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Explore the natural beauty of Heidelberg

Home to Germany's oldest university, Heidelberg is majestically set on the banks of the swift-flowing Neckar, 70 km south of Frankfurt. For two centuries, it has seduced travelers like no other German city.

Centerpiece is the Schloss, a compendium of magnificent buildings, somehow increased in stature by their ruined condition. The rest of the city has some good museums, but the main appeal is its picturesque cobbled streets, crammed with old-style eateries and student pubs. In spring and early summer, the streets hum with activity and late-night parties; by July and August most students have left, only to be replaced by swarms or tourists.

Heidelberg has a few very interesting cultural attractions that are worth visiting such as the Schlob, the University, the Marktplatz and the Philosophenweg.

The Schlob is the jewel in the crown of an already striking city, the careful stands careful watch over the armies (of tourists) that dare approach Heidelberg. Since the year 1329 it has housed the Prince Electors, whose statues decorate the fa├žade in front of the entrance. Over a period of almost 400 years, the castle's residents commissioned their own distinctive additions, resulting in the conglomeration of styles you see today. The castle's wine cellar holds the largest wine barrel ever made, which holds 221,726l.

Heidelberg is home to Germany's oldest and most prestigious university, established in 1386. More than 20 Nobel laureates have called the university home, and it was here that sociology became a legitimate academic subject.

In the center of the Altstadt is the cobblestoned Marktplatz, where accused witches and heretics were burned at the stake in the 15th century. Some of Heidelberg's oldest structures border this square, such as the 14th century Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy spirit) and the 16th century Haus Zum Ritter opposite the church.

The Philosophenweg is a high path opposite the Neckar from the Altstadt, the Philosophenweg (Philosopher's way) offers the best views of the city.


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