Aerial view of Heidelberg Palace

Booming construction by the prince-electorsThe buildings

Heidelberg Palace is not a coherent structure. Over the centuries, prince-electors continued to add residential palaces in the respective style of their time. Today, the palace is a fascinating architectural ensemble, surrounded by proud walls and towers.

View of the stag pit at Heidelberg Palace

A deep, dry moat protects the palace.

Mighty fortifications

A walk around the actual palace is worth visitors' time. The palace garden terraces offer the best view of the mighty fortifications. To this day, defensive towers bear witness to fateful sieges and successful defenses. The pointed roofs of the casemates can be seen deep down in the castle moat. In the 17th century, the fortifications were partially repurposed: the north casemate, for example, served as a pedestal for the English Wing.

View of the Friedrich’s Wing at Heidelberg Palace

The richly decorated facade of the Friedrich’s Wing.

Stately Renaissance residential palaces

The two ostentatious Renaissance palaces in the palace courtyard, with their lavishly decorated show facades, are especially eye-catching. To the right, the older Ottheinrich’s Wing fascinates with upper stories full of glassless windows that jut skyward. Front and center, the larger-than-life figures on the imposing Friedrich’s Wing demand closer investigation. And between them, a connecting structure, the Hall of Glass, sports beautiful arcades.

View of the palace courtyard at Heidelberg Palace

View of the palace courtyard.

Atmospheric palace courtyard

The atmospheric, cobbled palace courtyard is accessed via the bridge gatehouse and the gate tower. Visitors are met with a fascinating panorama of Early Modern architecture. To the left are the older residential buildings from the Middle Ages, such as the Ruprecht’s Wing, the library and the Ladies´ Wing. To the right are the economic building and the picturesque Fountain Hall.

Breathtaking view from the Great Terrace

A passageway in the Friedrich’s Wing leads to the Great Terrace, which offers a fantastic view of Heidelberg's historic district. On clear days, visitors can see far into the Rhine plain. Below the Great Terrace is the remnant of the Karlschanze (entrenchment), a fortification built during Prince-Elector Karl II's time.

View of Heidelberg Palace across the Neckar valley and into the Rhine plain

Below the palace, the Rhine plain stretches to the horizon.

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