University Library Heidelberg
The University Library
The library achieved great fame in the 16th century, when Elector Ottheinrich brought together various book collections to form the Bibliotheca Palatina. Through further purchases, donations and inheritances, the library grew to become “the most important book treasure of scholarly Germany”. However, the end of the collection was approaching in the Thirty Years War. In 1622 the Catholic League under General Tilly conquered the city of Heidelberg. As a result, almost the entire book collection was confiscated and transported to the Vatican in Rome. Only a few books and manuscripts from the Bibliotheca Palatina have been preserved for the Heidelberg people. The most famous copy is the Manessische Liederhandschrift, an extensive German song manuscript. It was probably not among the books that were taken away and was probably taken into exile by the “Winter King” Friedrich V. Presumably his widow sold the book to a merchant out of financial need, who in turn left his collection to the King of France after his death. In 1888, through the mediation of a Strasbourg bookseller, the precious piece returned to Heidelberg. Today, in the museum rooms of the University Library, one can admire facsimiles of various historical books and writings. Changing exhibitions complete the offer.
Location & Directions
If you are not from Heidelberg or if you are in another corner of Heidelberg, you can also reach the university library 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.