Monday and our 14th day on the road. The sun is back after the rainy and cloudy Sunday in Trier. We drive back to Heidelberg. Along the motorway we see the signposts pointing to the places we have visited. Kusel – craddle of Fritz Wunderlich. Münchweiler – memories of the great hotel and restaurant Klostermühle, and also memories of the Celtic wall on the Donnersberg. Neustadt and the Riesling wines of the Pfalz. And after some two hours we already approach Mannheim. Ursula proposes to visit the remains of the Carolinguian monastery of Lorsch. Agreed…
Lorsch, a gem of a village with this Unesco world heritage, the monastery
Lorsch was an imperial monastery founded in the 8th century. Today it is known for these arches.
Above the arches there is a room with frescos, as this plate shows.
Around the monastery are the remains of a church, reconstructed buildings (to illustrate the monastery), a garden with herbs, and a pretty, small village with half-timbered houses and welcoming restaurants.
This fountain shows a woman with tobacco leaves.
Lorsch takes care of its world heritage and loves to share it with visitors.
Heidelberg – in a way “my” town… I was born here
Then we continue our way to Heidelberg and settle in the hotel Monpti in the old city center. The hotel is about okay, but a bit noisy and it may need some renovation. It is like coming home for me, as I was born in Heidelberg.
Morning walk in the city
We start our 14th day with an early morning walk down to the Neckar to catch some photos of the city river line.
I had to climb through the trees and bushes to take my morning photo.
Ursula took this foto of the famous Heidelberg castle in the haze.
Having crossed the Neckar, we visit the gothic Heiliggeistkirche.
Inside the light is beautiful.
All windows of the church have been made after 1945.
We have a coffee in the traditional confectionary Gundel. They are proud of their specialty “Mohrenkugel” that the grand-grand-father had invented for the anniversary of Kurfürst Friedrich V and his wife Elisabeth Stuart.
Inside the Mohrenkugel there is a nougat filling. This is the story: The grand-grand-father could not think of a creative shape for the anniversary sweet. The daughter asked him to tell her the fairy tale of king frog. While she fell asleep, the confectionist took the ball the (king) frog retrieved from the fountain and invented the “Mohrenkugel”.
Walking steeply uphill to the ruins of the Heidelberg castle
Over steep stairs we reach the famous ruins of the Heidelberg castle in ten minutes. We enjoy the view of the city center, the Neckar and Mannheim.
The Heidelberg castle originates from the 13th century. Each Kurfürst added one notable building, e.g. Ottheinrich added the Ottheinrichsbau (Renaissance, early 16th century) or Friedrich the Friedrichsbau (around 1600). Friedrich V also built this gate for his wife Elisabeth Stuart that he was in love of (Ursula’s foto).
The castle was destroyed in the Palatine succession wars end of the 17th century, as Louis XIV wanted to expand and conquer the Palatine (Pfalz). The castle was never rebuilt, and later it was decided to preserve just the ruins, as poets such as Goethe had already made it known which attracted tourists.
Strolling through the old city center
We stroll through the old city center. This is my favorite building, the Hotel Ritter with its Renaissance fassade.
Ursula has memories of the university library. Some years ago she studied the facsimile of the Codex Manesse with the medieval minstrel songs such as by Walther von der Vogelweide. She cites “Ich saz ûf eime steine,und dahte bein mit beine…” . He thinks and concludes that he does not succeed trying to achieve honor, possession and the mercy of God at the same time.
Our hotel is close to the gothic St. Peters’ church that hosts a lot of interesting epitaphs – some tombstones are more than 500 years old.
We spend the afternoon with a friend of mine in a small village close to Heidelberg and then have dinner in the restaurant Romer… a gourmet dinner with sea brass. Delicious.