The Philosophers’ Walk in Heidelberg
By offering a beautiful view of the city of Heidelbergand a warm climate, the Philosopher’s Walk in Heidelberg inspired for many centuries the many philosophers and teachers walking along it. The Philosopher’s Walk in Heidelberg (or Philosophenweg) earned its name from the fact that the Heidelberg philosophers and university teachers are said to have once walked and discussed here. It goes up the southern side of theHeidelberg, across the Neckar River from the Heidelberg Castle.
About Philosopher’s Walk
The famous route was established in 1817 but it still offers new sights and insights today. It reaches an altitude of 200 metres. Along the route visitors will find areas of colourful gardens, with unusual plants and trees. The warm climate of the city makes many sub-tropical plants flourish along the path. You can see here Japanese cherry, cypresses, lemon, bamboos, pomegranate, rhododendrons, gingko and yucca tress. The walkers can quietly enjoy a beautiful view of the city of Heidelberg. A walk along the Philosopher’s Walk is a great opportunity to admire the city from above, because it offers fantastic views across the River Neckar to the Castle. The great thing about visiting the town is that you can walk along this famous path in any of the seasons and the walk would still be charming. The Philosopher’s Walk by night is another interesting perspective. The castle is illuminated each year in the summer – on the first Saturday in June and September and on the second Saturday in July.
Points of interest
The German poet Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff fell in love with Heidelberg. He dedicated most of his poems to the old town. There is even a commemorative stone on the Philosopher’s Walk which refers to the Romantic poet who lived, studied and wrote his poems here.
Another point of interest is the observation tower Bismarktum and a stone built in memory of Liselotte von der Pfalz, the sister-in-law of Louis XIV. The Swiss engraver Matthaeus Merian is represented by two other attractions along the path, Merianblick (Merian’s View) and Meriankanzel. Merianblick is an illustration of a copperplate from 1620 engraving Heidelberg, which helps getting an idea of how the city looked before the war. Hölderlin-Anlage is a small green park commemorating the German lyric poet Friedrich Hölderlin. The Philosopher’s Garden, with many flower beds and benches, is the place where you can sit, relax and admire the exotic vegetation.