HEIDELBERG, GERMANY – Want to take a drive to a castle? Let me just say, the answer to this question is always yes. A friend of mine had her cousin visiting and she invited me to tag along and boy am I glad I did.
Heidelberg is about 90km south of Frankfurt and the drive is quick since the route is on a stretch of road that has no speed limit. On the way out there I kept thinking we must be close because there were several other castles littered along the roadway. This is when I came up with the idea of Castle Tuesday. I think every Tuesday we should visit a new castle (I know, my life sounds terrible).
The Heidelberg Castle has a rich history dating back to 1300. The architecture seems to be a bit of a hodgepodge as each building is built in a different style of german architecture. The castle today is in ruins. In 1764 it was destroyed by lightning and has been uninhabited since. These ruins are so beautiful that several writers and artists including Mark Twain, William Turner and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe have been inspired when visiting the Heidelberg.
Inside the castle walls you find the world’s largest wine barrel. The barrel was built in 1751 and stands 7 meters (23 feet) hight, 8 and a half meters wide (28 feet), and holds 220,000 liters (58,124 gallons) of wine. Conveniently, there is a dance floor built on top of the barrel.
The legend goes that the court jester who guarded the barrel was known for his ability to drink large quantities of wine and earned his nickname Pereko because when ever he was asked, “Another glass of wine” and he would always reply, “Perche no” or why not in Italian. The story goes that Pereko mistaking drank a glass of water and this killed him.
Three times a year (the first Saturday’s of June and September and the 2nd Saturday of July) there is a fireworks display honoring the 3 times in the castle’s history it went up in flames (1689, 1693 and 1764). The first two times were due to wars with the French, and the last time by lightning. Hopefully, we will have another post from one of these nights!
In the meantime enjoy a few more photos from the castle.
Reading wish list:
A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain
Ginkgo Poem, Goethe
Elizabeth Stuart: Winter Queen and Queen of Hearts. The Curse on Heidelberg Castle, Gault MacGowan