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Karl Theodor Bridge

Heidelberg’s oldest bridge is an architecturally impressive landmark decorated with an imperious gateway, detailed sculptures and a curious monkey statue. 

Go for a walk on Karl Theodor Bridge (also known as Old Bridge or Alte Brücke), which crosses the Neckar River from the edge of Heidelberg’s historic Old Town. Admire its classical stone design and artistic ornamentation. Appreciate uninterrupted views of the lush green Neckar Valley and some of the city’s finest monuments. Karl Theodor Bridge has long been an inspiration for artists and has had works written about it by well-known poets such as Friedrich Hölderlin.

The bridge and its location have a long and interesting history. Wooden bridges crossed the river from as far back as 1284 until 1784. Prince Elector Karl Theodor commissioned the first stone construction in 1786. It stood for over 150 years, before being destroyed by German soldiers toward the end of World War II. Walk across today’s recreated bridge, with its nine sandstone arches. It was inaugurated in 1947 and funded by donations from the city’s residents.

At the southern entrance is Bridge Gate, which was once part of the Old Town’s medieval fortification wall and later served as a jail. It features a stone archway with a portcullis. On either side are twin towers crowned by Baroque-style spires. Adjacent to the gate is the Bridge Monkey, a bronze sculpture that symbolizes equality between the city dwellers and outsiders. Look for the inscription of a poem about the monkey written by Martin Zeiller in 1632. 

Sculptures by Konrad Linck add artistic flair to both ends of the bridge. The one closest to the Old Town depicts the Prince Elector Karl Theodor. The other portrays Minerva, the Roman goddess of the arts and wisdom. Gaze along the river and up to the surrounding forest-covered hills. Spot landmarks such as Heidelberg Castle and the tower of the Church of the Holy Spirit.

Public buses stop close to Karl Theodor Bridge. It is a 15-minute walk from Heidelberg-Altstadt U-Bahn station. While the views are great during the daytime, take a second look after dark when a series of lights spectacularly illuminate the bridge’s arches, gate and sculptures.


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Best Lodging Options Near Karl Theodor Bridge

See all 393 Properties near Karl Theodor Bridge
City Partner Hotel Holländer Hof $110
City Partner Hotel Holländer Hof

City Partner Hotel Holländer Hof

Neckarstaden 66, Heidelberg, BW
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Karl Theodor Bridge and Heidelberg Castle. President Friedrich Ebert Memorial and Church of the Holy Spirit are also within 5 minutes. Heidelberg-Altstadt Station is 11 minutes by foot and Heidelberg Seegarten Tram Stop is 23 minutes.

    NinetyNine Heidelberg City $112
    NinetyNine Heidelberg City

    NinetyNine Heidelberg City

    Czernyring 26, Heidelberg
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Heidelberg, this hotel is 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Neckarwiese and 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Heidelberg Castle. University of Heidelberg New Campus and Botanischer Garten der Universitaet Heidelberg are also within 2 mi (3 km). Heidelberg Seegarten Tram Stop is 15 minutes by foot and Heidelberg Central Station is 11 minutes.

      Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg
      Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg

      Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg

      Hauptstrasse 178, Heidelberg
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Heidelberg, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Church of the Holy Spirit and Heidelberg Castle. President Friedrich Ebert Memorial and Heidelberg Student Jail are also within 5 minutes. Heidelberg-Altstadt Station is 11 minutes by foot and Heidelberg Seegarten Tram Stop is 20 minutes.

        Boutique Hotel Heidelberg Suites - Small Luxury Hotels $222
        Boutique Hotel Heidelberg Suites - Small Luxury Hotels

        Boutique Hotel Heidelberg Suites - Small Luxury Hotels

        Neuenheimer Landstr. 12, Heidelberg, BW
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Neuenheim, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Karl Theodor Bridge and Heidelberg Castle. President Friedrich Ebert Memorial and Church of the Holy Spirit are also within 10 minutes. Heidelberg-Altstadt Station is 14 minutes by foot and Heidelberg Seegarten Tram Stop is 24 minutes.

          Hackteufel $103
          Hackteufel

          Hackteufel

          Steingasse 7, Heidelberg, BW
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Heidelberg, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of University of Heidelberg Old Campus and Heidelberg Castle. Neckarwiese and University of Heidelberg New Campus are also within 3 mi (5 km). Heidelberg-Altstadt Station is 11 minutes by foot and Heidelberg Seegarten Tram Stop is 22 minutes.

            Goldener Falke $135
            Goldener Falke

            Goldener Falke

            Hauptstraße 204, Am Marktplatz, Heidelberg, BW
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Church of the Holy Spirit and Heidelberg Castle. President Friedrich Ebert Memorial and Heidelberg Student Jail are also within 5 minutes. Heidelberg-Altstadt Station is 10 minutes by foot and Heidelberg Seegarten Tram Stop is 21 minutes.

              Hotel Villa Marstall $149
              Hotel Villa Marstall

              Hotel Villa Marstall

              Lauerstr. 1, Heidelberg
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Heidelberg, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of President Friedrich Ebert Memorial and Heidelberg Castle. Heidelberg Student Jail and Neue Universitaet are also within 5 minutes. Heidelberg-Altstadt Station is 13 minutes by foot and Heidelberg Seegarten Tram Stop is 20 minutes.

                Hotel Zur Alten Brücke $117
                Hotel Zur Alten Brücke

                Hotel Zur Alten Brücke

                Obere Neckarstr. 2, Heidelberg, BW
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Heidelberg, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Karl Theodor Bridge, Heidelberg Student Jail, and Heidelberg Castle. Heidelberg University Library and Thingstätte are also within 2 mi (3 km). Heidelberg-Altstadt Station is 10 minutes by foot and Heidelberg Seegarten Tram Stop is 23 minutes.