Heidelberg, Germany – Monday

Doug was going to a conference in Heidelberg, Germany, and I wasn’t going to miss out on the trip! We spent a week in Heidelberg, where I toured around by foot with my camera and a guidebook, and Doug attended his conference. At the end of the conference week, we rented a car and drove around Germany, and into Northern Italy, and Switzerland.

Monday, August 7, 2006

I started out my day by sleeping in til noon. Hey, I am on vacation! I was dead tired from not really sleeping on the plane, and then actually having to travel to Heidelberg from Frankfort. We wandered around last night a bit, so Doug could go register, but I was so tired, and I felt so crappy, being overheated, underhydrated and underslept.

We went to bed at 11 or so, managing to stay up for Doug to practice his talk a few times. His talk was this morning – he ended up forgetting his badge, and having to walk all the way back for it – and then had to go buy a tie, because he forgot his. (His boss actually forgot his suit jacket, so I guess forgetting a tie isn’t bad!)

Since I was tired and, you know, on vacation, I decided to just relax and sleep in this morning. I had a donor kebap for lunch (thanks Katherine!), which was good, but looks pretty gross. It’s like gyro meat, kind of – they shave it off this big stick of rotating meat. It’s kind of unidentifiable. Actually, I don’t want to know what it was. It’s better that way. Anyway, it tasted good – and it’s served in a pita with something close to gyro sauce and cabbage and whatever else you want on it.

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After lunch, I headed down towards the Hauptstrasse, which is the main drag. I had a tourbook my neighbor lent me, which has several walking tours – one for each part of town. I decided to do the western part, which is closer to the hotel. I started out by walking along the Neckar River towards the Stadhalle – which is where Doug had registered the previous day.

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The Stadhalle really pretty, with all these Nouveau accents. Actually, everything seems to have them – like this gate:

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And this house!
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Here is the front of the Stadhalle:
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and the side:
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and some of the neat detailing, both outside and in!
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After the Stadhalle, I checked out the Krahnenplatz (Crane Square) and next to it, the Old Arsenal and Heuscheur (Hay Barn). According to my tour book, the Heuscheur was built on the banks of Neckar to serve as a tithe barn, which stored payments (presumably of hay?) and provided for food reserves for the population.

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The Old Arsenal (also called the Marstall or stables) has a frontage along the Neckar of 135 meters, and it used run right along the river’s edge. It has walls 2 meters thick and was a bulwark on the north-west corner of the town fortifications. For further protection against fire, there is a carving of a salamander, with a man’s head above the west gate:

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This building, with the “corner oriel window”, and gate, are part of a modern cinema – but used to be the site of the Wormser Hof, which until 1610, was the town residence of the Bishop of Worms, who sold the property to Prince Elector Frederick IV. After it was destroyed in 1693, the present-day Baroque house was built incorporating parts of the former building. Not terribly exciting, but if I didn’t copy that bit from the tour book, I would be looking at this picture and wondering what the heck it was, and why I took it!

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Here are some pretty building details:
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I tried to check out the Kurpfalzisches Museum, but it’s closed on Mondays. So I will try again tomorrow!

Across from the Museum, which is right on the Hauptstrasse, is Providence Church, first built in 1660, but almost completely rebuilt in 1700.
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By the end of the day, I felt like I had done a tour of the homes and workplaces of many famous scientists! Here’s the first – the Friedrich Building, which face the Hauptstrasse, which houses the Institute for Psychology today – it has a statue of the chemist Robert Bunsen (ie, the Bunsen Burner guy) – who lived and taught in Heidelberg for 44 years.

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Across the street from his statue is the Haus zum Riesen, where Kirchhoff in 1859 applied the spectral analysis that he and Bunsen had established, to the sun and the stars. There are plaques dedicated to them on the building. Later, an important geologist, Wilhelm Salomon-Calvi worked there. It was constructed in 1707 by the Baroque architect Breunig, for the on Venningen family.

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Next, the Church of St. Anne:
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And Bunsen’s house:
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The house of famous astronomer Max Wolf, who made his name developing his photographic method for observing the stars. The founder of Heidelberg Observatory, he had a tower-like observatory built in his parent’s backyard while he was still a student. (the last two pics show it!)

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Some buildings nearby:
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Next is the Church of St. Peter. It’s outside the old city wall, where there was only a modest chapel in the middle ages, which was the parish church for the town. This role was assumed by the Church of the Holy Spirit in 1400 and this church given to the university by King Ruprcht I. It received its present form in 1490, but at that time, had a flat wooden roof without supporting arches. Several phases of rebuilding left little of the original structure in place. Today it is principally the numerous tombstones of leading citizens and professors, dating from the 15-18c that bear witness to the church’s historical legacy. Yep, that’s from the tourbook.

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Across the street is the University Library, which is a gorgeous building. It was built in 1903 on the site of an Augustinian Monastery.

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The library is in possession of no less than 890 manuscripts, most of them in Old German, from the huge Biliotheca Palatina; this was carried off to ROme in the 30 Year War, but German text were later returned by the Vatican. The ibary does have copies of the other manuscripts still in Rome. The Codex Manesse, which belonged to Prince Elector Frederick IV, was reaquired in 1888 and is today the most precious specimen of German book culture of the High Middle Ages. The one they have on display (shown below) is a replica. There’s a pic of in the links below. More on the Codex Manesse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Manesse. Hee are some indoor detail pics too:

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The Jesuit Church – the foundation of which was laid in 1712. The first part of the building work, based on Breunig’s plans went until 1723, the 2nd phase, under Rabaliatti, not completed until 1759. The interior has an almost weightless effect. According to the tourbook. There were lots of gold gilded statues and such. It was very pretty:
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Next to it is the Jesuit College building which has a sculpture of the Trinity above the door:
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Madonna statue by Brandens on the corner of the building across from the Jesuit college:
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The Witch’s Tower is in a courtyard and part of the university. It dates from 1380, and is the only medieval tower of the old city defenses to have been preserved.
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At this point I was really tired and my knees were killing me, so I saved the rest of the stuff in this area for another day and headed home. It was also fairly warm today and I really wish I’d worn shorts. I did get gelato on the way back to the hotel, which helped me to cool off!

Here is a performance artist I saw on my way back:
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For dinner we went to a cafe nearby, since my knees were still really hurting – we had some sort of crepe stuffed with Feta cheese, with stir fried green onions and zuccini on it. And a south German ravioli stuff with meat and cheese, with fried onions and bacon on top. Yum!

I did stop at this cool fabric store during the dayand found some silk remnants, exactly 1 meter of each, which I snapped up!

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And here is the progress on the Titanic Jump Dress I was beading the whole time.
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And here is what I made with the fabric, many years later. Like 2016!

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