Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Heidelberg Palace, Ottheinrich Building; photo: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
A Palace of superlatives

The Ottheinrich Building

The Ottheinrich Building in Heidelberg Palace counts as one of the most beautiful and earliest palace buildings of the German Renaissance. Magnificent sculptures adorn its façade. On the interior, fascinating witnesses to the high quality décor have been maintained.

Heidelberg Palace, visitors in the Ottheinrich Building; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert

Artistic door jambs dating back to the Renaissance.

Grandiose architectural creations

The original four-storey building housed living areas, an audience room, the so-called Herrensaal (Knights' Hall) and a large ballroom - the Imperial Hall. Artistically designed door jambs, colonnades and a mighty sandstone fireplace bear witness to a once magnificent setting. Elector Ottheinrich (1502-1559) ordered the construction of this magnificent building during his brief period of rule between 1556 and 1559. His successor Friedrich III completed the palace ten years later.

Heidelberg Palace, Visitors in the Ottheinrich Building; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert

Detailed decorative figures on the façade.

Show façade with a program of rule

The elaborate decorative figures on the magnificent show façade were created by the Flemish sculptor Alexander Colin (1526-1612). The ruler's image of himself and his political program were immortalized in stone here. For example, heroes from antiquity and Roman emperors symbolize Ottheinrich's military and political power. However, the Christian virtues which a ruler is expected to display are also depicted in figures. Ottheinrich, commissioner of buildings, even had himself depicted in the portal's central gable.

Heidelberg Palace, courtyard façade of the Ottheinrich Building; photo: Julia Haseloff

Courtyard façade of the Ottheinrich Building.

A place for valuable figures

The view through the empty windows of the upper storey into the blue sky comes as a surprise. The once double-gabled roof was damaged when the palace was blown up by the French in 1693 and was then destroyed by lightning strike in 1764. Only the ground floor was secured with a roof in the 20th century. The original sculptures from the façade have been preserved in the halls and can be admired up-close on special guided tours.

Heidelberg Palace, show façade of the Ottheinrich Building; photo: Julia Haseloff
Heidelberg Palace, show façade of the Ottheinrich Building; photo: Julia Haseloff
Heidelberg Palace, show façade of the Ottheinrich Building; photo: Julia Haseloff

David, Hercules and Samson on the show façade of the Ottheinrich Building.

Heidelberg Palace, German Pharmacy Museum; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Glimpse into the German Pharmacy Museum.

Historical ambience for exhibitions and events

Nowadays, the Imperial Hall and Herrensaal (Knights' Hall) in the Ottheinrich Building are used mainly for exhibitions and events. The German Pharmacy Museum has been housed in the basement since 1958. Your palace ticket includes admission to this interesting exhibition about the history of pharmacy.

TIPP

Celebrate in style at Heidelberg Palace! The Imperial Hall and Herrensaal (Knights' Hall) will delight you with their unique historical ambience. The Palace Office is happy to advise you.