The "Holy Ghost Church" looks surprisingly little for all the historic events that has happened here. Built in late Gothic style in 1344-1441 on a site where there was previously a Roman basilica, the church held the more than 50 Palatinate Prince Electors' tombs but these were ruined in the 17th century bombardement so that only Ruprecht II's is still looking almost like it used to. When that happened, the famous Commander Tilly of the 30 Years' War had already in 1623 dissolved the famous Bibliotheca Palatina which was also housed here. All the books where taken as booty and sent to the Pope in Rome and only 800 or so of its once 5000 books are back in Heidelberg since the 19th century. The church has changed from Catholic to Protestant several times throughout history and is today Protestant but still has the medieval Catholic tradition with shops along its outdoor walls, today full of Heidelberg souvenirs.
Heiliggeistkirche is a place, you won't miss. It's in the Hauptstraße, the main street, where all the tourists make a walk. The church is nice, but what I prefer most is climbing up the tower to take some pics from there of heidelberg. You have a great view!
...not least because it is slap-bang in the Marktplatz.
The Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit) which now stands dates from the late 14th century, but is built on the site of at least two previous places of worship.
It's the only church I've visited where both Protestants and Catholics worshipped at the same time. A partition was erected in 1706 so that both groups could hold services (it was removed in 1936).
There are traces of beautiful and intricate ?Medieval decoration on some of the ceilings (mainly floral, see photo), so do make sure you look upwards.
And some fascinating memorial slabs and graves (again, see photos). I was interested to see that Ruprecht lll and his lady both have their feet on dogs (his may be a lion); the same device is common on the memorials to English aristocrats of the same era.
Well worth taking a wander round this church, although don't expect to be alone. Its placement in the central Marktplatz of this tourist-popular town means, I suspect, that it is generally as busy as I found it to be when I visited.
The climb up the steeple is worth the work.
The view is beautiful and you can walk all the
way around the outside, to see Heidelberg in 360.
The cost is 1 euro for adults and 0,50 for children.
It's well worth it.
This climb will work with kids as there is a tall stone railing at the top.
This climb would not work for physically disabled due to stairs (about 200 and circular) It is not continuously around and up there are a couple of flat spots to take a breather.
This climb would be cautious for those who are tall. My son who is over 6 ft had to duck a lot for the last 20 steps or so.
The church once was used by Protestants as well as Catholics. From 1706 to 1936 walls inside the church separated the two confessions. It is now a protestant church.
Being located on the beautiful and popular market square of Heidelberg Heiliggeistkirche is completely surrounded by tacky souvenir shops. I guess it's supposed to distract from the fact that the church is closed most of the time ;-)
I am always interested to see the things they sell as souvenirs from Germany. Argh, I was shocked. Find out more in my shopping tip!
A late Roman basilica was first mentioned in 1239. In 1398, it was replaced by a large church building which nave was constructed in the typical style of the late Gothic period. The chancel was completed by 1410, the building of the nave took until 1441. There was also a delay in the construction of the church tower which was started again in 1508. The chancel contained the tombs of the Prince Electors of the Palatinate. Most of the commemorial tablets were destroyed in 1693. Of the originally 54 epitaphs, the only one to remain was the one of Prince Elector Ruprecht II (1352 - 1410).
During the 30 Year´s War, however, the complete collection became the booty of Heidelberg´s conqueror, commander Tilly. Following orders of the Catholic Prince Elector Maximilian of Bavaria, the library was given to the Pope of Rome. Of the collection which once included more than 5000 books and 3524 manuscripts, only 885 manuscripts were returned to Heidelberg in 1816. During the following centuries, the church frequently changed its religious denomination and was used at different times by Catholics as well as Protestants. Even a partition barrier was erected in 1706 because both denominations wanted to hold service here. For 230 years, the barrier stayed in its place until it was removed in 1936. Today, the Church of the Holy Spirit is a Protestant Church.
The Heiliggeieistkirche was built in 1398-1410 in the centre of Heidelburg, between the castle and the river.
The church is open to visitors every day, from a small door at the back under the tower. Visitors can also climb the 204 steps to the top of the tower for fantastic views over Heidelberg, for only 50Eur cents.
The Heiliggseistkirche, or Church of the Holy Ghost, is a 14th century Gothic masterpiece--the largest church in the Rhineland-Palatinate state. Ruprecht III, its founder, lies buried here. Not only does it have a beautiful interior, but from the top offers the best view after the Castle.
Located right in the heart of the old town, the Church of the Holy Spirit is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city, perhaps second only to the castle. Construction of the church began in 1398, though it was built in stages and was not completed until quite a long time after that. Tthe chancel was not completed until 1410, followed by the nave in 1441. There was also a delay in the construction of the church tower, which was started again in 1508. The chancel contained the tombs of the Prince Electors of the Palatinate. Most of the memorial tablets were destroyed in 1693. Of the original 54 epitaphs, the only one remaining is that of Prince Elector Ruprecht II (1352-1410).
The church frequently changed its religious denomination over the years and was used at different times by Catholics as well as Protestants. A partition barrier was even erected in 1706 because both denominations wanted to hold services there. For 230 years, the barrier stayed in place until it was removed in 1936. Today, the Church of the Holy Spirit is a Protestant Church.
You definitely HAVE TO climb the chuch tower of the Church of the Holy Spirit!
For only a small fee of 0.50 euro, you get to climb to the top of the ancient stone-stepped tower for a magnificient 360 degree view of Heidelberg!
It was amazing! I truly enjoyed climbing up the tower and felt really rewarded for the effort of climbing up over 200 steps! hehehe...
It's a really impressive climb and it made me feel like I was back in the medieval times going up the stone tower... okie, that's me and my imagination... hehehe...
Anyway, I would consider this a more worthwhile climb than the one up to the Schloss! Really!
The Church of the Holy Spirit is a landmark and the most famous church in Heidelberg. It stands in the middle of the market place in the old center of Heidelberg not far from the Heidelberg Castle.
You can watch my 1 min 54 sec Video Heidelberg part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
The Heiliggeistkirche is right on the marketsquare. It is possible to climb the tower, which I absolutely recommend: you have a spectacular view to the castle and over the roofs of old Heidelberg.
A little information about the church:
A late Roman basilica was first mentioned in 1239. In 1398, it was replaced by a large church building which nave was constructed in the typical style of the late Gothic period. The construction of the nave was completed in 1441, the church tower was not finished until the beginning of the 16th century!!
During the centuries, the church frequently changed its religious denomination and was used at different times by Catholics as well as Protestants. Even a partition barrier was erected in 1706 because both denominations wanted to hold service here. For 230 years, the barrier stayed in its place until it was removed in 1936.
Today, the Church of the Holy Spirit is a Protestant Church.