The Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss) started out as just a small fortress (Burg) on a hill overlooking the Neckar River in 1225 a.d. A lot of the how the castle turned was inspired by Ruprecht III, Emperor of Germany, in 1401. He thought the fortress was too small and he wanted something more elaborate to house his entourage, and show off to his friends. Then during the Renaissance Period in Germany (which came later than the rest of Europe), electors Ludwig V (1508-44) and Otto Heinrich (1556-59), began building upon the fortress to make it into a comfier palace. During the Baroque Period, Friedrich IV (1592-1610) and Friedrich V (1610-32) planted gardens in and around the castle. The most famous part about this castle is how it was destroyed by the French. During the War of Palatinate Successions (also known as the Orleans War), French troops systematically destroyed both castle and town in 1688/89 and in 1693. Locals tried to fix the town and the castle, but in 1720, restoration was delayed because the electors moved their primary residence to Mannheim (remember that place I almost accidentally took a Strassenbahn to!). Restoration picked up again in the 19th century, but it’s still pretty much in ruins. But, hey, they tried, and they are still trying to restore the castle!
So what’s up with the keg?? It is called the Heidelberg Tun and it’s actually a wine barrel! It was constructed in 1751 from 130 oak tree trunks, It is 8.5 meters across and 7 meters high with a dance floor on top. It was built under Karl Theodor which the baroque plaque bears his initials. It has the capacity of 220,017 liters (58,124 gallons).