The heart of Heidelberg is its famous university. Founded in the 1386, the university has more than 50,000 students attending today. Nearly 20% of these students come from countries other than Germany.
Fortunately Heidelberg was undamaged in World War II and after the war the U.S. Army used the town as its European headquarters. Today the centuries old homes and churches cluster along the steep hills on either side of the Neckar River.
The bridge over the river is the traditional entrance to the old city. Known as the Old Stone Bridge (what else?), it is built of sandstone and is over 250 years old but the foundations are built on older foundations that go back to Roman times.
Heidelberg Castle dominates the town even though it has only been partially restored since its destruction in the 18th century. Its origins date back to the late 14th century. To held strengthen ties between England and Germany, Elizabeth Stuart (daughter of James I) was married off to Friedrich V. Elizabeth was only 19 at the time and promptly declared Heidelberg somewhat of a dump so the doting prince kept building castle add-ons and theaters to try to make her happy. The picture below is a gate that reportedly was built in one evening and presented to Elizabeth as a birthday present the following day.
The streets of Heidelberg are narrow and paved with cobblestones but the city does contain one of the longest uninterrupted shopping stretches in all of Europe — more than a kilometer long. This would be about the time Mrs. Kongo bids the monkey farewell and strikes off on her own, leaving Kongo to photograph flowering window boxes.
Here, Kongo captures several of the cruise gals, otherwise known as the Girls of Heidelberg, strolling on the Old Stone Bridge.
Travel safe. Have fun!