Alte Brücke (Old Bridge)
The four preceeding bridges were wooden constructions. Again and again they were destroyed by floods, fire and ice. Prince Elector Karl Theodor was the first ruler to have construct a stone bridge which was erected here from 1786 to 1788. Well preserved is the medieval bridge gate on the town side, originally part of the town wall. Baroque tower helmets were added during the erection of the stone bridge in 1788. Also located here is a plaque referring to the defence of Heidelberg against French troops.
On October 16, 1798, a brave Austrian regiment commanded by Prince Schwarzenberg succeeded in repulsing the advancing French Army. The West Tower contains dungeons, whereas the East Tower holds a spiral staircase. A few steps east of it visitors will find the "Tränktor" (Drinking Gate). During the Middle Ages, cattle were driven through this gate to their drinking places. The two bays of the bridge carry monuments created by Franz Konrad Linck (1730 - 1793) who, since 1763, was the Prince Elector´s official court sculpturist.