When I went to Heidelberg to visit my friend Aida I really fell in love with all the foliage around the city and I was lucky enough that the weather behaved properly so we thought about climbing up the mountain and spend the morning in Thingstätte. I gotta say it is worth it especially in autumn when all shades of greens, yellows, burgundy and brown are at their best.
Thingstätte is an open-air theatre built during the Third Reich and it was mostly used for events and performances as part of the Nazi movement, but now used for celebrations and protected as cultural monument. We went there on a Sunday morning and it was full of people jogging or families walking around and taking pictures.
Once you are up there it is really worth to just sit down while contemplating the place and realizing you are just sitting in a place that has witnessed many historical events and lived through many different ages. The way up the mountain is truly inspiring for those interested in nature and architecture as well (and of course photography, duh.), since you can find some tower or remains of the buildings here and there.
And not to forget about the views this mountain offers when you are either going up or coming back to the city. We loved the sights with the castle, old town and bridge at our feet. Of course we had to stop and sit because I am a lazy cow and started going up too fast but realized -half the way- I really needed some air. Still I keep ignoring my body signs telling I should do some sport, some lessons you never learn.
The idea of the Thingspiel movement was that people would gather for meetings and theatre and propaganda presentations. These sites were built around natural settings, which had rocks, trees, and hills of some importance or significance. After the war the place was used for concerts and sport meetings. Concerts can no longer be hold properly in this place due to lack of electricity and other services but there is certainly one famous event for the Germans which is held here, and that is Walpurgis Nights, which brings fire-dancers and jugglers and lots of people who don't want to miss it out.
This place is a definitely must-see if you are visiting Heidelberg and have already seen the center and castle complex. Also, don't think it twice if the weather is nice and you feel you have eaten a lot, it's a way to do some exercise and get rid of any guilt after a big meal!
I'm super lucky to have Aida and Victor in Germany since it means hey weekend getaway whenever I want and I know I should visit more often, but uuu how I'd like to have them closer! I guess we have to keep traveling from now and then!