The Dramatic Architecture of Heidelberg Castle in Germany

Heidelberg is a very  popular place to visit in Germany and it is certainly a wonderful city with a charming, historic feel. Clearly it is a popular tourist destination and top among the sites to visit is the castle that looms large over the old town. No matter where you are, the castle is clearly visible on the hillside above the city that lies on the Neckar River. One of the more interesting things is that as you walk around the castle grounds, the castle takes on quite unique perspectives.

View of Some of the Most Preserved Parts of the Castle
View of Some of the Most Preserved Parts of the Castle
Castle Tower
Castle Tower
Signs of Destruction
Signs of Destruction
Looming Above the City

When we visited the castle, we decided to take a guided tour since we often like to hear about the history and see sights that are sometimes only available by tour.  Unfortunately we were disappointed with this particular tour although we really enjoyed the castle itself. Our disappointment was partially due to two young children who misbehaved and disrupted every aspect of the tour, however, even if that hadn’t been the case, it would not have been worth the small price that we paid. The castle has been in a state of constant flux since its original construction in the thirteenth century. What is left today is a ruin of a castle, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth seeing, because it definitely is.

Clear Sky Behind the Castle
Clear Sky Behind the Castle
Gorgeous Castle
Gorgeous Castle
View of the Castle
View of the Castle
More Signs of Destruction
More Signs of Destruction

It is hard to imagine how beautiful it must have been during the height or its glory, but it must have truly been grand. It helps that it was a gorgeous day when we visited, which added to overall beauty of the castle and the city. The castle grounds are no longer filled with lavish gardens, but it is still a beautiful place to visit. Today, the castle is rented out for weddings and special events, so one of the reasons that we didn’t like the tour was the subliminal selling message that we heard throughout the tour. Although the castle is clearly in decay, it is still very much worth visiting if you get the chance to visit Heidelberg.

Model of the Full Castle
Model of the Full Castle
Open Windows
Open Windows
Another View of the Castle
Another View of the Castle
Gorgeous Autumn Day
Gorgeous Autumn Day

Bergpark Wilhemshöhe in Kassel, Germany

The very first trip that we took while staying in Germany was to the city of Kassel where we spent most of our time at the incredible Bergpark Wilhemshöhe. There are so many wonderful sights to see on the grounds of the largest European hillside park. Due to it’s size of 590 acres as well as the fact that it sprawls across a steep hill makes it a strenuous day of walking, but the views and historic sites are well worth the effort. The park is made up of four major points of interest, Schloss Wilhemshöhe, Lowenburg Castle, Hercules Statue, and the fountain and water feature that cascades down the hillside.

Schloss Wilhelmshöhe

Entrance to Lowenburg Castle

Hercules Statue

As you enter the sprawling estate, Schloss Wilhemshöhe looms large across the landscape as the prominent feature for anyone who enters the park. As the one-time summer home of Kaiser Wilhem II in the early 1900’s, this magnificent palace was originally built in the 12th century as a monastery and used as a castle for centuries before becoming the summer home of the aristocratic elite. There is no doubt as to the reason that this site with it’s beautiful gardens is still the site of many fairytale weddings, which was also the case on the day that we visited.

Part of the Palace

Pond Behind the Palace

Front of the Palace

For us, the Lowenburg Castle was one of the highlights of our visit to Bergpark Wilhemshöhe. First of all, it was the first true castle that we visited while staying in Germany. It has all of the typical features that one would expect of a castle such as the turrets and fortress walls. In order to reach the castle, you have to walk through a relatively dense forest, which certainly fosters the images of the stories of the Brother’s Grimm who came from the area and whose museum can also be found in Kassel. Walking the grounds of the castle certainly provided all of the images that we had imagined when we envisioned ourselves travelling to Germany.

View of the Castle

Castle Turret

View of the Castle from the Trail

Hercules Statue is certainly a site that cannot be missed. Mostly due to it’s prominent location at the top of the hill and presiding above the cascading fountain, it can be seen from throughout the park. To reach the statue itself, you must scale a long series of stairs the climb steeply up the hill. We chose not to go all of the way to the top, mostly due to the fact that we had a single day in Kassel and we were quite exhausted at this point with all of the walking that we had done through the park. It was certainly an impressive sight to see.

The View from the Bottom

Under Construction

Palace Grounds

Unfortunately for us, the cascading fountain was not running at the time that we visited, but it was still wonderful to see and we could imagine how impressive it must be when it is running. The thought that the statue and the cascading fountain were created in the early 1700’s is something truly hard to imagine. We can only imagine what it must have been like for the elite of Germany society to visit to walk along the grounds and see such an amazing sight.

Bottom of the Falls

Water Cascades Down from the Statue

Pond on the Property

Kassel was definitely a worthwhile location for our first exploration of Germany outside of Frankfurt. Specifically Bergpark Wilhemshöhe was truly incredible to see with everything that is located inside of this incredible UNESCO Heritage site.

Memorable Weekend Trips from Frankfurt in Germany

During our time in Frankfurt, we were able to jump on the train and enjoy many different weekend trips to various cities around Germany. We also took several trips outside of Germany, but Frankfurt was a great hub to explore Germany itself from as well. We would often sit at our favorite little restaurant on a Thursday night and pull up the Deutsche Bahn app and just look at what places we could get to within a few hour train ride and just pick one as our destination. Often times the time on the train was as interesting as the destination because we could sit in our compartment, have a glass of wine, and watch the scenery as we traveled through the German countryside. These are a few of the places that we were able to visit by taking a quick trip out of Frankfurt.

Crowds Enjoying the Markets in Würzburg
The Residenz in Würzburg

Würzburg – One of the weekend trips that we took when we were in Frankfurt was to Würzburg. Although we had only been living in Germany for a little over a month, this particularly getaway made us feel as though we were becoming locals. It is a short train ride from Frankfurt to Würzburg and we arrived right around lunchtime. We found a tiny little restaurant that obviously catered to several regulars who were chatting with one another, reading newspapers, and simply relaxing. The owner offered us a seasonal beer, which of course we had to try, and we had an appetizer platter with blood sausage, potatoes, and cheese.

Heidelberg Castle Entrance
Walking Through the Old Town District

Heidelberg – One of our first weekend getaway from Frankfurt was to visit Heidelberg. Heidelberg is the location of the oldest university in Germany and has a wonderful old town area. Because the Heidelberg University has been considered one of the finest universities in Europe since it was built in the 14th century, it has attracted scientists, philosophers, and literary figures throughout its history. Located on the Neckar River, the scenery is absolutely stunning, especially in October, which is when we visited.

Church and Vineyard in Hochheim
Entrance to Hochheim

Hochheim – Located just couple of hours outside of Frankfurt, we visited Hochheim for a quick day trip from the city. It is a small town surrounded by vineyards and still retains its medieval charm. It was early November and the town was holding its annual festival and market, so it was a lot busier than it normally would have been, but that also made it fun for us. It was a quick train ride from Frankfurt and since we had monthly passes for the train, we simply had to pay a little extra to get to the nearby town.

The German Corner Where the Rivers Meet in Koblenz
Walking Around Schloss Stolzenfels Outside of Koblenz

Koblenz – Taking a train from Frankfurt to Koblenz was one of the most memorable trips during our time in Germany. The city spans both sides of the Rhine River and is situated where the Rhine meets the Moselle River. There are many sights to see when visiting Koblenz, but the highlights are the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, the German Corner, and Schloss Stolzenfels. There is also an interesting statue that depicts the 2000 year history of the city, but even without all of these places, just walking along the Rhine would make visiting Koblenz worthwhile.

Looking Up Towards Nuremberg Castle
Enjoying Looking Over the City

Nuremberg – We took the train from Frankfurt to Nuremberg during the first week of January during our time in Germany. It was more or less a spur of the moment trip, so we hadn’t researched anything about Nuremberg before deciding to go there. We loved living in Germany as we would pull up the train app on a Thursday and book a trip for Friday and away we would go. It was a quick trip and very cold at the time, but we had a wonderful time there. As with any trip, just relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere of the city is the most important thing, but there are a few places that should not be missed when visiting.

View Along the Rhine
Views of the Neckar River in Heidelberg

Each of these trips were very memorable in their own ways. Germany has so many interesting locations to visit that these are just a few. We would love to go back soon and see even more of the places that we didn’t have time to get to. Between the architecture, culture, and food, it is certainly one of the places that we could go back and visit many times.