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Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Ansicht des Ottheinrichsbaus von Schloss Heidelberg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Günther Bayerl
A superlative palace

The Ottheinrich Building

The Ottheinrich Building at Heidelberg Palace is one of the most beautiful and oldest palace structures of the German Renaissance. Stately sculptures adorn the facade. In the interior, fascinating examples of the luxurious decor have been preserved.

View of the Ottheinrich Building at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

Detailed facade decor.

A show facade with political agenda

The elaborate decorative figures on the stately show facade were created by sculptor Alexander Colin (1526–1612). The sovereign's self-image and his political agenda were immortalized in stone here. Ancient heroes and Roman emperors represent military and political power. However, the Christian virtue that a ruler is also expected to possess, is likewise represented. Ottheinrich had himself installed in the central portal pediment. 

Figur an der Hoffassade des Ottheinrichsbaus von Schloss Heidelberg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff
Herkulesfigur an der Hoffassade des Ottheinrichsbaus von Schloss Heidelberg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff
Samsonfigur an der Hoffassade des Ottheinrichsbaus von Schloss Heidelberg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

David, Hercules and Samson on the Ottheinrich Building's show facade.

Visitors to Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert

The original, larger-than-life figures are now protected.

A place for precious figures

The view through the empty windows of the second story into the blue sky make quite an impression. The once double-gabled roof was damaged by fire from French troops in 1693 as was finally destroyed by a lightning strike in 1764. Only the ground floor was preserved with a roof in the 20th century. For preservation reasons, the original facade sculptures are now housed in the halls. Special tours take visitors past the originals, where they can be admired up close.

Schloss Heidelberg, Ottheinrichsbau; Foto: Staatsanzeiger für Baden-Württemberg, Petra Schaffrodt

A lightning strike destroyed the building in 1764.

Interior of the German Apothecary Museum. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

View into the German Apothecary Museum

Historic ambiance for an exhibition

Today, the Emperor's Hall and the Lords' Hall in the Ottheinrich Building are used for exhibitions. The German Apothecary Museum has resided in the basement since 1958. A Schlossticket includes a visit to this interesting exhibition on the history of pharmaceutics.