The name Philosophers’ Walk can be traced back to the days when Heidelberg’s professors and philosophers used this congenial place to talk and reflect while enjoying the charming view of the Neckar.
The view of the town also inspired the poets Eichendorff and Hoelderlin. Among the attractions along this now world-famous route are the Eichendorff Stone, a sandstone stele with a bronze relief of the poet, and the Merian-Kanzel, a platform from which Matthaeus Merian immortalised Heidelberg in an engraving in 1620. The Hoelderlin-Anlage, an area at the eastern end of Philosophers’ Walk which is dedicated to the poet, pays tribute to his ode to Heidelberg “Lang lieb ich dich schon…” (“Long have I loved you…”)
This world-famous path still offers visitors new vistas and insights today. Enjoy a beautiful view of Heidelberg in a climate that will remind you of Tuscany. Many sub-tropical plants flourish in the Philosophers’ Garden. The temperate climate is perfect for Japanese cherry and lemon trees, cypresses, bamboo, rhododendron, gingko and yuccas, as well as many plants from the Mediterranean, North Africa and Asia.
The “Schlangenweg” or “winding path” starts just above the Old Bridge opposite the Old Town and cuts steeply through terraced vineyards until it reaches the woods, where it crosses the Philosophers’ Walk. It is partly enclosed by bushes and trees, as well as some lovely vineyards, but there are several viewing platforms for magnificent views of the city.