"This is not Heidelberg Castle, is it???" Top 5 Page for this destination Heidelberg by christine.j

Heidelberg Travel Guide: 1,029 reviews and 2,733 photos

No,it's not and yes, it is. It is not the famous Heidelberg Castle which is known by every tourist in Heidelberg and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, visit each year. Not many people know, that there is another castle in Heidelberg, in the suburb called Handschuhsheim. This castle is called "Tiefburg" - Deep Castle - probably because it was completely surrounded by a deep moat. The only access was and still is by a bridge.

Two gruesome stories are connected to this castle.

A Mother's Curse

At the end of the 16th century the knight living in nearby Hirschhorn castle, Friedrich of Hirschhorn,got into a fight with his cousin, young Hans of Handschuhsheim, living in the Tiefburg. During this fight the young cousin,legend says he was only 15, was killed . His mother was besides herself with grief, he had been the last of his family and now the family would die out,which they did in 1599.
She cursed the knight of Hirschhorn, predicting that because of this killing his family would also die out. He would be the last knight of Hirschhorn, dying without any children.
Friedrich of Hirschhorn laughed at her curse, he was also young at this time and was sure he'd have children.
But her curse worked, when he died in 1632, he left no children and so was the last knight of Hirschhorn castle.

This castle in Hirschhorn is a hotel today.

The photo shows the crest of the family living in the Tiefburg at that time, a glove."Handschuh" in German means "glove". legend has it that a knight had lost his glove and a young maid found it and gave it back to him.
They fell in love , got married and because a glove had brought them together, called the place "Handschuhsheim" - home of a glove.

The more likely explanation is not as romantic, someone called "Ansco" had lived in the area and this name got changed into "Handschuh".
I'm running out of space here, so I'll tell you the second, even more gruesome story in a "what to do" tip.

Do we really need another Heidelberg page on VT?

There are so many good pages about Heidelberg here on VT that I really wasn't sure if I should build one as well. Does anyone really need to read what I know about the castle? Or the main street? I don't think so.

But since I go to Heidelberg very often, either on my own or when I take tour groups there, I thought I'd give you some information about things less well known.So I'm going to build this page gradually.

Even though I thought I wouldn't give any tips about the castle since there are so many excellent ones already here on VT, I'm going to add a few tips about things many tourists overlook. Some stories about the castle as well, which may be interesting.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Famous castle,lots of history
  • Cons:Famous castle, lots of tourists
  • In a nutshell:If possible, come off season,you'll enjoy it more
  • Last visit to Heidelberg: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated Jul 31, 2008
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Reviews (36)

Comments (38)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Hi, thank you for this fantastic page, and for your recommendations in my forum thread! The local legends of the wolf and the castle are most interesting.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2010 at 2:41 AM

    So glad you decided to write this page as it has been full of interest. So many curses that come true, glad they are not around to curse the people of today!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    Hi Christine, I learned a lot about Heidelberg's history and legends from your fine tips. Bravo!

  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2009 at 7:08 AM

    Christine - such wonderful tips and such a lot of effort when you initially didn't think another H. paqe nec??! My friends there have never shown us any of these things!

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2009 at 6:32 AM

    Excellent Heidelberg page! The museums, Witches' Tower and the Heidelberg Castle certainly sound interesting to us to explore! We hope to visit the city of Heidelberg one day. ~ho & pang

  • lifeisatrip's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2009 at 5:14 AM

    Thanks, Christine for your wonderful Heidelberg pages. I have lived here almost three years now, but I have yet to go see most of what you featured. We have friends coming for a visit in a few weeks, so a good time to go see them. :)

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    I'm glad that you decided to add another VT 'Heidelberg' page... these are wonderful pages!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2008 at 11:15 PM

    I must come here more often! Wonderful and fascinating updates and yes, Tiefburg and the cafe sound excellent, and maybe the museum as well (Kurpfälzisches). And I'll link to your/the kids pharmacy now :-))

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2008 at 6:43 AM

    I always wanted to go to Heidelberg. But, just can't seem to find time and money...Maybe, someday, I will!

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2008 at 9:00 AM

    Very good page. See you soon. Ciao!

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