Heidelberg Castle is a ruin in Heidelberg, Germany. The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections. Today the ruins are one of the most striking sites in Germany.
Heidelberg itself is a university town and a center of scientific research with several research centers. Heidelberg University founded in 1386, is Germany’s oldest and one of Europe’s most reputable universities.