Heidelberg Off The Beaten Path

  • Tiefburg Castle
    Tiefburg Castle
    by TomInGermany
  • The Old Bridge
    The Old Bridge
    by TomInGermany
  • Abbey Ruins
    Abbey Ruins
    by TomInGermany

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Heidelberg

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    College of Jewish Studies

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 7, 2014

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    College of Jewish Studies

    Next door to the back end of the City Theater at Friedrichstr. 9 is the Hochschule fuer Juedische Studien or "Hjs".

    This unique institution offers a wide variety of courses in Jewish history, literature, art and philosophy, as well as languages such as Hebrew, Aramaic and Yiddish. It views itself as "the successor of the great institutions of Jewish scholarship that existed in Germany in the years before the Second World War" and includes a comprehensive 50,000 volume library on Jewish subjects.

    It was founded in 1979 and works in close cooperation with Heidelberg University.

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    Student housing at Heumarkt

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 7, 2014

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    Student housing at Heumarkt, Heidelberg

    My original reason for taking this picture was to show the nice row of bicycles stretched across one side of the Heumarkt square. (I always like to document bicycle usage in places I visit.)

    It turns out that these two buildings are student residence halls. The one on the right was named after Gustav Radbruch (1878-1949), a German politician and law professor who was one of the first to be fired by the Nazis when they came to power, and one of the first to be reinstated after the Second World War.

    The building on the left was once the Hotel Goldenes Ross, but it was bought in the 1920s for use as a student residence hall with money donated by an American named Hiram Watson Sibley (1845-1932), who is perhaps best known as the founder of the Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

    Sibley was extremely rich because his father, Hiram Sibley (1807-1888), had made a huge fortune in the 1850s and '60s by consolidating a group of small telegraph companies to form the Western Union Telegraph Company.

    Address: Heumarkt 1-3, Heidelberg

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    Hiking, Heidelberg and the Philosopher's Way

    by TomInGermany Written Mar 18, 2013

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    Tiefburg Castle
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    Heidelberg is one of the visited cities in Germany, but not many people go there to hike and that’s a pity since there is some great hiking trails just across the river and up behind the magnificent castle. Here is one hike that will get your blood pumping but also provide you some great views of the city and a chance to see some history, both ancient and fairly recent.

    We started our hike on a chilly February day in the town of Handschuhsheim located just north of Heidelberg and home to a little known castle called Tiefburg. (address: Steubenstrasse 78, 69121 Heidelberg). It wasn’t open for visitors on the day we were there but it was still a great starting point for the hike given the free parking along the residential streets nearby and some nice views of the exterior of the castle. From the castle, you want to head toward Heidelberg City by walking down Steubenstrasse which will merge into Route 3 which is called Handschuhsheimer Landstrasse at this point. Continue down Route 3 until you cross the Neckar River and enter the city.

    As you cross the bridge look up the river to see you next destination : the Alte Brücke or old bridge. Head to the bridge by walking along the river or heading into town and walking along the main pedestrian walkway called Hauptstrasse. When you cross back over the Neckar River on the Old Bridge look for a sign pointing to the Philosophen Weg (Philosopher’s Way) which was where some famous German poets used to walk and think on great matters. Can’t remember who they were but I’m sure they were famous.

    The path is a pretty steep climb with lots of steps and switchbacks and contained on both sides with stone walls. There are several places to pull off the path to take some pictures and catch your breath. At the top of the climb, head to the left (back down the river). You are now on the Philosopher’s Way and on the “red line” trail. Continue down this path with its excellent views of Heidelberg until you see the “red line” trail head off to the left and up the hill. Stay on the “red line” trail all the way to the top of the mountain (maybe not a mountain but it is a very large hill). Along the way you will see a Turm (a tower) you can climb up, ruins of two abbeys (one with a tower you can climb up for an excellent view looking down on Heidelberg and one with a tower that lets you look down over the abbey ruins) and an amphitheater built in the 1930s.

    When you are done checking out the sites continue on the “red line” trail until you see the “upside down T” trail which you will want to take to the left (East), down the hill and back to your car. Stay on this trail all the way back into Handschuhsheim, to the castle and to your car.

    The entire route is a little over 7 miles with steep uphill assents, doable if you take your time and are in average shape. We stopped for lunch in Heidelberg at the brewery restaurant called Vetters but still completed the hike in under 4 hours. If you want to see the sites but don’t think you can make the hike there is parking at the top of the hill which is how many of the folks we saw walking around arrived at their destination.

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  • JessH's Profile Photo

    A secret restaurant; away from the tourist traffic

    by JessH Updated Apr 25, 2011

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    Garden restaurant in Kurpfalz Museum, Heidelberg
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    Especially if you're not a museum-fan, you'd probably walk past this building and never think you'd missed anything: wrong. Especially during the summer months, Heidelberg's old town is filled to annoyance-point with tourists and residents alike. There are numerous street cafes and al-fresco eateries, but finding one that's not too crowded might just be impossible.

    That's why I love this restaurant / cafe: it is located right on the main street in the old town, but it's relatively unknown and off the "tourist track". Walk into the main entrance of the "Kurpfalz Museum" (Hauptstraße 97). The courtyard gardens has around 20 tables and they serve a full lunch or dinner menu. We usually prefer to visit for some nice traditional coffee and home-baked-style cakes. In summer 2006, my mother and I spent just over an hour here; relaxing in the cool of the trees' shade, resting our sore shopping-trip feet & enjoying the calm surroundings. Even in winter, you can sit inside their baroque and very grand dining rooms.

    Prices are relatively reasonable, considering that you're still in the tourist centre of town, service is efficient and friendly, and generally it's a very pleasant experience with surprisingly good food.

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  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    A monestary above the river:Stift Neuburg

    by christine.j Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    As early as 1130 the first monks moved to this place above the river near Heidelberg. The cloister there has been a monastery, later and more successful a nunnery, a boarding school , a summer residence for rich families and now it is a monastery again. It's located between Heidelberg and the suburb of Ziegelhausen. Most buildings today are from 20th century.I really liked the depiction of the weary traveller in the church.

    The gardens were beautiful, naturally in July, and especially since the cloister is famous for their gardening.The monks are running a very successful garden shop, too.

    There are some guest rooms for people who want to experience living in a cloister or who simply want to enjoy some days of complete rest. Since it's a monastery, only men can stay.

    There is some parking up there, but most visitors we saw had walked there. It is a wonderful area for hiking.

    You can also take the bus 34 from Heidelberg to Ziegelhausen and get off at Paulusheim, it's another five minute walk up the hill.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Große Mantelgasse

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 19, 2010

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    Gro��e Mantelgasse


    This is one of about twenty nice little streets in the Old Town that lead from the main street down to the Neckar River.

    This particular one actually starts at Heumarkt (Haymarket) and leads down to Synagogenplatz (Synagogue Square), which is close to the river.

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    Heumarkt

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 19, 2010

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    Heumarkt

    If the main street and the market square get too crowded for you, just a few steps away there are some pleasant little places that aren't so overrun.

    Here at the Heumarkt or Haymarket, for instance, you can get away from the crowds, even though it is just off the main street.

    The street going off to the left in the photo is called Untere Straße, meaning Lower Street.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    The perfect way to unwind

    by Maryimelda Updated Jul 12, 2010

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    After you have enjoyed a relaxed meal at the Gasthaus zum Anker above, take a walk along the Neckar. It is so beautiful and so very peaceful and tranquil especially at sundown. The road is perfectly flat and there are fields and greenery all around. You can walk upstream to the lock and then back to your car. Great way to walk off the calories as well.

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    Handschuhsheim

    by Maryimelda Written Oct 15, 2009

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    Castle Tiefburg.....
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    christine.j took me on a tram to Handschuhsheim a suburb of Heidelberg and I feel that if I were to list all the different points of interest there as separate tips it would take forever. We walked along some quiet suburban streets set behind stone walls that hide them from those who don't live there, but which are very tranquil and appealing. There were a number of churches as well and of course the wonderful Castle Tiefburg. I recommend that you go to christine's Heidelberg pages and read about them all, because I could never do them all justice in the way she has. You will be fascinated by her stories, I can assure you.

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    Relax by the Neckar.....

    by Maryimelda Updated Oct 15, 2009

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    About 9kms outside of Heidelberg, near a place called Schleuse, there is a lovely garden restaurant, "Gasthaus zum Ankor", right on the banks of the Neckar in a wonderful country setting. It even has a barn next door housing milk cows and their calves. This has to be one of the most peaceful places I have ever enjoyed in Europe. We sat in the garden and ate Bratwurst and chips washed down with red wine for me and Radler (shandy) for my friends. Afterwards we took a walk up the river to the lock gates and all around were cornfields, apple trees and beautiful horses. This was a highlight of my entire 6 week holiday.

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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Symbols of pharmacies – during history

    by Trekki Updated Dec 28, 2008

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    Beautiful old pharmacy sign
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    In the older days, a common pharmacy trade sign or logo (as today's red A) did not exist. That’s why the pharmacists could choose their own logo, which was inspired by the “raw materials” of their daily life, mainly animals.

    So you can see beautiful carved, iron-wrought, plaster, enamel and other trade signs of old pharmacies:
    Bärenapotheke (bears)
    Einhornapotheke (unicorn)
    Adlerapotheke (eagle)
    Löwenapotheke (lion).

    Today's trade sign, the red letter “A” with poison bowl and snake, exists since 1951.

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    Ahh – the alchemy lab :-)

    by Trekki Updated Dec 28, 2008

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    Alchemy lab :-)
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    The pharmacist's lab is situated in a beautiful old vault, designed as if you would expect a pharmacist of 19th century to step out of a door and start his daily work :-)

    The room is filled with all the lab equipment of early pharmaceutical-technical days, such as retorts, distillation flasks, vessels to catch and separate liquids of different viscosity and density, filtration sets, different presses, crucibles, Berzelius burners, Woulff bottles and many other old instruments – ahhhh, (al)chemist's heaven :-)

    Look at the website below, to get an impression of the whole room.

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    Herb room - the drug kitchen

    by Trekki Updated Dec 28, 2008

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    The herb processing room

    A fascinating room to view – and to smell – is the herb processing room, where herbs were stored and made into medicine. The room is fitted with fresh herbs and smells incredible good (the museum employees seem to refill them from time to time !).

    The furniture and equipment are of the Village Pharmacy in Mosbach, mainly from 19th century.
    Roots and barks have been pregrinded with special knives and cutting-boards, then in mortars for further crushing.

    The big old scale in the middle was used to weigh bigger bulks of herbs.

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    Minerals in pharmacology

    by Trekki Updated Dec 28, 2008

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    The mineral collection
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    More material displayed in the showcases - minerals are used as raw materials for medicine since ages.

    Silver (Argentum) for example was used to make “lunar caustic” (Lapis infernalis, AgNo3), which was good against gonorrhoea.

    Gold (Aurum) mainly was used in alchemy days, but later as well as “potable gold” (aurum potabile) in several healing waters.

    Lead (Plumbum) is too toxic to be used internally, so it’s basic lead carbonate “white lead” (Cerusse) was transformed into a white salve, used to dry out eczemas and other pustules.
    Also, lead oxide (Lithargyrum, PbO) with adstringing effects, was made into plasters and “lead water” (Aqua plumbum).

    Tin (Stannum) was used as “white lead” (Plumbum album”, Plumbum candidum) and used as vermicide – considering the hygienic conditions those days must have been a top sales product (haha).
    Tinoxide was good against cramps, hysteria and syphillis, it’s chloride against epilepsy.

    Copper (Cuprum), similar as lead, was also only used externally, such as anti-septic in wounds.

    Iron as “Blood Stone” (Lapis haematitis, haematite, Fe2O3) and “Magnet Stone” (Lapis magnetis, magnetite, Fe3O4) has been the most important iron minerals, those days as today used to enhance “blood building” and wound treatment.

    Pic 1: Some minerals used in the old days,
    Pic 2: the “Merck Collection” (as mentioned in the previous tip)

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    Plants & animals in pharmacology

    by Trekki Updated Dec 28, 2008

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    Plants - in old pharmacology
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    For me the most fascinating part of Pharmacy Museum is the exhibition of plants, animals and rocks, as used for preparing medicine in the old days.

    In 28 showcases with more than 1000 exhibits, the “working material” of 17-19th century pharmacists is displayed and excellently described. The exhibition is divided into the 3 parts of nature (regna naturae) – minerals, plants and animals. Also shown are the original instruments of how pills and salves have been manufactured those days.

    In a niche, the “Merck Collection” is exhibited as well, a collection of raw materials and drugs which Chem.-Pharm. Merck KgaA (NOT to be confused with US Merck !!) did collect from all parts of the world when it started to develop from Engel pharmacy to the first international chemical pharmaceutical manufacturing company.

    Pic 1: Plants: betel nut (enhancing sweating), Campher (against rheumatic fever), cocoa beans (with analeptic alkaloids) and coconuts (as base for salves) are shown and explained in detail;
    Pic 2: more plants, such as herbs (dill) and others,
    Pic 3: Animals: dried fox lung (pulmo vulpis) helped against severe cough, toads (bufo bufo) were processed (dried and grained) into medicine against the Black Death – the plague, and other skin illnesses, rabbits (tali leporum) were meant to enhance and speed up birth deliveries, and wood-louse (millepedes) was used against buckled or distorted limbs.

    (to be continued in next tip)

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Heidelberg Off The Beaten Path

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