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Metro­po­link Heidelberg

Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val Heidelberg

The Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val attracts thou­sands of people to Heidelberg and the region every year with its many dif­fe­rent urban art­works and num­e­rous events – but what is this fes­ti­val anyway?

In the fol­lo­wing article, we’ll tell you ever­y­thing you need to know about the famous street art festival.

Urban art in Heidelberg

artist, graffiti art Heidelberg, modern urban development, design public space
The Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val is a street art fes­ti­val foun­ded in 2015 by Pascal Baum­gärt­ner and under the patro­nage of Prof. Dr. Eckart Würz­ner, who has been the Lord Mayor of Heidelberg since 2006.

It came about when Pascal Baum­gärt­ner, who is an artist hims­elf, talked to the Lord Mayor of Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Eckart Würz­ner, at one of his ope­nings about the use of space and street art in Heidelberg.

Since the Lord Mayor of Heidelberg hims­elf is clo­sely con­nec­ted to the topic of urban deve­lo­p­ment, one thing led to ano­ther and the Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val, as it is now known, came into being under the patro­nage of the Lord Mayor in coope­ra­tion with Pascal Baumgärtner.

Every year, more than 50 world-renow­ned street artists visit Heidelberg. Among them stars like Herakut, sam3 or Bord­alo II. They spend their time pain­ting murals on buil­ding walls with the help of a lif­ting sur­face, which can often take seve­ral days.

Such art­works as part of Metro­po­link deco­rate Heidelberg’s city center and the sur­roun­ding area, aiming to give a new per­spec­tive on the city and get people thinking.

Creative works create spaces and bridges for exchange and interventions in the art scene of this world
Urban art by Hen­drik Beikirch
Such a work of art is also in the small town of Schwet­zin­gen, 10 km west of Heidelberg, on a house wall.

The artist Hen­drik Bei­kirch pain­ted in 2020 a por­trait which he called “Lebens­werk” which can be trans­la­ted to life’s work. It is about a Schwet­zin­gen aspa­ra­gus farmer, namely Ilse Fackel-Kretz. Ilse Fackel-Kretz is famous for her aspa­ra­gus and has also been fea­tured in the Lan­des­schau series about Schwet­zin­gen aspa­ra­gus far­ming, as three gene­ra­ti­ons have now been in the aspa­ra­gus field.

The art­work extends to a height of 5 meters and thus covers almost the entire wall of the house.

The artist is known for his large pain­tings and has also worked on huge art around the world.

Ano­ther of Hendrick Beikirch’s art­works is loca­ted in South Korea in Busan. In 2012, he crea­ted the 70-meter-high pain­ting of a fisher­man, which is one of his most famous pain­tings. Shortly before, many of the fisher­men had been driven out of Busan in order to build the sky­scra­pers that are loca­ted a short distance away.

He thus wants to try to convey deeper con­tent with his images and make people think.



Herakut, on the other hand, is a German artist duo from the street art scene. The name of the artist duo is a com­bi­na­tion of the two artist names of the artists. Hera, civil name Jasmin Sid­di­qui and Akut civil name Falk Lehmann.

The artist duo has worked in major cities around the world, inclu­ding Los Ange­les, Toronto, Kath­mandu and San Fran­cisco, which they have embel­lished with art­works in their unique, distinc­tive style, cha­rac­te­ri­zed by ima­gi­nary worlds and characters.

children, graffiti

One of these unique works can also be found at Phil­ipp-Otto-Runge Straße 2 in Heidelberg. It was crea­ted at one of the first Metro­po­link Fes­ti­vals in the summer of 2016. On the facade of the house, there is a huge pain­ting of a mother with her two child­ren, who she holds pro­tec­tively in her arms. Next to the pain­ting is a wri­ting with the inscription:

“if you let outer appearan­ces scare you, you might miss out on great beauty inside “.

The artist duo tries to convey an important mes­sage to society through each of their pain­tings and their inscription.


Sam3 is a Spa­nish artist who has become known for his sil­hou­ette-like murals. His images are mostly ironic, poetic and pro­vo­ca­tive at the same time.

One of his trade­marks are sym­bols such as lad­ders and roots, as well as that he illus­tra­tes wit­hout color.

His art­work, which was crea­ted at the fes­ti­val, can be admi­red in the former mili­tary sett­le­ment Patrick Henry Vil­lage. It depicts a black figure tal­king to three other people. Around the three other people is a kind of circle drawn from roots, which arise from the mouth of the first person.

Artis­tic districts

buildings,  stadt , Eppelheimer Straße 80
In dis­tricts of Heidelberg such as Bahn­stadt, Neu­en­heim or Rohr­bach, for exam­ple, you can find many such urban art­works on house facades.

This includes the art­work on a house wall in the old Eppel­hei­mer Straße 80 by the artist Smash137. This has crea­ted a work of art, from many crea­tive color splash-like shapes, which merge into each other in dif­fe­rent colors are seen.

Many of these urban arts can also be seen on South Get­tysburg Avenue, where artists have been allo­wed to express them­sel­ves crea­tively on the walls of the buil­dings and their work can now be proudly seen on the buil­ding facades.

One of the cul­tu­ral high­lights of the pan­de­mic year included a per­for­mance by German rapper Samy Deluxe on South Get­tysburg Avenue in August 2020

Patrick Henry Village

Of course, such art­works are not only found on house faca­des in Heidelberg, but they can also be found in the sur­roun­ding region.

Since 2019, the artists of the Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val have been enga­ged in trans­forming the Patrick Henry Vil­lage into a dis­trict of the urban future.

The 100-hec­tare site out­side Heidelberg in the Kirch­heim dis­trict is a former U.S. Army housing deve­lo­p­ment that was built in the 1950s and used as housing for mili­tary per­son­nel and their families.

Artist, Wall, Art, artist
After the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001, the housing estate was sealed off and fenced off in 2003.

On Sep­tem­ber 6, 2013, the U.S. Army left Patrick Henry Vil­lage after the majo­rity of the sol­diers and their fami­lies sta­tio­ned in Heidelberg and the sur­roun­ding area were trans­fer­red to the new U.S. Army head­quar­ters in Wiesbaden.

Since Decem­ber 2014, areas of the former mili­tary sett­le­ment have been used by the Fede­ral Office for Migra­tion and Refu­gees as the main arri­val center in Baden-Würt­tem­berg for refugees.

Since the Patrick Henry Vil­lage has been vir­tually empty since 2014 and it is one of the last open spaces in Heidelberg, it is the per­fect place for the festival.

Exhibitions in the Px factory among others a portrait

New life infused

n coope­ra­tion with the Inter­na­tio­nal Buil­ding Exhi­bi­tion Heidelberg, IBA, the Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val 2018 laun­ches a new pro­ject called “PHVi­sion”, a pro­ject for art, cul­ture and science.

The IBA now has the motto “Know­ledge crea­tes city” since 2012 and deve­lops for­ward-loo­king solu­ti­ons for com­plex, urban deve­lo­p­ment chal­lenges. Hence the pro­ject in col­la­bo­ra­tion with Metropolink.

With the con­ver­sion of a former super­mar­ket of the former U.S. Army base, which now serves as an art gal­lery called “PX fac­tory”, the Metro­po­link stri­ves for a medium-term and sus­tainable con­cept to make Heidelberg a symbol for urban art, digi­ta­liza­tion pro­ces­ses and modern urban development.

Since 2018, the former mili­tary sett­le­ment has been con­side­red a kind of fes­ti­val site for the Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val, and there will also be con­certs, work­shops, film scree­nings and many other actions during the Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val, in addi­tion to wall pain­ting and desig­ning the art hall.
room Heidelberg, chicken on wall

Since when does the Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val exist?

The Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val has now been one of the most important events in the Rhine-Neckar region since its incep­tion in 2015 and is usually atten­ded by up to 15,000 visi­tors each year.

It usually takes place bet­ween the end of July and the begin­ning of August and has a time span of up to two weeks, during which the artists trans­form entire buil­dings into a canvas of life and inspire the audi­ence with their range of crea­tive topics and how they have imple­men­ted them. The work­shops and per­for­man­ces such as street dance also enchant visi­tors since 2019.

New Per­spec­tive

he goal of the Metro­po­link Fes­ti­val is to change the view of the city through street art and to open up the pos­si­bi­lity of reclai­ming public space for the com­mu­nity through that very art. It also aims to streng­then cul­tu­ral bridges in the con­text of art and sti­mu­late public exchange.

In addi­tion, it was a goal of the artists to create with the help of the fes­ti­val the pos­si­bi­lity of a free space in which they can deve­lop crea­tively. This was ulti­m­ately achie­ved through the Patrick Henry Village.

Urban Roman­tic Tour

Those who are very inte­res­ted in urban art have the oppor­tu­nity to admire all the pain­ted walls and learn a little more about their history of crea­tion through the Urban Roman­tic Tour, which includes a tour of Heidelberg to all the facade paintings.

The tour pro­vi­des infor­ma­tion about the artists who crea­ted the pain­tings on the walls, the history of their crea­tion and the style of the art.


The tour can last up to two hours and is offe­red in both Eng­lish and German. There are three tours in total, which you can take every Thurs­day at 6pm either by bike or by bus.



The tickets for the Urban Art Tour are your ent­rance to the world of the Metro­po­link Heidelberg and you can find them on this page: