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Heidelberg Castle - Studentenkarzer - Schwetzingen Palace

Price: 60.00 EUR
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Countries: Germany
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Route: Frankfurt - Heidelberg Castle - Studentenkarzer - Schwetzingen Palace - Frankfurt
Duration: 8 h
Firstly we will visit to Heidelberg Palace  wich is set against the deep green forests on the north flank of Königstuhl hill. The rich and eventful history of Heidelberg Palace began when the counts palatine of the Rhine, – later prince electors – established their residence at Heidelberg. First mentioned in 1225, this was destined to become one of the grandest palaces of the Renaissance. Until the Thirty Years’ War, Heidelberg Palace boasted one of the most notable ensembles of buildings in the Holy Roman Empire. In brisk succession, the prince electors commissioned a series of imposing constructions: Gläserner Saalbau, Ottheinrichsbau, Friedrichsbau and Englischer Bau. Each one is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Their magnificent façades create a resplendent frame for the courtyard. In the late 17th century, the palace was repeatedly attacked and ultimately destroyed by the French in the War of the Grand Alliance. The 19th century brought a new wave of admiration: a sight both terrible and beautiful, the ruins epitomised the spirit of the Romantic movement. Heidelberg Palace was elevated to a national monument. The imposing edifice and its famous garden, the Hortus Palatinus, became shrouded in myth. The garden, the last work commissioned by the prince electors, was never completed. Some remaining landscaped terraces and other vestiges hint at the awe-inspiring scale of this ambitious project. In the 17th century, it was celebrated as the “eighth wonder of the world”. Next we will visit to the Studentenkarzer (students' prison) which is located at the back of the Old University in Augustinergasse. From 1778 until 1914, students were imprisoned here for so called "Kavaliersdelikte" (meaning minor transgressions which were kind of fashionable among otherwise honorable gentlemen inscribed at the Heidelberg University, most of them being members of student fraternities). Common offenses were disturbances of peace, especially after excessive drinking at night, insulting official authorities or playing jokes at them as well as participating in duels. During these years, the university administration was embodied with an autonomous jurisdiction and had the legal right to detain students. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, imprisonment would last from three days to four weeks. One was allowed, however, to attend lectures. After classes, the juvenile delinquents had to return to jail. Biding their time, many of the young prisoners "decorated" the walls with graffitis and paintings. Their "artwork" is still preserved and to be seen at the Studentenkarzer. Next we will visit to Schwetzingen Palace date back to 1350, when a small moated castle occupied the site. After an eventful history, Schwetzingen flourished under the Palatine Prince Elector Carl Theodor (1724–1799). The palace owes its current form to the Prince Elector Johann Wilhelm, who commissioned alterations in 1697. The central part of the gardens, including the Zirkelbauten (wings of the main building, which form a semi-circle), leafy avenues and a circular parterre, is laid out geometrically, with a focus on symmetry and order. In the late 18th century, an English-style landscape park was added to the Baroque garden – the Arborium Theodoricum, as it is called, is one of the earliest of its kind in Germany.  Schwetzingen Palace Gardens are a cultural heritage site of European significance: more than 100 sculptures are scattered throughout this wonderful, and at times surprising, landscape. An assortment of whimsical buildings lend an exotic touch. The Apollotempel (temple of Apollo), a small, round building, houses a statue of the ancient Greek god of light and the arts, playing the lyre. The Badehaus (bath house) is a summerhouse with its own garden, modelled on an Italian villa. And, most spectacularly, in the Türkischer Garten (Turkish gardens), there is a mosque ,the largest structure of its kind in a German garden. Ornamented with oriental details, the late-Baroque building was purely decorative and served no religious purpose.The palace’s rooms contain furniture from the 18th and early 19th century. The Rokokotheater (Rococo theatre) in the north wing is a particular highlight. It was the first theatre in Europe with galleries – and it is still used as a venue for performances today. After we return to Frankfurt.
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Countries: Germany

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