Heidelberg castle facts, history and the biggest wine barrel you have ever seen

The castle of Heidelberg is maybe the most famous german ruin and is located in the state of Baden Württemberg (with state capital Stuttgart). As a symbol of german romanticism the castle attracts yearly countless tourists from all over the world and is one of the must-see german destinations.

Hedielberg castle wall with ornaments


The castle has a centuries long history and the proof of that are multiple buildings erected during various periods. It’s initial purpose in the 13th century was to help protect the monastery of Schönau as well as the nearby Tal street. Later on in the 15th and 16th centuries additional fortification walls and towers were built to meet the advancing weaponry at the time. During the following centuries the castle rulers decided that it is about time to build some actual palace inside the fortress walls and this is how the palace buildings – “Ott-heinrichbau”, “Friedrichsbau”  and the “Englishen Bau” came to existence. Accompanying them was a spectacular castle garden that some people even described as the eighth wonder of the world.

This layout, however, did not last long, because during the 17th century the French laid waste upon a larger part of the castle and later on even weather itself was against the palace. A lightning struck the castle and started a huge fire that destroyed the attempts of rebuilding the place. Since then the castle remains in ruins for the most parts.

Still, some restoration took place and today you can take a look at the alchemist museum located in the east side of the inner yard. Various tools and items show the development of alchemy into pharmacy through the ages.

 The Wine Barrel

GrossesfassRight across the yard in the western cellar you may witness the biggest wine barrel you have ever seen. It’s dimensions are – length: 9 meters (30 feet), height: 8 meters (26 feet) and diameter: 7 meters (23 feet). Basically this monster can hold around 220000 liters (58000 gallons) of wine which is approx. equal to 317000 bottles of wine (0.7l). The castle rulers seem to have been quite practical people, since this wine reservoir was connected via pipe system directly to his throne hall. At some festivals his guests drinked up to 2000 liters (530 gallons) wine. So much for water those days.

 Featured Events

The castle church serves for weddings as long as the pair does not mind some audience. Once they leave the peaceful atmosphere inside, they become the main attraction for hundreds of tourists inside the castle walls.

Apart from that, visitors in August can also enjoy theatrical and concert performances inside the Heidelberg castle during the annual castle festival. These events originate from 1837 and this awesome tradition lasts until today.

Have you been to Heidelberg and want to share some of your experiences there? Feel free to add a comment below.

1 Comment

    Jun 5, 2016


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