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St. Peter's Church Heidelberg

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The Church

The St. Peter’s Church is the oldest church of Heidelberg and the former ver­sion of this buil­ding was first docu­men­ted in 1196. It was a Roma­nes­que church in the middle of a small vill­lage. The city of Heidelberg was foun­ded in the begin­ning of the 13th cen­tury by a dynasty called the Wit­tels­ba­cher. The church was loca­ted out­side the city walls for a long time. The envi­rons of St. Peter’s Church were used as a ceme­tery until the ope­ning of the moun­tain ceme­tary in 1844. Even today you can find graves and monu­ments of the past cen­tu­ries if you take a walk around the buil­ding. Inside the church you can also visit a lot of graves of pro­fes­sors of the uni­ver­sity, elec­to­ral civil ser­vants and other respec­ted citi­zens. The most famous grave is the one of poet Olym­pia Fulvia Morata. She died in Heidelberg in 1555 und was known as one of the most eru­di­ted woman of her time.

In former times St. Peter´s Church was used as a parish church, in 1400 it was appoin­ted col­le­giate church by elec­tor Ruprecht III. It was com­ple­tely res­to­red in 1489. The chapel with an arched choir and the west-tower were desi­gned in a late Gothic style. Des­troyed in the Pala­tine war of suc­ces­sion (1689 – 1693), it was rebuilt at the begin­ning of the 18th cen­tury in a Baro­que style. 1863 – 1870 it was recon­s­truc­ted in neo-Gothic style with a three-aisled nave. Even until today this church has been rede­si­gned for a couple of times, because of various reno­va­tions and chan­gings in utilization.

Today St. Peter’s Church is used by the uni­ver­sity for pro­tes­tant ser­vices, as well as for various con­certs and exhibitons.

The church is open to the public on working days bet­ween 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from April to October.

Loca­tion & Directions

St. Peter’s Church is loca­ted right oppo­site the university’s library and the Art­Ho­tel is also loca­ted directly next to the church. From the pede­strian zone (Haupt­straße) it is not far to the St. Peter’s Church. The small detour up the street is worth it to have a look at the old church.

If you are not from Heidelberg or if you are in ano­ther corner of Heidelberg, you can also reach the church quite easily by bus. The bus stop Uni­ver­si­täts­platz is loca­ted below the library in Gra­ben­gasse, near the cafe­te­ria. The Fried­rich-Ebert-Anlage bus stop is also nearby. Both stops are served by many bus lines and have good con­nec­tions to Heidelberg main station.