportunity to travel with my mom. We’ve now had 4 European Adventures together and I hope we have many, many more to come!
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