Heidelberg

Images of Heidelberg, during the Christmas Market Season, on a clear Sunday in December

I love Heidelberg, so much so that I find it hard to express in words. Rather than submit you to my hacky attempt, I’ll leave you with Mark Twain’s description of the city, shamelessly stolen from A Tramp Aboard (1880) (stolen by me, not by him):

This last [viewpoint] affords the most extensive view, and it is one of the loveliest that can be imagined, too. Out of a billowy upheaval of vivid green foliage, a rifle-shot removed, rises the huge ruin of Heidelberg Castle, with empty window arches, ivy-mailed battlements, moldering towers – the Lear of inanimate nature – deserted, discrowned, beaten by the storms, but royal still, and beautiful. It is a fine sight to see the evening sunlight suddenly strike the leafy declivity at the Castle’s base and dash it up and drench it as with a luminous spray, while the adjacent groves are in deep shadow.

Behind the Castle swells a great dome-shaped hill, forest-clad, and beyond that a nobler and loftier one. The Castle looks down upon the compact brown-roofed town; and from the town two picturesque old bridges span the river. Now the view broadens; through the gateway of the sentinel headlands you gaze out over the wide Rhine plain, which stretches away, softly and richly tinted, grows gradually and dreamily indistinct, and finally melts imperceptibly into the remote horizon.

I have never enjoyed such a view which had such a serene and satisfying charm about it as this one gives.

Twain then later goes on to describe the castle in more depth:

A ruin must be rightly situated, to be effective. This one could not have been better placed. It stands upon a commanding elevation, it is buried in green woods, there is no level ground about it, but, on the contrary, there are wooded terraces upon terraces, and one looks down through shining leaves into profound chasms and abysses where twilight reigns and the sun cannot intrude. Nature knows how to garnish a ruin to get the best effect. One of these old towers is split down the middle, and one half has tumbled aside. It tumbled in such a way as to establish itself in a picturesque attitude. Then all it lacked was a fitting drapery, and Nature has furnished that; she has robed the rugged mass in flowers and verdure, and made it a charm to the eye. The standing half exposes its arched and cavernous rooms to you, like open, toothless mouths; there, too, the vines and flowers have done their work of grace. The rear portion of the tower has not been neglected, either, but is clothed with a clinging garment of polished ivy which hides the wounds and stains of time. Even the top is not left bare, but is crowned with a flourishing group of trees & shrubs. Misfortune has done for this old tower what it has done for the human character sometimes – improved it.

Heidelberg is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, if not the most. I would highly recommend it as a must see for any trip to Germany.

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About supertylor

British Columbian 20-something spending a(nother) year in Trier, Germany.
This entry was posted in Germany, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Heidelberg

  1. honey says:

    Love love Heidelberg. How did you make your picture collage?

    • supertylor says:

      When you add new media on the right hand side there’s an option for making galleries (Create Galleries?). From there you choose photos in the normal way/upload them, then after clicking “Create New Gallery” you can arrange the order. Change the type from the default “Thumbnail Grid” in the dropdown menu to Tiled Mosaic and you should be laughing. Good luck, and let me know if you have anymore questions!

  2. Shelley says:

    We received your post card once we arrived home. Thanks! Sad to think there are hardly any traces of the Canadians. See you this summer?

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