I'm down here in the University city of Heidelburg with a group of six Lafayette-IUB exchange students. We met up in Heidelburg to explore the castle and gardens, and enjoy the beautiful weather. The medieval castle (1300s?) was destroyed (late 1600s?) and mostly not restored, leaving ruins for some interesting exploration. The gardens and grounds seem to be well maintained, even though the actual building is still in a 'ruined' state.
We walked out along the castle walls overlooking the university town. We watched sheep grazing in a green field underneath a blue sky on the castle hillside, and then walked through a field of grass shaded by large leafy trees to a fountain where a statue of a Greek God was relaxing in the sun. Inside the wall behind him, there is a waterfall springing out of the [interior] brick!
We went into the castle and it is quite interesting. I got the classic photo of a pensive student leaning out of the tall tower overlooking the city, as this seemed to be a place where that image holds strong.
Inside the castle, we also saw the Grosses Fass, a giant keg that holds 221,726 liters of wine. This is reputed by some sources to be the largest in the world! Apparently the farmers paid taxes in wine, which was kept in here, and drunk by the Royal Court because the water wasn't safe. The guardian of the flask took in a lot of its contents per day, and is said to have died at the ripe old age of 86 when he mistakenly had a glass of water instead.
Heidelburg is a very nice town to walk around in, and the stroll through the castle gardens was a great celebration of the arrival of late spring.
Tomorrow, we hike in the Wutach Gorge!
Grace and peace,
Postcard photo, text, & software ©2007 W. Ben Towne / WBT Productions.