Heidelberg’s castle rests above the old town, from where it commands a spectacular view.
The castle was built and extended over three centuries. During the war of succession (1688-1648), it was twice destroyed by the French and, in 1764, the remains of the castle were struck by lightning – igniting a fire which destroyed it once again. The castle was not reconstructed until today. Its facade became a symbol of the epoch of German Romanticism (Deutsche Romantik).
From 1804 to 1818, there were some famous German romantics in Heidelberg, including Joseph von Eichendorff, Achim von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, and Johann Joseph von Görres.
German Romanticism was a reaction against the rationalization of the Enlightenment movement. For German Romantics, nature was not an exterior, liveless space, which could be fully understood by science. Instead, it was an experience, and a source of inspiration.
German Romantics saw the universe as an interconnected whole. They could connect with the sorrounding nature through their feelings. Therefore, strong emotions were a main source for their creative works, mainly literature, music and visual arts.
The castle turned into a ruin. Some people may say that it looks ugly and should be reconstructed. For the German Romantics, the destruction of the castle shows its vulnerability and beauty.