The main basilica of Heidelberg was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1239. The main part of the building was built in the late Gothic style in its place in 1398 and has survived to this day. Now, too, the Church of Holy Spirit dominates over the historic center. The Church of Holy Spirit in Heidelberg was built as a tomb for the Electors of the Palatinate, who ruled over Heidelberg. The altar was built in 1410 and the nave construction was delayed until 1441. The church’s main attraction is the extant tombstone of Ruprecht III. Most of the memorial plates were broken in the late XVII century.
In the middle of the XV century Elector Ludwig III founded a library in the temple. Bibliotheca Palatina was considered one of the best in Europe. At the end of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) Count Tilly brought the legendary library out of the Church at the order of the Bavarian Elector Maximilian. Only 885 out of 5000 books and 3524 manuscripts were returned to Heidelberg by the Vatican in 1816. But now they are kept at the University of Heidelberg. In 1706, the Catholics and Protestants shared the Church of the Holy Spirit and even separated from each other by a partition, which stood for 230 years. Now the church is wholly owned by the Protestants. It is possible to climb to the temple tower, erected in 1508. It offers a beautiful panoramic view of the medieval city.