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Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Visitor center at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Mike Niederauer
A proper welcome for international guests

The Visitor Center

As of 2012, Heidelberg Palace receives guests from near and far in a highly modern visitor center. The architect, Professor Max Dudler, planned the first new structure on Heidelberg Palace grounds in approximately 400 years.

Historic tack room and visitor center at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Petra Pechacek

Historic tack room and visitor center.

First new structure on palace grounds in 400 years

In the early 17th century, Prince-Elector Friedrich V built the previously final standalone palace structure: the English Building. All the more reason why the question of where to put a new, modern visitor center was treated with the utmost care. Baden-Württemberg provided three million euros from its Infrastructure Program for the construction of the new building. The architectural office was able to secure Professor Max Dudler from Berlin to create and implement the designs. 

Matching the historical palace buildings

The new visitor center is located directly behind the palace entrance, on the right side. The new structure, with 490 m2 of floor space, was built on the former parking lot between June 2010 and December 2011. The two-story building has a two-meter deep embrasure to match the similar large, deep openings in the nearby historic tack room.

Exterior view of the visitor center at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Mike Niederauer

The Visitor Center matches the palace.

Palace gift shop in the visitor center at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Stefan Müller

Palace gift shop and ticket office under one roof.

All under one roof

The ticket office, handicap-accessible restrooms, a palace gift shop with a wide variety of items, audio guide rental, as well as a lounge area with seating, are all located under one roof.

Visitor center exit at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Stefan Müller

The elegantly framed Elizabeth Gate.

Interesting visual cohesion

The building was not just a functional success, but also an architectural one. The walls are clad in sandstone from the Neckar valley and therefore wonderfully compliment the quarry stone walls of the historic palace buildings. This cohesion of old and new is further underscored by the views from inside the building out into the garden and toward the Elizabeth Gate.