Bill's Bits & Pieces

Our overnight stop was at Speyer, which would warrant a visit in its own right.  However we chose to take the tour of Heidelberg instead.  With a population of 145,000, Heidelberg is located on the Neckar River, about 20 km from the confluence with the Rhine at Mannheim, and was the home of the Electorate of the Palatinate.  Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, Heidelberg was in conflict with France, commencing with Luther proclaiming his 95 Theses, the 30 Year War, and the War of the Palatinate Succession. France, and Louis XIV (Ludwig) in particular, were seen as vindictive oppressors, interested simply in the destruction of Heidelberg.  Heidelberg University is also renowned as the first and most reputable of the German universities.  It still has student fraternities, whose primary focus is still on fencing.

The city is dominated by the ruins of Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss).  First built in 1225…

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