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Want to be Locked Up? Then Head for Heidelberg!

| July 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

An adventure trip offers a tour of the oldest university in Germany

The oldest university in Germany: Ruperto Carola was founded in 1386. Photo: Filsinger

The oldest university in Germany: Ruperto Carola was founded in 1386. Photo: Filsinger

“It is questionable whether there is a stranger place than this in the history of human crime,” marveled Mark Twain after spending a night in the “Karzer” of the University of Heidelberg. From 1778 to 1914, students of the University were locked up here for “trivial offences” – the term of incarceration was between three days and four weeks. Mark Twain wanted to stay in this historic prison and was deeply impressed by the stories told by the portraits and slogans on the walls of the jail.

Mark Twain was very impressed by the Student's Prison - this unusual jail now plays host to guided tours. Portraits and slogans adorn the walls of the prison. Photo: Rothe.

Mark Twain was very impressed by the Student’s Prison – this unusual jail now plays host to guided tours. Portraits and slogans adorn the walls of the prison. Photo: Rothe.

A unique tour, “University – Ruperto Carola Since 1386” offers a fascinating look at the Student’s Prison and a ramble through the University. Heidelberg Marketing has put together a travel package combining guide, accommodation, Castle ticket, and funicular railway ride with a 3-course dinner in the “Mensurstube” of the traditional “Hirschgasse” restaurant and a student specialty. A public guided tour of the University is offered every Saturday at 2.30 pm and is independent of the package tour. The starting point is the Löwenbrunnen on Universitätsplatz (University Square).

A ramble through the University of Heidelberg will transport you back to the turbulent history of Ruperto Carola. Photo: Rothe.

A ramble through the University of Heidelberg will transport you back to the turbulent history of Ruperto Carola. Photo: Rothe.

Ruperto Carola was founded in 1386 by Prince-Elector Ruprecht I and is the oldest university in Germany. The tour takes in the University Library, which houses the “Codex Manesse”, a world-famous medieval song collection. It was put together between 1300 and 1340 and is the most comprehensive collection of Middle High German sung and gnomic poetry or “Spruchdichtung”. Other stops on the tour are the Old Assembly Hall of the University as well as St. Peter’s Church, the oldest church in the Old Town. The package can be booked all year round. Additional information and bookings available at gruppen@heidelberg-marketing.de, tel. 0049 (0)6221 5840228, www.heidelberg-marketing.com.

 

Courtesy Heidelberg Marketing GmbH.

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