Friday, June 28—Heidelberg and Rudesheim

The previous evening, we had arrived in Heidelberg in time to walk the Old Town and to have dinner, but today we get to fully experience the ancient university town, known for stealing hearts. Heidelberg far exceeded my expectations; visiting the Heidelberg Palace, The Holy Spirit Church, and the Old Bridge were highlights of these last days on pilgrimage.


IMG_6607Heidelberg is situated on the Necker River below the world-famous ruins of Heidelberg Palace, one of the finest examples of German Renaissance architecture constructed in 14th century Palatine. It was later destroyed in the 17th century but is considered the most magnificent ruin in Germany.


IMG_6617IMG_6618Each year, Heidelberg Palace (Schloss Heidelberg) attracts around one million visitors from all over the world. Since the early 19th century, these impressive ruins have been synonymous with Romanticism. The ruins have an amazing view of the historic old town and the river. We took the Bergbahn (funicular railway) to Schloss (Palace) station to begin exploring.



View of the Holy Spirit Church we visit later in the day.


After visiting the palace, we have a chance to wander–having lunch and walking the Old Bridge.



The most famous church in Heidelberg, The Holy Spirit Church, stands in the middle of the market place in the old center of Heidelberg not far from the Heidelberg Castle. The steeple of the church, rising above the roofs, dominates the town. The Church dates back to the 13th century, although it’s the third church built on the site; first, a Catholic Church, then simultaneously shared by Catholics and Protestants and now strictly a Protestant church.


The prism cross hanging in the middle of the church was so impressive—I could have looked at it all day and never seen the same reflected colors from the stained glass.


Before we head to Mainz, we have to have our daily dose of ice cream!


Mainz, is the city of Gutenberg, the famous publishing house, but also the six-towered Cathedral of St. Martin and St. Stephen, ranking among one of those most magnificent achievements of Romanesque religious architecture. The Cathedral was begun in 975 but completed between the 11th and 13th centuries.



The day ends in the famous wine-town of Rüdesheim, where we spend the night. It is famous for wine and brandy (I can vouch for both), music, and dancing and Drosselgasse Rüdesheim, winding streets of bars and restaurants. It was great fun!