heidelberg castle illumination

June 7, July 12, September 6, 2008

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket: Bright stars will be shooting down from a dark summer sky during Heidelberg´s famous castle illuminations and fireworks. The open air events will start after dusk (10:15 p.m.).

For those who wish to do a little shopping before the fireworks, businesses in the Altstadt will remain open until 9:00 p.m. There will also be a concert held at the Holy Ghost Church at 6:15 p.m. - a perfect program for a romantic Heidelberg weekend. (For tickets please call Heidelberg Ticket at 06221 58-20 000.)

If you plan to drive downtown for the festivities, make sure to arrive early, as several streets around the castle will be closed off for safety reasons.

The fireworks and castle illuminations have a most interesting background: They originated in 1613 when newly-wed Prince Elector Frederic V welcomed his young wife to Heidelberg. The English princess Elizabeth Stuart was received with due respect and a splendid event. The castle was illuminated by bright colors, and star balls were to be seen high above the Neckar River. Today, the star balls highlight the Heidelberg summer.

If the French General Melac and his troops had not destroyed and burned down Heidelberg Castle over 300 years ago, perhaps it would never have achieved the fame it enjoys today as the most beautiful and romantic castle in the world. In memory of this fateful event, the castle illuminations are now held several times each year. The castle walls turns blood red in the glow of torches and a huge, brilliant fireworks display is launched from the Old Bridge, bathing the entrance to the Neckar valley in a stunning panoply of light and colour. It's a spectacular event that attracts thousands of visitors each year from far and wide.