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Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Exterior view of Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Günther Bayerl
For raucous parties

Heidelberg's ceremonial halls

Each of the prince-electors of the Palatinate had their own residence built on the palace grounds. A large ceremonial hall was an important part of any residence and was a status symbol, a demonstration of power and a grandly furnished stage for many celebrations.

Interior of the King's Hall in the Ladies' Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

The King's Hall in the Ladies' Building.

The first stateroom

The royal parlor was located on the ground floor of the Ladies' Building until 1619. Daily meals were taken here. After Friedrich V's rise to king, it was renamed the "King's Hall." This space was the palace's first large ceremonial hall. The fact that the wine could be pumped into the hall directly from the neighboring Great Barrel is particularly impressive. After the ceremonial halls in the Hall of Glass and the Ottheinrich Building were completed, the King's Hall lost its importance as the prince-electors' stateroom. 

Detail of the Hall of Glass at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

The Hall of Glass, half hidden by the Ottheinrich Building.

Venetian splendor in the Electoral Palatinate

With the Hall of Glass, Prince-Elector Friedrich II created a highly modern, representative residence. After his marriage to Dorothea of Denmark, he had hopes of ascending the Danish throne and asserted this claim in how he decorated his residence. The building's name is taken from its primary point of attraction: inside, a magnificent ceremonial hall, once decorated with Venetian mirror glass. The building is half hidden by the Ottheinrich Building, built at a later date.

Interior of the Imperial Hall in the Ottheinrich Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The Imperial Hall with allegorical statues.

The Imperial Hall in the Ottheinrich Building

The most famous building at Heidelberg Palace is the Ottheinrich Building, with its splendid facade. It is one of the earliest Renaissance palaces in Germany. The interior, which Prince-Elector Ottheinrich had furnished between 1556 and 1559, housed living quarters, an audience chamber and a large ceremonial hall. It was apparently named "Imperial Hall" in honor of Emperor Maximilian II's visit to Heidelberg.

Interior of Knights' Hall in the Ruprecht Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The 15th-century Knights' Hall.

The Knights' Hall

On the ground floor of the Ruprecht Building, is one of the oldest structures within the palace: the Knights' Hall. This space still has the deep, downward drawn groined vaults and load-bearing center column from the 15th century. The hall is decorated with coats of arms at the vault keystones and with ornamental discs. A drain was also installed in the wall, which served as a spittoon for those who had overindulged in drink.

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