Seven Facts about Heidelberg
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
By Emma Harvey
Heidelberg is an idyllic university town in Baden-Württemberg, south-west Germany, situated on the banks of the river Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald, bordered by the Gaisberg, Heiligenberg and Königsstuhl mountains. If you are a history enthusiast, lover of the outdoors or admirer of the arts, this town tucked away in the Rhine Valley is for you!
Here are 7 facts about Heidelberg:
1. Heidelberg has a population of 160,601 people, a quarter of which are students.
2. Heidelberg is a considered a culturally influential city; a hub of science, art and literature. In 2014, it was voted a City of Literature by UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Notably, Heidelberg is mentioned in works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Heinrich Heine.
3. Ruprecht Karls Universität Heidelberg was founded in 1386, making it Germany’s oldest university. Notably, the former Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl, attended this university.
4. Heidelberg escaped bombing in the Second World War, therefore the old town still has original buildings from the later Middle Ages and early Renaissance Period.
5. The Heidelberg Man - the first sign of human life in Europe – was found in Heidelberg. In 1907, a jawbone thought to be approximately 500,000 years old was discovered by gravel pit workers.
6. Philosophenweg, a path located on the northern banks of the Neckar in Heidelberg, obtained its name during the Romantic Period, due to the many university professors and philosophers who would amble along it, inspired by the views.
7. Heidelberg Castle was constructed in the early 1300s. In the 17th century, Heidelberg Castle was ravaged by war and by nature in the form of two devastating lightning strikes, leaving it in ruins. Whilst the castle has never regained its original structure, it never lost its charm. Every summer to commemorate the glorious original structure, the Schlossbeleuchtung takes place; an amazing fireworks display.
Fuel for curious minds:
1. Amusing Planet. (2018). The Gigantic Wine Barrel of Heidelberg. [online] amuzingplanet.com. Available at: https://www.amusingplanet.com/2018/08/the-gigantic-wine-barrel-of-heidelberg.html
2. Deutsche Welle. (n.d.) Heidelberg | DW. [online] dw.com. Available at: https://www.dw.com/de/deutsch-lernen/heidelberg/s-31538
3. Encyclopaedia Britannica. (1998). Heidelberg Romantics | German literature. [online] Britannica.com. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/art/Heidelberg-Romantics
4. Schloss Heidelberg. (n.d.) Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Wuerttemberg. [online] Schloss-heildelberg.de. Available at: https://www.schloss-heidelberg.de/en/home/
5. Stadt Heidelberg. (n.d.) Heidelberg. [online] Heidelberg.de. Available at: https://www.heidelberg.de/hd,Len/300652.html.
6. Twain, M. (2018). A TRAMP ABROAD, BY MARK TWAIN. [online] Gutenberg.org. Available at: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/119/119-h/119-h.htm#p029.