Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Figur von Kurfürst Friedrich III.; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Mike Niederauer
Ancestral portrait gallery in stone

Statues on the

Friedrich Building

Upon entering the palace courtyard, the Friedrich Building facade captures visitors' attention. It is richly decorated with figures. The builder, Friedrich IV, was displaying an idealized form of the royal family's ancestral hall and demonstrating to his contemporaries his claim to power.

Detail of a statue of Prince-Elector Friedrich IV. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Prince-Elector Friedrich IV von der Pfalz.

The Palatinate House of Wittelsbach

In the early 17th century, over a span of three or four years, sculptor Sebastian Götz of Chur and architect Johannes Schoch created the amazing set of figures on the Friedrich Building. In the lower row, the last sculpture on the right is the structure's builder, Friedrich IV. He considered himself part of the line of rulers from the important dynastic House of Wittelsbach and included his grandfather, father and uncle in the same row.

View of the Friedrich Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Ursula Wetzel

Ancestral portrait gallery in stone.

Emperors and kings

In the second row, select representatives of the first Wittelsbach family members to live along the Rhine: for example, Prince-Elector Ruprecht I, the founder of Heidelberg University, or the bibliophile Prince-Elector Ottheinrich, who loved to build. Emperors and kings descendant from the House of Wittelsbach are depicted in the third row. The top position on the façade is occupied by the "fathers" of the Wittelsbach line, including Charlemagne and Otto von Wittelsbach.

View of the corridor in the Friedrich Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

Now protected from weather.

Legitimate ruler of a thriving land

Friedrich IV presented himself as the legitimate ruler of a thriving and fertile land. The small gables display statues to underscore this belief: the goddess of justice and female figures representing spring and summer. For preservation purposes, the sculptures on the facade were replaced with replicas around 1900. The original figures are now located indoors, in the Friedrich Building.

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Experience the Friedrich Building's larger-than-life figures as part of a palace tour!

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