February 11, 2017

2946 GERMANY (Baden-Württemberg) - Heidelberg Castle

A former residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate, and home to one of the most reputable universities in Europe, Heidelberg is also a popular tourist destination due to its romantic cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle, the Philosophers' Walk, and the baroque style Old Town. Even if the Heidelberg Castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries, its ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. It is located 80m up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown.

The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections. The structure was decaying and the townsfolk were helping themselves to stone, wood, and iron from the castle to build their own houses. At the beginning of the 19th century, the ruined castle had become a symbol for the patriotic movement against Napoleon.

The saviour of the castle was the French count Charles de Graimberg, who fought the government of Baden for the preservation of the building. The Friedrich Building, whose interiors were fire damaged, but not ruined, was restored between 1897 and 1900. In the 20th century, Americans spread Heidelberg's reputation outside Europe. Thus, Japanese also often visit the castle. Heidelberg has, at the beginning of the 21st century, more than three million visitors a year and about 1,000,000 overnight stays.

About the stamps
The first stamp, showing the Post Tower in Bonn, is a variable value stamp, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the series Blumen, about which I wrote here.

Heidelberg Castle - Wikipedia

Sender: Iulia / juli2012 (postcrossing) DE-5930869
Sent from Heidelberg (Baden-Württemberg / Germany), on 27.01.2017 

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