„I have lost my heart in Heidelberg…“ – this is the beginning of the famous song, written by Frederick Vesely alias Fred Raymond in the year 1925. It became part of his musical stage performance which was first shown at the “Vienna Volksoper” – the Vienna people’s opera – in 1927 and which afterwards was successfully performed around the globe. This proved to become true for my own person. When I came from Kiev, the metropolis of the Ukraine, here to Heidelberg, I felt at home from the very first minute of my stay. The harmony of mountains, castle and the valleys of the rivers Neckar and Rhine fascinated me at once. Here Nature embraces the picturesque town and her citizens especially full of love - and this as well is the feeling of every visitor and guest from the very first moment of their stay. This unique feeling I would like to bring over to you as well.
For years I learned about the history of Heidelberg and its surrounding region, till I could make my exams as Heidelberg City Guide. My stories may become a memorable addition of your Heidelberg visit in case you book one of the following excursions:
The Old City with its picturesque lanes, squares and medieval churches. I will show you the Church of the Holy Ghost, with grave stones of the Prince Electors of the Palatinate. The twin towers – a landmark of the town – are a remnant of the medieval fortress, exactly as the Marstall – the horse stables of the Prince Electors. I will relate of the oldest German University and from the free life of the students. On request I will show you the “studentkarzer”, the historic university prison. Together we will visit the Jesuits Church, the St. Peters Church and the University Library. Many interesting names and epochs I will mention during my excursions – let yourselves be surprised! It is your choice to choose the duration of the excursion – 1.5, 2 or 2.5 hours. The longest route is combined with the excursion “Russians in Heidelberg”.
The Old City and the world famous Heidelberg Castle. This excursion is connected with the visit of Germanys´ most famous castle ruin. Visiting the castle court and its surrounding buildings you will hear a lot about the Prince Electors of the Palatinate. I will show you the biggest wine barrel of the world and we will visit Germany´s Pharmacy Museum. On the balcony of the castle you will have a breathtaking view on the old city of Heidelberg and the vast plain of the river Neckar and Rhine. In the castle park I will relate you on the Hortus Palatinus, the eights´ wonder of the world of the 17th century and I will show you the Elisabeth´s Gate, which was erected in one night by order of Prince Elector Frederick V. as birthday present for his beloved fiancée, the English princess Elisabeth Stuart. Booking this interesting excursion you and your guests may decide whether you want to go up to the castle by food or use the oldest but most modern funicular. The excursion will take you 2.5, 3 or 3.5 hours. It is your decision on booking.
Germany´s oldest University: A short car trip will give us the connection between the old city and the Neuenheim Field – a connection between history and the new time. At the old city I will show you the New and the Old University, The University Library, the University Church St. Peters´ and the students´mensa in the medieval fortress buildings. Then we will move to the “Neuenheim Field”, an area where you will pass the most modern University Hospitals and Research Institutes as for example the German Cancer Research Center and the Max Plank Institute for Medical Research.
Famous Russians in Heidelberg: I will relate you a lot about Russian scientists, artists, writers and musicians, who during the 19th century enriched the social life in Heidelberg to a big extend. You will hear funny and sad stories about Mendeleev, Pirogov, Borodin, Sechenov, the married couple Kovalevskij, Turgenev, Rimski-Korsakov, Mendelson-Bartholdy and many other well known personalities – not to forget the Russian Czar Alexander I. The excursion takes 1.5 to 2 hours.
Heidelberg Beer Brewery Tradition and Wine Culture: During the first century after Christ the Romans and Celts built up the first wine yards and plantations at the hills on Neckar and Rhine. Since that time wine-growing is carried out very successfully around Heidelberg. The mild Heidelberg climate favors the growing of very special kinds of grapes. Wines from Heidelberg and the surrounding hills are very much estimated by connoisseurs. Order for your guests a wine degustation and be convinced yourself.
For an especially good beer you need especially good water. Here in Heidelberg one uses only the pure spring water from the castle hill for brewing beer which is brewed exactly according to the purity law of the year 1516. It states that beer must consist only of water, hop and malt. Taste yourselves our fresh beer which definitely is without chemical conservation and pasteurization. You and your guests will enjoy this experience when you book an excursion for visiting a Heidelberg Beer Brewery. You even may combine this with a short city or castle excursion.
Culinarical trip through moderate homely cooking: In one of the oldest and traditional student taverns, which since generations is in possession of a Heidelberg family, you and your guests will be taken care of by the owner and chief cook personally. I will be delighted to relate you and your guests on medieval customs, etiquettes and specialties of the Palatinate region in the course of a culinarical and modest event. The atmosphere of this special tavern, which matches a students´ museum, will surely fascinate you!
New: Museum of the Palatinate: The oldest museum of the region, which just celebrates its 100 years jubilee, shows a lot of interesting and precious exposures, which I will present you together with interesting stories. The history of the Romans and Celts, the medieval history of the golden age of the Palatinate, the modern times and the industrializing of the region, as well as the democratic movement will be brought to your attention. The excursion takes 1.5 hours.
A trip through the Neckar valley and the Odenwald: In Heidelberg ends the so called “Castle Road”, which in medieval times connected South Germany with Bohemia and which started in Prague. The picturesque valley of the river Neckar is embellished by numerous mysterious ruins of medieval castles – and each ruin has of course its own ghosts and phantoms. In the course of our car trip along the banks of the river Neckar I will relate you many interesting stories and legends. At the end of our tour we will visit Dilsberg, a small fortress of the years 1150 till 1200 on the top of a mountain where you will have a great view on the snakelike Neckar valley. This place, surrounded by medieval fortress walls, kept its special charm and ancient kind of living through centuries. If you like we certainly may prolong the route and pay a visit to the castle of Hirschhorn – a big castle area which in 1959 was extended into a hotel and sightseeing restaurant. The route to Dilsberg and back to Heidelberg takes about 4 hours, the route to Hirschhorn and back about 6 hours. In case a lunch will be taken the tour will be prolonged accordingly.
New! Mannheim – Town and Castle: Mannheim is the centre of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolis Region. During the 18th century the town had its prime time as capital of the Palatinate. In the 19th century Napoleon influenced the development of this region. During a short car trip I will make you familiar with Mannheim’s history. In 2007 the Mannheim Residence with its precious parade halls was opened to the public following the reconstruction after the destruction of the Second World War. I will lead you through the splendor state halls and make you familiar with the last Prince Elector of the Palatinate. The excursion through the Beletage of the Mannheim Castle takes approximately 1.5, the combination excursion “castle and town” about 2.5 to 3 hours.