Heidelberg is an old university town located about an hour and a half north of Stuttgart, in between Stuttgart and Frankfurt. Sitting on a hill overlooking the city is Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Palace), a mostly ruined castle that has its roots in the 13th century. The castle was built over 500 years, but was partially destroyed numerous times due to disasters both natural (lots of lightening strikes) and man-made (sore-loser generals blowing the heck out of pieces of the castle before retreating).
|The top of that tower may be missing.|
We were excited that a last-minute visit to Frankfurt by Matt's cousin Chris and his wife Stephanie gave us a great excuse to tour the castle since we had only seen it from the outside (twice). They offer English tours of the interiors once a day, so we hopped in our car and met outside of the gate.
Although the exterior walls of the castle have a consistent appearance, the interior courtyard showcases multiple different styles that reflect its construction over a period of more than a half century.
|Wasn't expecting a fancy pants palace inside the walls.|
|This part looks like a movie set -- you can see that the insides of the building are missing.|
Unfortunately photography wasn't permitted on the inside of the castle, so you'll have to come visit to see for yourselves. But the tour did end with a visit to the castle's wine cellar. The previous occupants were serious about drinking and built the world's largest wine keg in 1751 (plus a few more huge ones to make sure they didn't run out of wine). The biggest keg was a bit leaky, so it hasn't held much wine over the years. Today it is used as an event space with a dance floor built on top of it.