Heidelberg, the site of the musical operetta filmed in 1954 with Edmund Purdom and Ann Blyth and featuring the voice of Mario Lanza. Ever since I saw that film, I wanted to be in Heidelberg. It is only about 10 miles east of Mannheim and we had a large group going there, dream fulfilled. Two trolley rides and we were right in the middle of the Old Town. One of our Turners had actually lived in Heidelberg and her brother and his wife who still lived there acted as our guides.
Heidelberg though was much more than the movie. It is home to the oldest public library in Germany and the world famous university. Then there is the Heidelberg Man, remains found in 1909 estimated to be over 200,000 years old, the earliest sign of humans in Europe. The Romans occupied this area before the German barbarians took it. 1196 is the year Heidelberg is considered to be founded and the castle was started somewhere in the middle of the 16th century.
The castle dominates the town but it only takes a casual glance to see that it was not impregnable. Almost half of the round bastion on the right side is missing. Indeed, it once contained gun powder and was set off by the troops of Louis the 14th , the Sun King. They sacked and burned the castle, the town and the bridges before leaving and the fire is still remembered and celebrated every year on its anniversary. We were lucky enough to have timed it perfectly. Our guides had arranged for us to be on a boat in the Neckar River as evening turned to night. All the lights of Heidelberg are turned off. The castle is bathed in red lights that vary in intensity and direction giving the impression that the castle is once again on fire. The celebration is completed with a spectacular fireworks display. Awesome!
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6Last Update 1/16/2021
Photos from the 2019 Ft. Wayne Turnfest are now up in the Events section.
Photos from the Berlin Turnfest are under the Events tab.
Steuben Day 2016 photos also under Events tab.
There are new sections of the Mannheim Turnfest under the Events tab.