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Expat in Germany: Heidelberg Castle Lighting

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heidelberg Castle Lighting




Heidelberg Castle Lighting and Fireworks
Heidelberg is famous for Heidelberg Castle, but a special event that only happens three times a year was happening on this particular day - fireworks and a re-enactment of the French burning Heidelberg Castle, in which the castle appears to be on fire, also known as the Heidelberg Castle lighting.  Yes, it's a touristy thing to do, but I wanted to do it while I was still new in Germany and not "too cool" to do it, as often happens when you've been in a place a while.  I was really excited so we also invited J.P.s mom to join us. 
 J.P. had never been to Heidelberg Castle and the last time that J.P.'s mom was there was over 40 years ago.  Neither of them had seen the fireworks or the Heidelberg Castle lighting either.  The fireworks and Heidelberg Castle lighting didn't start until 10:15pm so we had some time to kill having arrived in the afternoon.  Fortunately, there are no shortages of restaurants and cafes in Heidelberg.

Fireworks are part of the Heidelberg Castle Lighting festivities
  As to be expected, we were not the only ones who wanted to see the Heidelberg Castle lighting and we were packed in the streets along the Neckar River like sardines full of anticipation.  At around 10:15, the entire city went pitch black and a dim red light slowly lit up Heidelberg Castle in the background, gradually getting brighter and brighter as Heidelberg Castle "burnt", then gradually dimming, as the "fire" went out.  The burning of Heidelberg Castle was beautiful, but a bit anti-climatic.  Initially when you see Heidelberg Castle "on fire" it's beautiful, but after a few minutes it loses its appeal.
We thought the fireworks were also going to be over Heidelberg Castle, but they were over the Neckar River.  I've never stood so close to fireworks.  We were less than 50 meters away from the bridge they were shooting them from and it took my eyes several minutes to adjust to the bright bursts of light.  But they were beautiful and would definitely give the American Fourth of July fireworks a run for their money.
Twenty minutes later, it was all over, but we were all glad we had come.  Would I go to the Heidelberg Castle lighting every year?  Probably not, but if you happen to be in Heidelberg at the time, seeing the Heidelberg Castle lighting is definitely worth experiencing.

Check the dates for the next Heidelberg Castle lighting
German Pharmacy Museum located in Heidelberg Castle
Heidelberg Castle Lighting photo courtesy of:  http://www.offbeattravel.com/tji-heidelberg-illuminations.html

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4 Comments:

At September 9, 2010 at 7:54 AM , Blogger MissEmy said...

Oh that's sounds neat! I'm sure you won't regret going. :)

 
At September 10, 2010 at 8:41 AM , Blogger Stuttgartgirl said...

We loved it, and I would highly recommend it for anyone in the area at the time.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 8:07 AM , Blogger Kae Lani said...

LOL! I lived in Heidelberg for 4 months and the day I leave is the day they do the lighting of the castle!

 
At October 19, 2010 at 6:33 AM , Anonymous recommended plumbers said...

I want to say that the Heidelberg Castle lightings are one of the most prominent tourist attractions of the city and take place only three times a year.Thanks for sharing this post with us.

 

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