Romantic Ruins

Romantic Ruins

It is hard to resist the charms of a ruined castle like the one in Heidelberg. It has brought the romantic painters in droves over the years. William Turner created some especially interesting, if not accurate, depictions. Sitting high on the hill, over the Neckar river valley, shrouded in thick forest and overgrown in just the right places with bushes, grasses and wildflowers it fits the classic image. I think Mark Twain got is right when he wrote Misfortune has done for this old tower what it has done for the human character sometimes – improved it. He was talking about the castle's powder turret which was blown apart in a giant explosion but the description applies to the castle itself.

But the castle never seemed to have much luck doing what it was supposed to do, protect Heidelberg. Or, to protect royalty is probably more like it. Nearly every account I have read ends with either destruction for Heidelberg, the castle, or both. Worse, it was badly damaged and nearly destroyed twice by lightning. Not exactly an impressive resume. The only success I found was when Heidelberg held off the French only to have them return two years later and completely gut both the town and the castle.

When the Swedes came during the Thirty Years War, they simply climbed higher up the hill then proceeded to lob canon balls down on the castle from above. It didn't take long before Heidelberg capitulated. It renders that impressively deep and wide moat fairly useless now doesn't it?

One victory, if you can call it such, is that Heidelberg and its already ruined castle escaped bombing during WWII. This was actually the reason that I wanted to go there. The Altstadt might not have survived the attacks of the 17th and 18th centuries, but it escaped those of the 20th and therefor is well worth seeing.

My other photographs of castles - ruined or not - can be found in the gallery.

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Aperture: f 8
ISO: 400


Taken: 2012-07-07 15:45:27
Posted: 2013-02-09 | 20:19





Romantic Ruins

Romantic Ruins

It is hard to resist the charms of a ruined castle like the one in Heidelberg. It has brought the romantic painters in droves over the years. William Turner created some especially interesting, if not accurate, depictions. Sitting high on the hill, over the Neckar river valley, shrouded in thick forest and overgrown in just the right places with bushes, grasses and wildflowers it fits the classic image. I think Mark Twain got is right when he wrote Misfortune has done for this old tower what it has done for the human character sometimes – improved it. He was talking about the castle's powder turret which was blown apart in a giant explosion but the description applies to the castle itself.

But the castle never seemed to have much luck doing what it was supposed to do, protect Heidelberg. Or, to protect royalty is probably more like it. Nearly every account I have read ends with either destruction for Heidelberg, the castle, or both. Worse, it was badly damaged and nearly destroyed twice by lightning. Not exactly an impressive resume. The only success I found was when Heidelberg held off the French only to have them return two years later and completely gut both the town and the castle.

When the Swedes came during the Thirty Years War, they simply climbed higher up the hill then proceeded to lob canon balls down on the castle from above. It didn't take long before Heidelberg capitulated. It renders that impressively deep and wide moat fairly useless now doesn't it?

One victory, if you can call it such, is that Heidelberg and its already ruined castle escaped bombing during WWII. This was actually the reason that I wanted to go there. The Altstadt might not have survived the attacks of the 17th and 18th centuries, but it escaped those of the 20th and therefor is well worth seeing.

My other photographs of castles - ruined or not - can be found in the gallery.

Show this photo on a map ✈

EXIF

Camera: N/A
Lens Type:
Focal Length: N/A
35mm Focal Length:
Exposure: 0 sec
Aperture: f 8
ISO: 400


Taken: 2012-07-07 15:45:27
Posted: 2013-02-09 | 20:19


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