Detail of the Hall of Glass at Heidelberg Castle

Italian Renaissance in HeidelbergThe Hall of Glass

The Hall of Glass is an impressive example of early Renaissance architecture at Heidelberg Castle. Its Italian arcades connect the two most beautiful buildings within Heidelberg Castle: the Friedrich’s Wing and the Ottheinrich’s Wing.

View of the Hall of Glass at Heidelberg Castle

Arcades grace the facade.

Italian flair

The comparably simple Hall of Glass is located between the Friedrich’s Wing and the Ottheinrich’s Wing. It was constructed by Prince-Elector Friedrich II, who ruled between 1544 and 1556. He had the facade segmented by the arcades in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The building was named for its magnificent second-story hall, once adorned with Venetian mirror glass. The individual stories could be accessed via the stair tower on the right side.

View through the arcades of the Hall of Glass at Heidelberg Castle

Renaissance columns hold up a Gothic vault.

Loss and rebirth

The Hall of Glass lost its roof in a firestorm in 1764. Only the arcades situated in front of the facade are still roofed today. In 2011, building management covered the burned-out second floor with an arched glass roof in consideration of its historic name. In the coming years, appealing events spaces will be created here. Castle tours offer a pleasant view from the arcades into the castle courtyard and the neighboring Ottheinrich’s Wing.

View of the bell tower at Heidelberg Castle

Bell tower with a view of the Scheffel Terrace.

A "tall" neighbor

The octagonal bell tower is located next to the Hall of Glass. Several prince-electors contributed to its current shape. Over the centuries, a gun turret originally constructed in the early 15th century was reinforced, built up and finally converted into a bell tower and lookout tower. The tower's wall, which was burned out in the 18th century, is being carefully preserved and restored in recent years.