Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Heidelberg Palace, Statue of Friedrich IV, Elector; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Mike Niederauer
Ancestral portrait gallery in stone

Figures on the Friedrich Building

The façade of the Friedrich Building commands attention from the moment you enter the palace courtyard. Commissioner of buildings Friedrich IV displays the perfect gallery of portraits from the royal line here and demonstrates his claim to power for all his contemporaries.

Heidelberg Palace, Statue of Friedrich IV, Elector Palatine; photo: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Friedrich IV, Elector Palatine.

The Palatinate Wittelsbach

Sculptor Sebastian Götz from Chur and master builder Johannes Schoch created the fantastic series of figures on the Friedrich Building in three to four years at the beginning of the 17th century. The final sculpture on the right-hand side of the bottom row depicts the commissioner of buildings Friedrich IV. He is in a line with the other rulers of the important Wittelsbach dynasty, represented in the same row by his grandfather, father and uncle.

Heidelberg Palace, ancestral portrait gallery in stone; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Uschi Wetzel

Ancestral portrait gallery in stone.

Emperors and kings

Selected representatives of the first members of the house Wittelsbach on the Rhine can be found on the second row, including Elector Ruprecht I, the founder of Heidelberg University, and book-loving Elector Ottheinrich who loved to build. On the third row, the emperors and kings who were born of the Wittelsbach dynasty are depicted. The top position on the façade is occupied by the „fathers” of the dynasty, such as Karl the Great and Otto von Wittelsbach.

Heidelberg Palace, corridor in the Friedrichs Building; photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Today housed to provide protection from the weather.

Rightful rulers of a prospering country

Friedrich IV presented himself as the rightful ruler of a prospering and productive country. The figures seen on the small windowed gables illustrate this: the Goddess of Justice and the feminine figures of spring and summer. To preserve the façade sculptures, they were replaced with copies around 1900. The original figures are now located inside the Friedrich Building.


See the larger-than-life figures up-close on a guided tour of the palace!

other highlights of heidelberg palace