The town of Heidelberg is situated between Odenwald (a low mountain range in Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg) and the Rhine River plains. With its 147 inhabitants Heidelberg is the fifth biggest city in Baden-Württemberg. The town can look back on a history of 800 years and is well-known not only because of Germany´s oldest university and its world-famous castle, the ruins of which tower above the roofs of the picturesque Old Town. More than three million visitors from all over the world come every year to stroll through the romantic lanes and across the historic squares.
But Heidelberg also stands for modern sciences and research (e.g. EMBL to name just one of its internationally acknowledged scientific laboratories) and can boast of a thriving economy.
Heidelberg College is situated directly at the banks of the River Neckar opposite the old town. Its six listed buildings are placed in huge gardens, framed by the slopes of the Heiligenberg (Hill of the Saints). The mild climate allows chestnuts, almonds and even figs to ripen (and be enjoyed by the pupils!) The school and boarding houses lie within huge grounds that comprise 10,000 m2, only few of which are used on a daily basis. The grounds above the school buildings reach up to the Philosophenweg and were turned into gardens where lessons can be taught in and next to a little garden house (weather permitting, of course!). In 2006 the remaining area was turned into an idyllic paradise as nature would have it.
Above the school runs the Philosophenweg (the Philosophers´ Path). It has often been called the most beautiful panoramic path in the world and it offers a unique view of the castle and the Neckar valley. Goethe, Hölderlin and Eichendorff took walks here and enjoyed this fantastic vista.
Just across the street from the school buildings you find the meadows of the Neckarbank that have become a very popular area for walks, sunbathing and games for young and old people. On a sunny day you´ll meet all Heidelberg here.
It is just a short walk across the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge), with its impressive historical tower another one of Heidelberg´s most famous landmarks to get right into the heart of the old town of Heidelberg with its many shops and restaurants that cater for all tastes and budgets and for those interested in culture and entertainment there are cinemas, theatres, galleries and museums. Additionally the city houses famous music and theatre festivals, centres for congresses, an extensive communal library and many sports clubs, that are pleased to take in students from Heidelberg College and there is a specific sports program for young people supported by the city.
All of Heidelberg´s attractions, its river, its mountains, its old town, its cultural life, its history as an old (and young!) university town make it hard for anyone not to fall in love with it.