To join the Heidelberg Afternoon Tour from Frankfurt you should make your way to the tour office at Wiesenhüttenstr. 39, 60329 Frankfurt to meet your English-speaking guide and board the coach. (Hotel pick-up can be arranged for an extra charge – approx euro 5.00 per person.)
Lovely Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar some 80 km (48 miles) south of Frankfurt and less than 1 hour’s journey by road. The town was badly damaged during 17th-century wars and rebuilt in the 18th century, using the old Gothic street layout but with Baroque buildings.
Heidelberg was an important stop on the European Grand Tour – the traditional continental tour undertaken by mainly upper-class young men in the 18th and 19th centuries. Goethe wrote about the town’s ideal beauty, Turner painted it and even Benjamin Disraeli fell for its attractions.
Like the young men on the Grand Tour, you’ll visit the star attraction of Heidelberg – the magnificent Schloss (Castle). Perched 300 feet above the town, the Castle is a mix of styles from Gothic to Renaissance and consists of several buildings around an inner courtyard. You can admire the romantically ruined fortifications with their splendid towers and see the glorious Renaissance palace of the Schlosshof.
Heading back towards town you’ll see the amazing Heidelberg Tun – the world’s largest wine barrel – constructed in 1751 by Prince Elector Karl Theodor to house the wine paid as taxes by the wine growers of the Palatine. It stands 7 meters high, is 8 ½ meters wide, holds 220,000 liters (58,124 gallons) of wine, and has a dance floor on top.
Your guide will lead you on a walk in the medieval town center to view more examples of glorious Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Highlights include:
The Old Bridge (Carl Theodor Bridge): The town’s first stone bridge, erected between 1786 and 1788 by Prince Elector Karl Karl Theodor.
Church of the Holy Spirit: Late Gothic church near the marketplace.
The Karl’s Gate (Karlstor): Triumphal arch in honour of the Prince Elector Karl Theodor, built in 1775–1781.
House of the Knights (Zum Ritter Sankt Georg): Glorious Renaissance building with a superbly ornamented façade. This 16th century gem was one of the few buildings to survive the 17th century Wars of Succession.
A picnic lunch (sandwich and drink) is included in your tour price and you can enjoy this at a suitable point during the excursion.
Your tour ends back at the starting point at Wiesenhüttenstr. 39. Hotel drop-off can be arranged for an extra charge (approx euro 5.00 per person).