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Articles: Travelogue
High on heidelberg
- Prof. venkata ramanamurty mallajosyula
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Driving down the beautiful, winding roads of the Bergstrasse, now Dipping into sudden fog, now emerging into sparking sunlight, the air hick with the sweet smell of pine, you round a bend and find yourself suddenly transported to a different era. Steep led churches, baroque bridges, cobble streets and a quaint little town nestled in the shadow of an imposing castle- you have officially arrived in Heidelberg. COURTING ROYALTY The magnificent Hedelberge castle is undoubtedly the city’s most famous exhibits and justifiably so. Perched high above the Nackar River on the verdant Konigstl (King’s throne) mountain it has the most breathtaking views of the countryside. Bursting with ornate, gilded, pillars and statues – some still intact, some crumbling –the castle retains the last vestiges of the royalty that once thrived there. Off the castle country yard is the Grosse Fass (giant barrel), which is the biggest in the world to ever have been filled with wine with a capacity of over two thousand liters. It is guarded by a statue of Perkio, a court jester whose fondness for jokes was only exceeded by his fondness for wine, and legend has it that his death came about from drinking a glass of water. For the romantically inclined, grab your partner and make for the Belvedere Terrace of the castle, preferably at sunset. Watch the sun go down over the hills, while lights come on in old Heidelberg town to the symphony of the church bells, then turn around and gasp at the magnificent castle lighting and I you don’t get that warm hug, you’re definitely in the wrong company. OLD – WORLD CHARM Located on the banks of the meandering Neckar River, the Aldstar or old Heidelberg town has retained much of its baroque flavor. The narrow cobble streets have been pedestrianised, and are the best way to explore the old town. Step into your most comfortable shoes and walk from the beautiful kornmarkt square, where you can sit down at a charming outdoor café and contemplate the breathtaking view of the castle, or walk into the Jesuit Church while the pealing bells beckon the faithful to prayer. In summer the street artistes have a veritable carnival going in the kornmarkt and the square comes alive with music, dance and art. PHILOSOPHERS’ WAY On the other side of the old bridge is the mysteriously named philosophenweg or the philosopher’s walk, a quaint little path through woods and terraced botanical gardens. The beauty of the p[lace is said to have inspired numerous philosophers and poets including JW Goethe and was often the meeting place for them, hence the name. The view from the Philosophenweg, probably the most photographed view of Heidelberg, is a stunning picture post card of the old bridge, the castle and the old town. They are number of events to watch out for in Heidelberg mostly in the summer months between May and September. Along with the Heidelberg Castle fesival, the annual fireworks display and castle illumination held once each in Jun, July and September is another huge draw and an absolute must-see. There is so much to see and do in the city, you will find that one visit simply won’t do it justice and you will be irresistibly drawn time and again to the high that is Heidelberg. Fact File: Getting there :Lufthnsa-Frankfurt daily/;Buses to the city center. April to September.

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