The Schloss Castle

November 23, 2008

Heidelberger, Germany

3:oopm – 5:30pm















Heidelberg Palace was built over a period of more than three hundred years. Its buildings do not reflect a uniform style. Architectural evidence of primarily Gothic and Renaissance elements can still be found today. The Thirty Years’ War ended the heyday of the palace, and attempts to rebuild it failed due to repeated devastation. “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

The Gothic Period 
The buildings from the first palace building phase are predominantly unadorned and nearly without decoration. The “Ruprechtsbau” (Ruprecht Building), built beginning in 1400 by Ruprecht III, the later German king, makes due with three-dimensional adornments consisting of two stone tablets and a keystone with a masterful Gothic sculpture.

The “Bibliotheksbau” (Library Building) and the “Frauenzimmerbau” (Ladies Building), housed in the “Königssaal” (King’s Hall), complete the Gothic ensemble.

The Renaissance Period
During the Renaissance Heidelberg Palace experienced its greatest splendor. While grappling with classical antiquity, a gradual transition from medieval to modern forms of thought and representation emerged.

The glass “Saalbau” (Hall Building – 1549) marks the transition from the Gothic age to the Renaissance: arcades, a staircase tower and volute pediments indicate the changes in the architectural taste of the period. On the inside it was magnificently furnished, including a banquet hall sumptuously decorated with mirrors.

The most important Renaissance palace of the ensemble is the “Ottheinrichsbau” (Ottheinrich Building) (1556-1559). With this building Elector Otto Heinrich created a monument to himself. The pretentious facade concept was intended to reflect the urbaneness and refinement of the ruler.

In accordance with the antique example, the three floors of varying heights are divided into five fields each. In addition to major characters from the Old Testament, the concept of the figures in the center of the window field also include the five virtues, antique gods and goddesses and the names of the large planets. The portal above the perron rises up like an antique triumphal arch; it bears no titles of the ruler who commissioned it to be built.

Those who commissioned buildings to be built during the Renaissance period dispensed with giving the palace complex in Heidelberg a uniform appearance. Like a diamond solitaire, the “Ottheinrichsbau” sits poised above its surroundings from the Late Middle Ages.

Elector Friedrich IV also added his own palace, the “Friedrichsbau” (Friedrich Building), to the ensemble. Its facade is adorned with sixteen statues of princes – a stone gallery of ancestral portraits. It strictly obeyed the architectural theory of that age, which recommended different antique systems of decoration for different purposes, i.e. Tuscan columns for the church, Doric for the Elector’s suite of rooms, Ionic for the Electress and Corinthian for the “Frauenzimmer” (Ladies Rooms).

The buildings of Friedrich V are among the most original built at the time in German princely courts. The “Englischer Bau” (English Building) fascinates with its for that time modern, clear forms based on those of the Italian Renaissance architect Palladio.

Famous Persons

Elector Ruprecht III (ruled 1398-1410) 
In 1400 Elector Ruprecht III became the first German king and called himself Ruprecht I von der Pfalz. He built the oldest still recognizable residential building of Heidelberg Palace, the “Ruprechtsbau” (Ruprecht Building). Under his rule the erection of the “Heiliggeistkirche” (Church of the Holy Ghost) in the town was also begun. Ruprecht III is also responsible for founding the university. At the time of his death in 1410, the Palatinate was divided up between his 4 sons.

Elector Otto Heinrich (ruled 1556-1559) 
Elector Otto Heinrich ruled for only three years, however he is among the most important electors. He introduced the Reformation in his principality. Otto Heinrich had a Palace of great artistic importance, the “Ottheinrichsbau” (Ottheinrich Building) erected. It is an excellent example of German Renaissance architecture.

Friedrich IV (ruled 1592-1610) 
Elector Friedrich IV, the founder of the city of Mannheim, added another palace with the proportions of the “Ottheinrichsbau” – the so-called “Friedrichsbau” (Friedrich Building). It was intended to house the church, the electoral suite of rooms and the gate structure. The courtyard facade of this building is adorned with sixteen ornate statues of princes.

Friedrich V (ruled 1610-1632) 
Under Friedrich V Heidelberg experienced its greatest splendor. The climax of his life was his election to King of Bohemia in 1619. The troops of the “Winter King” were defeated by the imperial forces in 1620, and in 1622 Heidelberg was occupied and destroyed, sealing the fate of the magnificent court. With the “Prager Ereignisse” (Prague Events), the Thirty Years’ War broke out.

Following his flight to The Hague, Friedrich was put under the ban of the Empire, the Bavarian Wittelsbach family became the Palatinate electors and the Palatinate was invaded.
The buildings (“Englischer Bau”, “Elisabethentor”) and gardens (Hortus Palatinus) of Friedrich V were among the most original built at that time in a German princely court.

Elisabeth Stuart (1596-1662) 
The daughter of Jacob I, King of Scotland (from 1603 also King of England), and the granddaughter of Maria Stuart was a descendant of the European higher nobility and was christened with the name of the English Queen Elisabeth I. She was instructed in all subjects of courtly education of that age and married Palgrave Friedrich V on 14 February 1613. The couple was considered the “perfect couple” of that time. In 1619 she became Queen of Bohemia. She fled together with her husband in 1620 after the battle against the Catholic League was lost.

Elisabeth Charlotte von der Pfalz (1652-1721) 
Liselotte von der Pfalz was born the granddaughter of Friedrich V at Heidelberg Palace. She spent part of her childhood with her Aunt Sophie in Hanover and accompanied her father, Karl Ludwig, on many journeys through the Palatinate. At 19 she was married for political reasons and against her will to the brother of the French King and had to relinquish all hereditary claims to the Palatinate. When her brother Karl died childless in 1685, Louis XIV raised hereditary claim to the Palatinate and invaded it.

Liselotte spent 50 years at the court of the Sun King (Louis XIV) and wrote approx. 60,000 letters there in which she painted a humorous but critical picture of the customs and manners of her era. She met nearly all of Europe’s influential princes and personages in Versailles.
Up until her death in 1722 she never returned to her Palatinate home



Reports of Paranormal activity include shadow people, full apparitions, and unexplained noises.


Digital cameras, Digital Voice Recorders, K2 Meter


Taken with digital cameras
























Taken with Digital Voice Recorders.