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Heidelberger Schloss -1214

Heidelberg Castle and town

Heidelberg Castle Banner

Elisabeth Gate - 1615

Castle and tower ruins from 1693 French attack

Ottoheinrich Building facade -16 statues

French Elector Frederick IV,ruled 1592 - 1610,
Entry Gate Facade

Sundial clock inner courtyard

Grosses Fass-Castle wine supply

Heidelberg's Altstadt and the Neckar River

Alte Brucke - 1788

Palatine coat of arms- old city hall

Altstadt facade

Altstadt strasse

Heidelberg Synagogue Ruins

Heidelberg Synagogue - Ark location

view close up
Holocaust victim memorial

Cologne Panorama viewed from Rhine

Kranhaus, Kranhäuser,  three 17-story buildings in the Rheinauhafen

Cologne Altstadt

Great St. Martin Church

Cologne Altstadt night panorama

Hohenzollern Bridge across Rhine to Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral-night

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral Entrance

Deutz-Tief train station- site of deportation of Cologne's Jews

Deutz-Tief train station plaque

Bridge at Remagen and Peace Museum

Dusseldorf Castle Tower and River Promenade

Dusseldorf Rathaus and Johann Wilhelm Statue

Dusseldorf flag

Dusseldorf altstadt

Bridge at Remagen Museum and Ruins, Heidelberg, Cologne and Dusseldorf, Germany Photos

Bridge at Remagen Museum and Ruins, Heidelberg, Cologne and Dusseldorf, Germany Photos

This gallery features photos of three note worthy German river cities- Heidelberg, Cologne and Dusseldorf.


Heidelberg is a university town located on the Neckar river in the southwest area of Germany. Heidelberg is the fifth-largest city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg and is home to Heidelberg University, Germany's oldest founded in 1386. Of the 160,000 residents, about 25% are students. Unlike larger towns, Heidelberg escaped bombing in World War II since it was neither an industrial center nor a transport hub. On March 29, 1945, German troops left the city after destroying three arches of the old bridge, Heidelberg's treasured river crossing. They also destroyed the more modern bridge downstream. The U.S. Army (63rd Infantry, 7th Army) entered the town on March 30, 1945. The civilian population surrendered without resistance.

Heidelberg Castle-built 1214

This gallery features the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a sprawling red sandstone compound high above the city. The castle has 600 years of history with the unusual Heidelberg Tun, the biggest wine barrel in the world, also called Grosses Fass. Entry into the castle starts with the romantic story of the Elisabeth Gate, built in 1625 as a present from Elector Frederic V to his wife Elisabeth Stuart, the daughter of King James I of England. He had the triumphal arch secretly crafted in sections and put up as a whole the night before her birthday to surprise her the next morning. The gate is also called "Lover's Gate". The French destroyed most of the castle in 1693. The old tower in the moat built in 1640 was destroyed by Louis XIV's troops in 1693 during the Palatinate's War of Succession. Ottoheinrich Building facade features 16 statues. With the Ottoheinrich Building (Ottheinrichsbau) Friedrich II's successor, Elector Otto Heinrich (ruled 1556-1559), built one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces north of the Alps. However, it was never completed. It has a highly decorated facade with 16 statues of people from the Old Testament, like Joshua and David, and mythology, like Mars, Saturn, Hercules and Diana. The statues you see on the outside of the building are replicas of the originals that are displayed inside. The lower floor is still intact and has the "Imperial Hall." The top two floors are just an open shell with no roof. Elector Frederick IV, Elector Palatine of the Rhine (ruled 1592 - 1620), the only surviving son of Louis VI has a statue holding a sword on the bulding.

The views of the Neckar River Valley from the castle are unforgettable featuring a view of the Brückentor (Bridge Gate), Heidelberg's Altstadt, and the Neckar River. Besides the Alte Brucke built in 1788, the gallery features color views of Palatine coat of arms on the old city hall, flag drapped streets, and some colorful building facades.

Heidelberg Synagogue on Lauerstrasse- destroyed by the Nazis in 1938

Synagogue Square, which was redone in 2001, used to hold a synagogue that was burned down by the Nazis in the pogrom night of November 10, 1938. It was built in 1877/78, designed by architect Hermann Behaghel. After being torched, The next day, the Nazis started the systematic deportation of Jews, sending 150 to Dachau concentration camp. On October 22, 1940, during the "Wagner Buerckel event", the Nazis deported 6000 local Jews, including 281 from Heidelberg, to Camp Gurs concentration camp in France. Within a few months, as many as 1000 of them (201 from Heidelberg) died of hunger and disease. The city of Heidelberg redid the square in 2001 with support from a citizen’s initiative, with white marble paving stones marking where the walls of the destroyed synagogue once stood. Gray granite indicates the windows and entrance. Twelve sandstone cubes, some of them illuminated, symbolize the pews and recall the twelve tribes of Israel. The photos in this gallery capture the outline of the synagogue, ark, and a bronze stone of a concentration camp victim.

The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen and Peace Museum

Since 1980, the surviving towers on the western bank of the Rhine have housed a museum called "Peace Museum Bridge at Remagen" containing the bridge's history and 'themes of war and peace'. This museum was partly funded by selling rock from the two piers as paperweights, the two piers having been removed from the river in the summer of 1976 as they were an obstacle to navigation.

On March 7, 1945, troops of the U.S. Army's 9th Armored Division reached the bridge during the closing weeks of World War II and were surprised to see that the railroad bridge was still standing. It was one of the very few bridges remaining across the Rhine, because the Germans had systematically destroyed all of the others in advance of the Allies' attack. Although this bridge was wired with demolition charges, the weak civilian-grade "Donarite" explosives failed to bring the bridge down, and Allied engineers risked their lives manually removing the remaining charges before the bridge was captured. The ability to quickly establish a bridgehead on the eastern side of the Rhine and to get forces into Germany allowed the U.S. forces to envelop the German industrial area of the Ruhr.The Allies got six divisions across the damaged bridge before it collapsed on March 17, 1945, ten days after it was captured. The collapse killed twenty-eight and injured ninety-three U.S. Army Engineers. A pontoon bridge had been built across the river since the main bridge was out of use for repairs at the time of its collapse.

Köln or Cologne

Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth most populated city in Germany (after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich). It is located within the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas. Founded in the first century, Cologne flourished on one of the most important major trade routes between east and west in Europe. Cologne was one of the leading members of the Hanseatic League and one of the largest cities north of the Alps in medieval and Renaissance times. Prior to World War II the city had undergone several occupations by the French and also by the British (1918–1926).

Cologne was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II, with the Royal Air Force (RAF) dropping 34,711 long tons (35,268 tonnes) of bombs on the city. The bombing reduced the population by 95%, mainly due to evacuation, and destroyed almost the entire city. With the intention of restoring as many historic buildings as possible, the successful postwar rebuilding has resulted in a very mixed and unique cityscape.

Cologne Cathedral

It is a Catholic cathedral in Cologne, and is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and of the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and was declared a World Heritage Site[3] in 1996. It is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day, and currently the tallest twin-spired church at 157 m (515 ft) tall. Construction of Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880. The cathedral suffered fourteen hits by aerial bombs during World War II. Badly damaged, it nevertheless remained standing in an otherwise completely flattened city. The twin spires were an easily recognizable navigational landmark for Allied aircraft bombing. Repairs were completed in 1956. An emergency repair on the northwest tower's base carried out in 1944 using poor-quality brick taken from a nearby ruined building remained visible until 2005 as a reminder of the war, when it was decided to restore the section to its original appearance.

Other sites;

Hohenzollern Bridge

The Hohenzollern Bridge is a bridge crossing the river Rhine in the German city of Cologne. It crosses the Rhine at kilometre 688.5. The bridge was constructed between 1907 and 1911, and was both a railway and road bridge. The Hohenzollern Bridge was one of the most important bridges in Germany during World War II; even under consistent daily airstrikes the bridge was not badly damaged. On 6 March 1945, German military engineers blew up the bridge as Allied troops began their assault on Cologne. After the war's end, the bridge was initially made usable on a makeshift basis but soon reconstruction began in earnest. By 8 May 1948, the Hohenzollern Bridge was accessible by pedestrians again. The (southern) road traffic decks were removed so that the bridge now only consisted of six individual bridge decks, built partly in their old form. The surviving portals and bridge towers were not repaired and were demolished in 1958. In 1959, reconstruction of the bridge was completed. he Hohenzollern Bridge now regularly has over 1,200 trains pass through daily. The total length of the Hohenzollern Bridge is 409.19 meters (1,342.5 ft). Since 2008 people have placed love padlocks on the fence between the footpath and the railway lines. It is the most heavily used railway bridge in Germany with more than 1,200 trains daily,connecting the Köln Hauptbahnhof and Köln Messe/Deutz stations. The later of which was where about 11,000 Jews were loaded onto trains and deported to concentration camps by the Nazis in 1941.

Great St. Martin Church,

The Catholic church has foundations (circa 960 AD) that rest on remnants of a Roman chapel, built on what was then an island in the Rhine. The church was later transformed into a Benedictine monastery. The current buildings, including a soaring crossing tower that is a landmark of Cologne's Old Town, were erected between 1150-1250. The architecture of its eastern end forms a triconch or trefoil plan, consisting of three apses around the crossing, similar to that at St. Maria im Kapitol. The church was badly damaged in World War II; restoration work was completed in 1985. On the night of May 30, 1942, the tower and nave of the church were burnt to the ground. The sacristy building and north apse were also destroyed. In the following year, during one of the heaviest bombardments of the war, the chapel of St. Benedict on the northern side was destroyed. During the bombing of January, 1945, the triforiums of all three apses were destroyed. At the same time, the foundation of the central tower sustained a direct hit. In the final bombardment by Allied forces, on March 2, 1945, the city received its heaviest damage. Almost ninety-five percent of the buildings in the old city were damaged, and at Great Saint Martin, all of the ceilings in the church had been destroyed, or very badly damaged.

Kranhaus buildings in Rheinauhafen,

Kranhaus, Kranhäuser, three 17-story buildings in the Rheinauhafen of Cologne, Germany. Their shape, an upside-down "L", is reminiscent of the harbor cranes that were used to load cargo from and onto ships, two of which were left standing as monuments when the harbor was redesigned as a residential and commercial quarter in the early 2000s. Each building is about 62 m (203 ft) high, 70.2 m (230 ft) long, and 33.75 m (110.7 ft) wide. They were designed by Aachen architect Alfons Linster and Hamburg-based Hadi Teherani of BRT Architekten. Construction began on 16 October 2006, and the first building was completed in 2008. The middle building, Kranhaus eins, was given the MIPIM Award 2009 in the Business Centre category at the MIPIM in Cannes on 12 March 2009.

A fountain to commemorate these industrious elves. It its right across the square from Colognes oldest Brewery, Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh. Little house gnomes are said to have done all the work of the citizens of Cologne during the night, so that the inhabitants of Cologne could be very lazy during the day. According to the legend, this went on until a tailor's wife got so curious to see the gnomes that she scattered peas onto the floor of the workshop to make the gnomes slip and fall. The gnomes, being infuriated, disappeared and never returned. From that time on, the citizens of Cologne had to do all their work by themselves. On Am Hof, South of Cathedral.

Deutz-Tief train station- site of deportation of Cologne's Jews by the Nazis during World War II.

Jews were forced to gather on the premises of the Cologne Trade Fair and were taken to the Deutz-Tief train station and then deported to the camps in the occupied East. With the exception of one small piece of luggage each, all their remaining possessions were seized by the Gestapo and the Cologne Financial Authority on behalf of the German Reich. From the autumn of 1941 to the summer of 1942 the Cologne Gestapo organised the deportation of almost the entire Jewish population still living in the Cologne and the surrounding area at the time. This occurred by train transports of about 1,000 persons each. The first train left Cologne- Deutz on 22 October 1941 for the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in the occupied town of Lódz´. Just a few days later another train left for Litzmannstadt. On 7 December 1941, a deportation train left Cologne for the ghetto in Riga, on 15 June and 27 July 1942 the destination was the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Almost all of the deportees fell victim to genocide.


Colorful images of Dusseldorf Lambertus Church, Castle Tower, and Rathaus are featured.