A visit to Heidelberg Palace must include a walk through the romantic palace garden.
The geometrically structured terraces of Heidelberg Castle's "Hortus Palatinus" garden were once considered by contemporaries to be the "eighth wonder of the world." The large grotto in the southeast corner contained elaborate water features, its walls decorated with stones, shells, and coral.
Preserved to this day is "Father Rhine", a large sandstone sculpture, laid to rest. The large terrace offers an impressive view of the eastern front of the castle and the Rhine plain. The famous garden architect Salomon de Caus created this garden as a deliberate homage to Heidelberg's ideal location, the harmony of the city, the river, and the mountain ranges.
"The city with its location and its whole surroundings has, one might say, something ideal" wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe more than 200 years ago. Today, a bust of Goethe on the Scheffelterrasse in the palace garden commemorates his many visits.