Snowbound Steam in Deepest Germany
By Jack Stacey
6 November 2018
As part of an ongoing series, our content team share their favourite railway experiences in destinations across the world.Read more
Enjoying an idyllic location in a wooded valley by the River Neckar, Heidelberg boasts one of the longest and richest histories of all German cities. In 1907 the remains of 'Heidelberg Man' were declared to be the oldest ever discovered in Europe, being at least 200,000 years old. Heidelberg developed largely as the capital of the Palatinate - a position it held for more than five hundred years. During this time a vast wealth and influence became apparent in the city. The castle was built to strengthen Heidelberg's defences, and its world-famous university was established and garnered an impressive reputation.
In the 16th century the city was sacked twice by French troops; the castle was damaged and left to decay as the Palatinate capital was moved to Mannheim. Having lost its position of prominence, Heidelberg was largely forgotten by the time the Romantics discovered it in the late 17th century. To these people, the wistful ruins of the castle only added to Heidelberg's charm. The city soon became the place for poets, writers and artists to be found, and it saw a massive increase in tourism as a result.
Heidelberg's Old Town
Steps were soon taken to preserve the magnificent, historic Old Town, which has remained undisturbed to this day - it even avoided damage in the Second World War. Having been admired by tourists for centuries now, Heidelberg is one of Europe's best-loved cities.
Discover two of Germany's most picturesque regions on this fantastic two-centre tour. We explore the halftimbered villages and stunning peaks of the Harz Mountains by heritage railway before visiting the stunning Rhine Gorge, where the legendary Lorelei Rock still casts its spell.… see more
10 days from $2,875 ppView tour details >
Discover the truly special festive beauty of the Rhine river and its superb cities on this Christmas Markets cruise which takes you on a fantastic voyage through the stalls, streets and squares of this magnificent corner of the world.… see more
6 days from $1,865 ppView tour details >