The market square is one of the oldest squares in Heidelberg.
The centrepiece is the Hercules Fountain, built between 1706 and 1709 to commemorate the enormous efforts made to rebuild the city after the devastation of the Thirty Years' War.
In addition to its function as a place for the weekly market, in earlier centuries the square also served as a place for public trials, such as that of the band of robbers Hölzerlips and Mannefriedrich in 1812.
In the meantime, the square was also used as a parking lot next to the main road, which was still open to motor traffic at that time. Since the end of the 1970s, the square has been accessible only to pedestrians.
During the winter season, little wooden huts of the Heidelberg Christmas Market are grouped on the market square, where, in addition, the official opening takes place from the balconies of the town hall.