© Heidelberg Marketing GmbH / Tobias Schwerdt

Old Bridge

Short facts

  • Heidelberg

It is made of Neckar Valley sandstone and was built by Elector Karl Theodor in the 18th century.

It connects the old town with the banks of the Neckar River at the eastern end of the Neuenheim district. The predecessors of today's Old Bridge were made of wood. Since they were repeatedly destroyed by wars and floods, Elector Karl Theodor had a stone bridge built over the river (1786-1788). On the city side, the medieval bridge gate, part of the former city wall, has been preserved.

On March 29, 1945, one of the last days of the war, German soldiers blew up Heidelberg's Neckar bridges and also the Old Bridge. Thanks to a lively fundraising campaign supported by the citizens, the reconstruction could begin on March 14, 1946. The inauguration took place in July 1947.

There are two sculptures on the bridge: Elector Karl Theodor and the Roman goddess Minerva (Greek: Pallas Athena).

The monument to the Elector is closer to the southern bank of the Neckar. The figures depicted on the two-tiered pedestal around the monument symbolize the most important rivers in the territories ruled by Karl Theodor: Rhine and Moselle, Danube and Isar.

The promotion of art and science was very close to the elector's heart. That is why the second monument is dedicated to the Goddess of Wisdom.

On the north bank, the bridge's patron saintJohn Nepomuk is depicted.

On the map

Old Bridge
69117 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 6221 58 44 444

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