What You Need To Know

Heidelberg  is a city situated on the river Neckar in south-westGermany. The fifth-largest town in the State of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim andFreiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. In 2011, over 149,000 people lived in the city. A former residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate, Heidelberg is the location of Heidelberg University, contemporary Germany’s oldest and among its most reputable universities. Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination due to its romantic and picturesque cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle and the baroque styleOld Town.

Area: 108.8 km²

Population: 156,267

 

Currency

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  • The Euro is the official currency of Germany and Heidelberg.

Language

German language, German Deutsch, official language of both Germany and Austria and one of the three official languages of Switzerland. German belongs to the West Germanic group of the Indo-European language family, along with English, Frisian, and Dutch (Netherlandic, Flemish).

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle at Night

Heidelberg Fortress.

The castle is a mix of styles from Gothic to Renaissance. Prince Elector Ruprecht III (1398–1410 ERECTED the first building in the inner courtyard as a royal residence. The building was divided into a ground floor made of stone and framework upper levels. Another royal building is located opposite the Ruprecht Building: the Fountain Hall. Prince Elector Philipp (1476–1508) is said to have arranged the transfer of the hall’s columns from a decayed palace of Charlemagne from Ingelheim to Heidelberg. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Prince Electors added two palace buildings and turned the fortress into a castle. The two dominant buildings at the eastern and northern side of the courtyard wereERECTED during the rule of Ottheinrich (1556–1559) and Friedrich IV (1583–1610). Under Friedrich V (1613–1619), the main building of the west side was erected, the so-called “English Building”. The castle and its garden were destroyed several times during the Thirty Years’ War and the Palatine War of Succession. As Prince Elector Karl Theodor tried to restore the castle, lightning struck in 1764, and ended all attempts at rebuilding. Later on, the castle was misused as a quarry; stones from the castle were taken to build new houses in Heidelberg. This was stopped in 1800 by Count Charles de Graimberg, who then began the process of preserving the castle. Although the interior is in Gothic style, the King’s Hall was not built until 1934. Today, the hall is used for festivities, e.g. dinner banquets, balls and theatre performances. During the Heidelberg Castle Festival in the summer, the courtyard is the site of open air musicals, operas, theatre performances, and classical concerts performed by the Heidelberg Philharmonics. The castle is surrounded by a park, where the famous poet Johann von Goethe once walked. The Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway runs from Kornmakt to the summit of the Königstuhl via the castle.

Health

  • (Discuss) Proposed since March 2014. Germany has a universal multi-payer health care system with two main types of health insurance: “Statutory Health Insurance” (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) known as sickness funds (Krankenkasse) and “Private Health Insurance” (Private Krankenversicherung).

Transport

Roads

The A 5 autobahn runs through the western outskirts of Heidelberg, connecting the region to Frankfurt am Main in the north and Karlsruheto the south. The A 656 commences just west of the city, connecting Heidelberg with Mannheim. Both highways meet at Heidelberg autobahn intersection in the city of Heidelberg, and the A 656 connects to the A 6 at the Mannheim autobahn intersection, which connects to the east towards Stuttgart. Furthermore, the B 3 (Frankfurt–Karlsruhe) runs north–south through the town, and the B 37 (Mannheim–Eberbach) runs east–west. Both meet in the city center at the Bismarckplatz. The B 535 begin in the south of Heidelberg and runs to Schwetzingen.

Tourist roads

Heidelberg is located on four tourist roads: Bergstraße, Bertha Benz Memorial Route, Castle Road, and Straße der Demokratie (Road of Democracy).

Railways

Heidelberg Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) is on the Rhine Valley Railway and is served by Intercity-Express, Euro City trains. This station is served by the RheinNeckar S-Bahn.

 

Tourism

In 2004, 81.8% of people worked for service industries, including tourism. As a relic of the period of Romanticism, Heidelberg has been labeled a “Romantic town”. This is used to attract more than 3.5MILLION visitors every year. Many events are organized to attract visitors.

 

Use in popular culture

Heidelberg features in the 1968 film The Girl on a Motorcycle, the university being the ultimate destination of Marianne Faithfull’s character. Heidelberg is the home of a professional Quidditch team operating within the fictional Harry Potter universe: the Heidelberg Harriers have been described as “fiercer than a dragon and twice as clever”.Heidelberg is the residence of fictional character Nina Fortner/Anna Liebert in the anime/manga series Monster, by Naoki Urasawa. Further, its castle forms the setting for the beginning of Mark Twain’s story The Awful German Language. The city also features during a mission in the Electronic Arts strategy game Red Alert 3. Heidelberg also features in Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage and its film versions. Also, “Morris from America” takes places in Heidelberg.

 

Weather

Heidelberg has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), defined by the protected valley between the Pfälzerwald and the Odenwald. Year-round, the mild temperatures are determined by maritime air masses coming from the west. In contrast to the nearby Upper Rhine Plain, Heidelberg’s position in the valley leads to more frequent easterly winds than average. The hillsides of the Odenwald favour clouding and precipitation. The warmest month is July, the coldest is January. Temperatures often rise beyond 30 °C (86 °F) in midsummer. According to the German Meteorological Service, Heidelberg was the warmest place in Germany in 2009.

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