Truly romantic: the world-famous ruins

Heidelberg Palace

Der Eisenring am Torturm von Schloss Heidelberg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff
A powerless sorceress

The Witch's Bite

A strong iron ring hangs on the gate tower at Heidelberg Palace, but it bears a crack. According to myth, a witch is said to have tried to bite through the ring—in vain—in order to gain ownership of the palace.

View of the gate tower at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende

The gate tower at Heidelberg Palace.

A palace as a gift

Heidelberg Palace still has a heavy wooden door in the gate tower. A small gate cut into the door once provided access for pedestrians. A heavy iron ring served as a knocker and was used to alert the guard that someone was there. At the time, the story in Heidelberg was: Whoever could bite through the iron ring would be gifted the palace and everything in it. 

Iron ring on the gate tower at Heidelberg Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

The iron ring on the gate tower is missing a piece.

A witch takes a tough bite

Even a witch is said to have visited the palace. A chance to own the proud residence drew her in, and she attempted to bite through the iron ring. However, her magical powers were not enough and her teeth broke on the hard metal. Angry, she left Heidelberg Palace, leaving behind proof of her attempt on the entrance gate, the "Witch's Bite."