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Notes on the Geography of Germany: Heidelberg : Photo 1

world pictures Germany: Heidelberg

The tourist magnet is the tiny historic core, a rectangle measuring less than 500 by 1,200 meters.  It's all wedged on the left-bank of the Neckar as that river drops through the Odenwald to the Rhine graben.  On the left bank is the bounding slope of the castle hill (a bit of its forest shows here); the Neckar flows against the hill on the right and continues in the distance.  In between, there's room for only four streets paralleling the river.  The modern city began sprawling onto the distant plain with the arrival of the railway, and by the 1870s Heidelberg had a population of 22,000.  Small as that now seems, Karl Baedeker would complain in 1878 that "this venerable seat of the Muses has therefore now lost much of that poetic charm with which it was so long invested."

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