F+U Language School > Information about Heidelberg
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Information about Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Lange lieb ich dich schon, möchte dich, mir zur Lust,
Mutter nennen und dir schenken ein kunstlos Lied,
Du, der Vaterlandsstädte Ländlichschönste,
so viel ich sah.(...)

Friedrich Hölderlin, 1895

Heidelberg, once the capital of the Palatinate and the spiritual centre of Calvinism, nestles in the picturesque Neckar valley and is known for its particularly mild climate. Over the years, Heidelberg’s beauty has attracted a number of poets, painters and scientists. In the early 19th century the city on the Neckar became the most important centre of German late romanticism, and is inextricably linked with the poets Arnim, Brentano, Goethe and Eichendorff.
The Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg was founded in 1386 and is Germany’s oldest university. In 2019 it once again held its leading position among the best universities in the country and continues to be highly ranked worldwide. The 2019 Shanghai Ranking of world universities named Heidelberg the top university in Germany for the sixth time in succession and according to the World University Ranking 2019 it is one of the best in the world. Heidelberg’s reputation for excellence was confirmed again in July 2019.
Many monuments bear witness to the Neckar city’s diverse history. Overlooking the river Neckar some 70 metres below is the city’s most famous landmark, the Elector’s castle, standing on the slope of Königstuhl on its eponymous mountain. Its ruins are one of the most impressive sights on any visit to Germany (in 2019, the castle was among Germany’s most popular destinations for international holidaymakers). Visitors climbing up to the castle first pass through the gate into the famous ‘Hortus Palatinus’ garden, created at the beginning of the 17th century. From the castle garden, there is a breathtaking view of Heidelberg, including the Philosophers’ Walk on the opposite bank of the Neckar. Fascinating buildings dating back to a variety of epochs surround the inner courtyard. Situated in the Elector’s wine cellar is the world’s largest barrel, which was once filled with wine. It has rarely failed to impress - except in the case of Perkeo, the barrel’s gnome-like guard. Once, when asked if he could drink the barrel dry, his answer was a nonchalant ‘perché no’ - why not? - which is how he came to earn his name.

The baroque townhouses and their ornamental facades and doorways are a striking feature of any walk round the Old Town. The heart of the Old Town is the market place, between the Evangelical Church of the Holy Ghost and the grand renaissance building ‘Zum Ritter’. The old alleyways leading away from the church are lined with pubs and restaurants. Spanning the Neckar is the Old Bridge, one of the most beautiful stone bridges in Germany. Not far from University Square is theu Jesit Church. Built in the early 18th century and adorned with several figures of the Virgin Mary and saints, the church is the Old Town’s symbol of Catholicism, which regained its foothold in Heidelberg following the upheaval of the Thirty Years War and the Palatinate War of Succession.
The wooded hills around Heidelberg cloak the city in a stunning green. There is also plenty to explore in the surrounding area, including the Neckar valley forts, the German wine route, the ancient cultivated landscape along the Upper Rhine and the mountains of the Odenwald and Black Forest.
Proximity to Frankfurt, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Stuttgart airports means Heidelberg is easily accessible to its guests from all over the world.
The name Heidelberg is synonymous with tradition and romanticism, but it also stands for a modern, world-class science and business location. Heidelberg is home to the tradition-steeped university, the Academy of Sciences, the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), four Max Planck institutes, the European Laboratory for Molecular Biology (EMBL), the Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS), the Print Media Academy of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, the SAS Institute and several research centres belonging to international companies. Such a concentration of the sciences is unparalleled in Germany and forms the foundation for a dynamic, science-orientated economy that elevates Heidelberg - despite a population of just 160,000 - to its position as one of Germany’s leading economic centres.

Heidelberg is also one of Germany’s leading cultural centres, as demonstrated by its wealth of museums and theatres. Literature is everywhere in the city and since December 2014 Heidelberg has been a designated ‘UNESCO City of Literature’. Together with the neighbouring cities in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area (which also includes Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Speyer, Schwetzingen and Worms), Heidelberg offers an array of nationally significant cultural events.

Heidelberg Events Calendar

Biennial for Contemporary Photography

September, October

French Week


Enjoy Jazz, International Festival of
Jazz - Heidelberg

October, November

Ludwigshafen Festival

October - December

Heidelberg Theatre Festival

Late October,
early November

International Film Festival
Mannheim - Heidelberg


Heidelberg Festival of Theatre

Nov. - Dec.

Winter in Schwetzingen

Nov. 2019 - Feb. 2020

Cultural programme

We organise regular afternoon activities for our learners. The cultural programme includes guided tours of Heidelberg, excursions, sports activities, group game evenings and more. Advance registration is possible during school office opening hours.

Rhein-Neckar events calendar

*Dates not known yet. Subject to changes. No guarantees.

See also F+U leisure and cultural programme.

See external links about Heidelberg, official website and tourist information.

Stadt Heidelberg
Panorama cities
Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar - Internationale Fach- und Führungskräfte

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