The ruins of Heidelberg Castle are the symbol of German Romanticism. Each year they attract more than a million visitors. The castle was first mentioned in 1225. For five centuries, the castle was the residence of the Electors Palatine and enjoyed the fame of one of the finest Renaissance complexes in Germany. It was destroyed during the Nine Years’ War in 1688-1697.
Heidelberg Castle was a complex of buildings. The building of Otto Heinrich included the living rooms, the Prince’s Hall and the huge Imperial Hall, which hosted balls. The German Pharmacy Museum (Deutsches Apotheken Museum) has been in this building since 1958. The pharmacy equipment and medicine of the XIX-XX centuries -a total of 20,000 exhibits -are displayed at the museum.
The building of Frederick IV draws attention with its sculptures of Electors on the facade. The English-style palace of Palladian architecture is another famous building. It was built at the order of Frederick V for his wife Elizabeth Stewart. A barrel of 220,000 liters of wine is kept in the basement of one of the buildings of the castle. It claims to be the world’s biggest wine barrel.
At the beginning of the XVII century during the reign of Frederick V, Hortus Palatinus garden was created inside the fortifications walls. It was planned to make it the Eighth Wonder of the World, but the Nine Years’ War prevented the ambitious plans. In the XVIII century an English garden with evergreen oaks, cedars and ferns was created on the site of Hortus Palatinus. Goethe noticed its beauty walking here. The garden offers a beautiful view of the castle and the valley of the Neckar River. The famous English painter William Turner visited the castle and captured its picturesque ruins in his art. Victor Hugo, Mark Twain, Osip Mandelstam and Sasha Chorny also admired the castle and described their impressions of it.