More than 600 000 years ago
“Homo Heidelbergensis” lived and hunted in the tropical woods around the Valley of the river Neckar. He captured rhinoceroses, mammoths and tigers. The ancient inhabitants of our area could be proofed when in 1907 in a sand-pit near Mauer – a small village in the vicinity of Heidelberg – a lower jaw bone was excavated.
5th Century before Christ
The Celts erected a fortress on the Holy Mountain. This settlement had the meaning of a sovereign seat in the nowadays South-Germany. The Celts run iron mines in the mountains of the Odenwald: Thanks to the production of iron the settlement on the Holy Mountain was a very rich one. Till now you may see with bare eyes the remnants of the Celtic fortress walls. A secret as well is the so-called “Heideloch”. The historians still dispute whether the well was a place of warship or just water well. The river Neckar was given its name by the Celts. In their language the word Neckar means “wild fellow”.
1st Century after Christ
The Roman legionary of Emperor Vespasian arrived at the Neckar valley. They erected a stone bridge at the crossing of two important roads of the antique in Germany which are named today “Bergstraße” – Mountain Road – and “Burgenstraße” – Castle Road. At the right bank of the river Neckar they run a camp named by the Romans “Castello Nuevo” – the New Castle. The present name of the city district of Neuenheim is derived from this name. Not before 260 after Christ the Romans retreated to the west bank of the river Rhine.
3rd Century after Christ
The German people of the Alemans defeated the Romans. The bridge across the river Neckar was destroyed just as all traces of the Roman-Latin culture in the Neckar valley while the Alemans were defeated by the Franconian King Chlodwig from the Merowinger dynasty. From this time the Neckar valley belonged to the kingdom of the Franks. Chlodwig was crowned to the first King of France. He confessed to Christianity and introduced the new religion into his countries.
5th Century after Christ
The permanent settlement of the Heidelberg area started. This is documented thanks to the archeological excavations.
8th Century after Christ
Some of the Heidelberg districts are mentioned in the documents of the monasteries of Lorch and Schoenau: Neuenheim and Handschuhsheim in the year 765, Rohrbach 766, Wieblingen 767 and Bergheim in 769.
Conrad of Staufen, descended from the mighty family of the Welfs and being half-brother of emperor Frederic I Barbarossa, was appointed count Palatine by Rhine. Count Palatine is one of the oldest aristocratic titles of Germany. Such the vassals of the German King were called, who supervised the big territories of his kingdom in his name and as his representatives.
The name “Heidelberch” is mentioned for the first time in a document of the Schoenau monastery. From where this name is derived is in the moment not yet clear. One meaning is that on the “Juettenbuehl”, where nowadays the castle is situated, a mass of goats grazed on the meadows. In Heidelberg dialect goats are “heddels”. Another meaning is that the name is derived from “Heidelbeere” ´which means bilberry.
Count Palatine Henry II died without a male successor. According to the edict of the German King Frederic II the city of Heidelberg and all other areas around go into possession of the Wittelsbach dynasty as permanent tenure. Duke Ludwig I of Bavaria becomes first Count Palatine by Rhine from this family.
For the first time a castle on the Heidelberg mountain is mentioned in a document.
For the first time a “Chappell of sacred Maria on the Market” is mentioned. This was the origin of the later Heiliggeistkirche – Church of the Holy Ghost - the biggest gothic church of the Palatinate.
A wooden bridge crossing the Neckar River is mentioned for the first time.
Two Heidelberg castles on the “Jettenbuehl” are mentioned for the first time. The “Upper Castle” on the “Molkenkur” and the “Lower Castle” where today the world famous Heidelberg Castle Ruin is situated. Which of both is the oldest is not delivered.
The Palatinate, up to now supervised by emperor Ludwig IV, is separated from Bavaria in the Treaty of Pavia.
Emperor Charles IV raised the Counts Palatine into the rank of Electors in his imperial Law of “The Golden Bull”.
Pope Urban allowed Prince-elector Ruprecht I on 23.10.1385 to found a University. In the following year 1386 the Heidelberg University was opened by Ruprecht I following Prague 1348 and Vienna 1365 it became the third university in the German speaking countries. But it is the oldest University in Germany. The first lecture was scheduled on 18.10.1386.
The inhabitants of the village of Bergheim are settled into a new part of the town which reached from Grabengasse to Bismarck Square.
For the new building of the gothic Heiliggeistkirche – Church of the Holy Ghost – the foundation-stone is laid. After the ceremonial opening this building is being looked upon as the Court and Grave-Church of the Electors Palatine. The erection of the tower was not before 1508
Prince-elector Ruprecht III becomes King of Germany with the name Ruprecht I of Palatinate, King of Germany. In German History he became the first and only King of the Count Palatine family by Rhine. Ruprecht started erecting his palace in the “Lower Castle”, which today bears his name. As architect he called the famous Garter of Mardener from Frankfort on Main.
In the battle of Seckenheim the troops of the Palatinate, under Prince-elector Frederic I, called the Victorious, beat those of Margrave of Baden and the Count of Württemberg.
Martin Luther, founder of the protestant reformed church, presented his 95 thesis for the first time in the “Schola Artisstarum” in Heidelberg`s Augustinergasse. Prince-elector Frederic IV of Palatinate made him chief of the theological disputation of the Heidelberg University. Martin Luther at this time lived for three month in the so called “Moenchhof” – “Monks Court” in the city part of Neuenheim, a farm which belonged to the monastery of Schoenau.
A lightning destroyed the “Upper Castle” on the Molkenkur: The most probably oldest of the Heidelberg castles. During this thunderstorm the lightning hit the powder tower. The explosion was such enormous, that most of the castle was destroyed. Parts of the walls were catapulted onto the town and destroyed the roofs of a lot of the town houses. From the “Upper Castle” nowadays no traces are left.
Prince-elector Ottheinrich, or Otto Henry, came to power. During his short time of only three years reigning he accomplished several innovations: He supported Martin Luther’s reformation and installed it as state religion of the Palatinate. He laid the foundation-stone for the famous “Bibliotheca Palatina”. In the Heidelberg Castle the palace in Italian Renaissance style named after him was erected.
In the struggle of the confessions Prince-elector Frederic III put through Calvinism, a much more vigorous and very dogmatic form of Lutherism. On his order the text-book of reformation was generated: The “Heidelberg Catechism”. This book lists in form of questions and answers the most important and most difficult problems of Christianity. For several centuries the “Heidelberg Catechism” remains the basis of the reformed religion within the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation.
Prince-elector Johann Casimir ordered the erection of the first “Big Barrel” in the Heidelberg Castle. It contained 132 “Fuder” wine which is adequate to 132 000 liters.
Textile merchant Charles Bélier had the “House of Ritter-knight- St. George” built as his living and business house. It is one of the few Renaissance monuments of the ancient Heidelberg, which resisted the destruction during the Orleans War on May 22nd, 1693. As one of the stone houses only little damaged it became the City Hall during 1694 to 1703. Since 300 years it is now in private hands and operated as hotel and restaurant.
Prinze-elector Frederic V was elected head of the protestant League.
Prince-elector Frederic V comes to power as a boy of 16 years. He married the English princess Elisabeth, daughter of the English king Jacob Stuart. For her convenience he went on building and modernizing the Heidelberg Castle. He designed the Castle Yard, the famous “Hortus Palatinus”. In 1615 he erected the small arc de triumph, the “Elisabeth Gate”, as a present to the 20th birthday of his wife Elisabeth Stuart and he built the “English building”, which as well was erected by architect Salomon de Caus.
Prinze-elector Frederic V made a tragical mistake: elected by the protestants of Bohemia, he accepted the crown and transferred his residence from Heidelberg to Prague. There he reigned less than one year: The Habsburg dynasty reacted very shocked and united with the other catholic sovereigns of Germany. They founded the so-called “Catholic League”. The 30 Years-War started. In 1620 the “Battle on the White Mountain” near Prague against the army of the emperor was lost. The consequence was, that Frederic V lost his royal title and as well the title of Prince-elector Palatine. In German history he is carried with the abusive name of “Winterking”.
The imperial commander-in-chief general Tilly, leader of the “Catholic League”, conquered Heidelberg and its Castle. Systematically he had destroyed all towers and walls of the castle.
Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria, owner of the former dignity of the Prinze-elector Palatine, ordered, that the most famous Library of that time, the “Bibliotheka Palatina” to be taken as captured war material to his residence at Munich. So it came from the gallery of the Heiliggeistkirche in 50 ox driven carts to Bavaria. Not much later on his order the bibliotheca was deported as a present for pope Gregor XV to the Vatican in Rome. Still nowadays there is a big part of it there. Duke Maximilian of Bavaria governed the Palatinate till 1649. 890 handwritings of the Bibliotheca Palatina are still to be found in the Heidelberg University Library.
The 30-Years-War ended on Oct. 24th, 1648 by the “Westphalia Peace”. Several territories of the Palatinate were annexed by the dukedom of Bavaria. Thanks to the endeavors and political relations of the electors widow Elisabeth Stuart, the Palatinate got an eighths “Kur” – electorate - and her second oldest son Charles Ludwig returned to Heidelberg. Elector Charles Ludwig took pains to rebuild his destroyed country and its capital Heidelberg. He proclaimed freedom of religion for all confessions in his electorate. He had rebuild castle and university. It was the beginning of settlement of Flames, Walloons, Huguenots and Swiss people.
The collateral line Palatinate-Neuburg comes to power. The first prince-elector of this line, Johann Wilhelm, has the summer residence of the Electors Palatine in Schwetzingen near Heidelberg rebuild. But he stays in his ancestral seat in Düsseldorf.
The “Orleans War of Succession”. Charles Ludwig made a political mistake: His daughter Elisabeth married in 1671 according to his will the younger brother of the French Sun King Ludwig XIV. Since then she is known as Lieselotte of Palatinate or Charlott d`Orleans. When her father Charles Ludwig and shortly after her only legitimate brother Charles II died, no direct successors of the line Palatinate-Simmern remain. The French king Ludwig makes demand on the inheritance of Lieselotte in the Palatinate. Thereupon the French conquer Heidelberg. Many villages around Heidelberg were burnt down. The political aim of the Sun King in this war is the river Rhine as natural border of France. On Mai 22nd, 1693 general Melac has town and castle destroyed. Even the 7 meters thick walls of the powder tower were blown up by French miners. And even the graves of the Electors in the Heiliggeistkirche were plundered and destroyed. Only the building of the nowadays hotel “Zum Ritter” remains from the former splendor of the town.
The escaped Heidelberg inhabitants returned and started rebuilding the town.
Erecting of a small building as birthplace of today’s Heidelberg city hall. This was replaced in 1705 by a building in Barock style.
The “Red Ox”, the traditional tavern of the students associations and unions of the Heidelberg University was build. Guests from all over the Globe carved their names into the tables. Since 1839 the house is in possession of the family Spengel – now in 6th generation.
The younger brother of Jan Willem named Charles Philipp takes over the government in the Palatinate, when his brother died without successors. Charles Philipp plans the re-erection of Heidelberg as his capital and residence and introduces Catholicism. The splitting of the churches started. Inside the Heiliggeistkirche the choir was separated by a wall from the rest of the church. The choir remains catholic and the other part becomes protestant. Only in 1936 the separation was eliminated. The protestant country church administration buys the choir.
The foundation stone for the Jesuit church was laid. The erection took 11 years on the plan of the Heidelberg architect Breunig. It is the most important building of Barock style in Heidelberg. The consecration took place in 1723. The second part of the erection under Rabaliatti took till 1759.
Peter von den Branden builds the Madonna statue on the Kornmarkt - Corn Market, one of the most beautiful places in Heidelberg. Since that time Heidelberg never was destroyed by enemies.
The religion struggle between protestants and catholics on the Heiliggeistkirche lead to the movement of the electoral residence from Heidelberg to Mannheim. Begin of building the Mannheim Castle in late Barock style. Today it is one of the biggest Castles in Europe.
The building of the Heidelberg “Old University” was accomplished.
The reign of Charles Theodor, the last prince-elector Palatine. He had built the “Old Bridge” and began the re-erection of the Heidelberg Castle. In his honor the “Karlstor” – “Charles Gate” – is built as Arc de Triumph.
The Jesuitenkirche, the most important building in Barock style in Heidelberg, is being built.
Prince-elector Karl Theodor had built the today’s “Grosse Fass” – the Big Barrel. It is made out of 130 oak trees and was filled with 222 000 liters of wine.
The partly by Charles Theodor rebuilt Heidelberg Castle again was totally destroyed by lightning and the “big fire”. In the same year Charles Theodor founded the Academy of Science in Mannheim with seat in the Mannheim Castle. Johann Jakob Hemmer, chief of the physical cabinet of the academy, invented the oldest lightning conductor of Europe. Within short all the churches and official buildings in Mannheim, Schwetzingen and Heidelberg were equipped with the so-called “Hemmerschen Fünferspitz”.
The first of the seven visits of Wolfgang von Goethe in Heidelberg took place. In 1814 he wrote the four poems of his ”Westöstlichen Divan”- “west-east divan”.
Prince-elector Charles Theodor inherited Bavaria after the death of Maximilian III count of Bavaria. Against his will he transferred in 1778 his residence to Munich according to the “Wittelsbach Hausunionsvertrag” – “House Union Treaty”. As a present of good-bye he erected a stone bridge instead of the wooden “Old Bridge”. The transfer of the residence was the end of the scientific and cultural golden age.
The “Old Bridge” made of stone with nine arches of sandstone is erected. She replaces the last one of the former eight wooden bridges and is named after Prince-elector Charles Theodor.
Poet Frederic Hoelderlin, 1770-1843, was in Heidelberg for the first time. His “Heidelberg Ode” …”Du der Vaterlandsstaedte laendlich schoenste” –“You the rural most beautiful native town” -he wrote in 1798 and published it in the magazine “Aglaia” in 1801.
End of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century
In France there begins the revolution. In the so called coalition wars French troops occupied half of the Palatinate up to the river Rhine. Napoleon declared the Rhine as natural border of France and dissolved the Palatinate. Parts of the former Palatinate are given to his German Allies, the King of Wuerttemberg and the Grand Duke of Baden. Grand Duke of Baden Charles Frederic receives the castles of Heidelberg, Mannheim and Schwetzingen.
By order of the “Reichsdeputationshauptschluss” – “Principal Conclusion of the Extraordinary Imperial Delegation” - Heidelberg is given to the Grand Duchy of Baden. Grand Duke Charles Frederic made the Heidelberg University again rise from the ruins. With this he became the new founder of the university. In honor of her two founders – Elector Ruprecht I and Grand Duke Charles Frederic – she was named “Ruperto Carola”.
The French emigrant count Charles de Graimberg, being on a trip through the Neckar valley, became very impressed of the Heidelberg Castle ruin and made four drawings of it. He stayed in Heidelberg till the end of his life. Here he started his life work as founder of the tourism branch in Heidelberg: thanks to the innumerous copperplate engravings and sketches of Graimberg with the view of the Heidelberg Castle it became famous all over Germany and developed to a visitor’s magnet. With his own fortune he saved the Castle from being pulled down and stopped the inhabitants to still use the ruin as quarry.
Napoleon escaped from an exile and again unites the French troops under his command. To avoid new wars in Europe, the czar of Russia Alexander I, emperor Franz from Austria and the king of Prussia and founded here in Heidelberg the “Holy Alliance” – a union against Napoleon. This event was celebrated with a huge wood fire and illuminated the Castle. The monarchs with their families and house-hold stayed in Heidelberg during three month of spring.
In Heidelberg bloomed a new way of thinking. As contrary to the century long lasting French dominion in this region new German self conscience is born. Heidelberg becomes the cradle of the to-days literary High German language. Several famous poets of that time work in Heidelberg or visit regularly the town. Influenced by the beauty of the town and her surrounding, the German Romantics wrote poems, which to-day belong to the pearls of the German literature. At the same time a financial funds for the rebuilding of the Heidelberg Castle is founded and the Friedrichsbau – Frederic Building - rose anew out of the ruins. But following the huge criticism of the Romantics the project died.
The first Baden railway line is installed from Heidelberg to Mannheim. The old main station is built as a head station where today the Mengler Building and the Carree Center is located. It was running till the opening of the modern main station I, 1955.
A conference of southwest German liberals composed in Heidelberg a resolution for summoning a National Assembly in Frankfurt on Main. It took place there in the Paul’s Church on March 31st.
Between 1848 and 1850 Gottfried Keller wrote in a small room at the Neckar banks his “Gruener Heinrich” – Green Henry.
The chemist Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, 1811-1899, holder of the professorial chair of Chemistry of the Heidelberg University, together with Gustav Robert Kirchhoff and Hermann von Helmholz developed it to the center of natural science research. With support of Bunsen University mechanic Peter Desaga constructed around 1842 in his precision instrument making workshop in Heidelberg’s main street the world known Bunsen Burner which introduced a complete change in the branches of gas-, heating and illumination.
An initiative of the Heidelberg inhabitants founded the Heidelberg Town Theatre.
The Heidelberg Castle Illumination becomes tradition. It reminds on the big fires of the years 1689, 1693 and 1764. The origin of this world known attraction but lies in the year 1610, when Prince-elector Frederic V married Elisabeth Stuart, Princess of England. For this event the first illumination on the river Neckar was carried out.
Frederic Ebert, the first “Reichspraesident” – Federal President - of the German Democracy, was born in Heidelberg. Since 1984 there exists in his honor the Frederic-Ebert-Memorial in his birthplace, Pfaffengasse 18.
In Heidelberg runs the first tramway – moved by horses. In 1902 it was electrified.
Josef Durm build on the Neckar bank a wooden assembly and festive building, which was the model for later “Stadthalle” – City Assembly Hall – on the same place.
Grand Duke of Baden acquired the “Manesse Liederhandschrift” – Manesse song handwritings – the most precious treasure of Heidelberg.
Costruction of the Heidelberg funicular railway from the down town station up the hill via Castle to the Molkenkur. Length 489 m, ascent up to 43 %. Planed by the Swiss architect Niklaus Riggenbach as combined rack- and cable railway. Opening 1890.
The village of Neuenheim is incorporated and becomes part of Heidelberg followed by Handschuhsheim in 1903.
The political economist and socialist Max Weber, 1864-1920, founded – together with the scientists Karl Jaspers, Walter Jellinek, Gustav Radbruch and others – the scientific circle named after him.
On the place of the monastery of the “barefooted black Carmelites” the Heidelberg University is erected. The Karlsruhe architect Josef Durm builds the Heidelberg University Library with style elements of the French and German Renaissance. Opening took place in 1905. On plans of the architects Jakob Henkenhaf and Friedrich Ebert simultaneously arises the Heidelberg Congress Center Stadthalle with a colored sandstone façade and elements of the early Renaissance.
Construction of the upper line of the Heidelberg funicular railway from the Molkenkur station up the hill Koenigstuhl. Length 1020 m, ascent up to 41 %. Opening 1907.
The “homo heidelbergensis” is discovered. In Mauer, a small village not far from Heidelberg, the jaw bone of the ancient man is excavated in a sand pit. He lived around 600 000 years ago in the Heidelberg region.
Construction of the 2.5 km Koenigstuhl-Railway tunnel from the two ends Karlstor in June and Bergfriedhof – mountain cemetry –in July. The aperture in the middle could be made in October 1910 in the presence of the railway director Baron von Marschall. The opening for goods trains was in March 1914. Passenger-trains could pass the tunnel not before the opening of the new main station in 1955.
Prominent medical men like Vincent Czerny, who initiated cancer research, Ludolf Krehl, the heart specialist who was ennobled in 1903, and psychologists like Erwin Rhode, Max Weber and Frederic Gundolf, gave lectures in Heidelberg.
The villages Wieblingen and Kirchheim were incorporated into Heidelberg. 1927 followed Rohrbach.
The first performance of the operetta “The Student Prince” takes place on December 2nd on New Yorks Broadway. For the spectacle “Old Heidelberg” of Wilhelm Meyer-Foerster Sigmund Romberg composed the music and Dorothy Agnes Donelly wrote the text. With more than 1000 performances it became in the USA the synonym of the operetta and made Heidelberg and her University world-famous.
The river Neckar is being canalized. Now it is navigable from Mannheim via Heidelberg up to Stuttgart.
The “New University” is erected at the University Square and replaces the so-called “Kollegienhaus”. Sponsoring money of the American ambassador in Berlin, Jakob Gould Schurmann – he himself had studied in Heidelberg – made the new building possible. In 1928 Schurmann initiated at the Steuben Society in New York a donation action which raised more than half a million dollars. In the list of Sponsors we find Walter P. Chrysler and John D. Rockefeller. The architect competition announced by Schurmann was won by the Danzig Professor Karl Gruber. On the reverse side of the new building in the ankle of the two-wings- house the medieval witch tower was preserved. For his services to Heidelberg Schurmann was honored with the “Honorable Citizenship Award”
The first Heidelberg festival performances take place. Between 1934 and 1939 they are named Reichsfestspiele – National or federal festival performances.
On March 29th the “Old Bridge” was blown up from the own troops just before the end of the 2nd World War. The only victim of this military action was – besides the “Old Bridge” – the Heiliggeistkirche. The Explosion destroyed the precious windows of the church. With donations of the Heidelberg inhabitants the bridge was rebuild and consecrated and reopened already on July 26th, 1947.
Seven wooden bridges were the previous ones. 1248 the first one was build. Only in 1786-1788 the first stone bridge with nine sandstone red arches was constructed. Builder was prince-elector Karl Theodor who gave her his name.
During the last days of 2nd World War courageous Heidelberg citizens surrendered the undestroyed town to the American troops. They installed the European Headquarters of their troops. At the moment Heidelberg is second biggest NATO Headquarter in Europe.
End of 1945
On initiative of medical man Karl H. Brauer and the philosopher Karl Jaspers the Heidelberg University was reopened.
The German Pharmacy Museum, founded 1937 in Berlin, found his final place in the Ottheinrich Building of the Heidelberg Castle. It contains a collection of historical pharmacy shops and pharmacy material, documents and sculptures from the beginning of 16th century.
On 05.05.55 the new Heidelberg Main Station is opened by Federal President Theodor Heuss. It was the very first new building of such a size in the Federal Republic of Germany after 2nd World War. Before becoming Federal President Theodor Heuss lived in Heidelberg and was one of the license keepers of the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung – Rhine-Neckar-Newspaper – after the war. The trumpet and fanfare corps of the Perkeo-Gesellschaft framed the festive ceremony.
The old main station in the center of Heidelberg with the complete rail system was demolished. The area becomes business and living quarter.
The German Cancer Research Center DKFZs was founded. Today 2000 scientists and laboratory assistants research intensively on this terrible disease.
The forest park village Boxberg is established and enlarged in 1975 by the nearby city community Emmertsgrund. The village of Ziegelhausen becomes part of Heidelberg.
The European Molecular-biological Laboratory EMBL is founded. Today it is one of the most modern research institutes with world fame and more than 1000 researchers.
The Castle Festival in the court of the Heidelberg castle for the first time has the operetta “The Student Prince” in the English original on its program.
The Main Street of Heidelberg becomes pedestrian area. With 1.8 km it was the longest pedestrian shopping street of Germany.
The Congress Hall - Stadthalle – after the war used by the Americans – is returned and opened again as congress center.
The Heidelberg University celebrates its 600th Anniversary with an exhibition in the Heiliggeistkirche showing volumes of the “Biblioteka Palatina”, which were lent for a short time from the Vatican. The books were exhibited like in the 16. and 17. Century on the gallery of the church.
The shifting of the University hospitals and technical-scientific laboratories from the center of the city into the Neuenheim field started. The new head- and children’s hospital is erected. Only the arts scientific faculties stay within the old part of the Heidelberg city. On the University Campus in the Neuenheim Field today are seven medical hospitals with world fame working.
Heidelberg celebrates the 800th Anniversary of its first appearance in official documents.
The Print Media Academy, a representative education center of the Heidelberg Printing Machine Factory, is erected facing the new Heidelberg Main Station.
The Heidelberg Congress Hall celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Future Projects, which will change and raise the value of Heidelberg
Development of the Railway City – A new city district arises
With 116 hectare this centrally situated area is larger than the old part of Heidelberg. In the southwest of the Main station in the district of future, habitations for 5000 inhabitants are planed, combined with offices and place for trade and business. On a railway city area of 20 hectare Campus II will be erected. Here the Max Jerecki Heidelberg-Foundaition of the American contractor and Heidelberg student Henry Jarecki plans to develop with a starting capital of 20 million dollars an area of 5,5 hectare. Jarecki is co-founder of the students cellar “Cave” and member of the Heidelberg Club international. He will build up a campus for young researching enterprises in order to create a creative connection between science and economy.
Town onto the River – River Promenade and Riverbank-Tunnel
Heidelberg looks to one of her biggest town-planning changes: Town and life shall return to the river. Today the federal road No 37 separates the old city part from the river Neckar. 20 000 cars torment daily along the Neckarstaden – the bank road of the river. This shall be changed. Beginning spring 2016 the banks of the river from Karlstor – Charles Gate – up to the Theodor-Heuss-Bridge shall again belong to the inhabitants. A Neckar-Bank-Promenade shall invite to rest and saunter while the cars shall disappear in a 2 km long tunnel along the river under the federal road and without crossing and traffic lights in order to reach quickly the Neckar Valley.
Restoration and New Building of the City Theatre
The City Theatre will be completely restored. It was founded by an inhabitant’s initiative and existing since 1851. It was restored for the last time in 1927 and because of safety problems closed in 2006 for a short time.
On the draft of the Darmstadt architect Waechter & Waechter within the next 3 years a new building will be erected for 53 million Euros. Half of the amount gives the city administration of Heidelberg, the rest comes from a foundation association. The new theatre will have two halls. The stages of the up to now historical hall and that of the additional hall will be united.
During the time of the restoration the theater and the philharmonic orchestra will play in a huge tent on the area of the old fire brigade building and in the Castle Cinema in the main street.
Despite the shortened time during the preparation of the restoration the theatre counted a record of 170 000 visitors in 2009. The Heidelberg Castle Festival as well showed a record of 31000 visitors. This festival is the oldest, most comprehensive and most versatile of the Metropolis Region Rhein-Neckar.
The Heidelberg Castle finally gets a Visitors Center
For a long time there were only discussions without any result. But now the conjuncture program made it possible. The administration of Baden-Wuerttemberg takes 3 million Euro and the long desired and long since overdue visitors center is being build. In the new modern building the visitors will find cash-desk, souvenir shop, resting room for castle guides and toilets.
About one million people from all around the globe visit yearly the flag-ship of the state castles and gardens of Baden/Wuerttemberg stated Minister Thomas Knoedler who presented the project together with architect Max Dudler and Heidelberg’s Lord Mayor Dr. Eckart Wuerzner. Already in December 2009 the start for the erection of the building near the castle entrance is scheduled. Latest in autumn 2011 will be the opening.
Restoration of the “Old Hallenbad” – “Old inside Swimming Pool”
The old building, protected as monument, stayed empty since decades. The Heidelberg city council decided on October 16th 2008 to sell it to the Heidelberg investor Hans-Joerg Kraus. His plan for using the building contains a market hall, shops, wellness area, restaurant and culture events. Kraus intents to invest 10 to 12 million Euro into the complete complex including the
neighbor building. Following the restoration an increase of activity in the city district of Bergheim is surely to be expected.
8 Million Euros for the New University
In 2011 the Heidelberg University celebrates her 625th anniversary. On this event the university will show herself from her best side. More than 8 million Euros will be used for restoration and modernization of the New University which already started.
Point of main effort will be the floor and the seats of the lecture halls - the biggest one holds 460 persons – the foyer, the New Aula, toilets, façade and roof. A new technique will also be installed, which will be adequate to the nowadays requirements. Till the festival week in 2011 the restoration will be accomplished.