Karlstraße, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Alte Brücke Commissioned in the 18th century by Prince Karl Theodor, Heidelberg’s famous Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) is a town landmark—and a historic example of stone bridge building. Made from local Neckar Valley sandstone, it connects the Old Town to the eastern end of the Neuenheim district, a route that was previously connected by wooden bridges often destroyed by floods and wars. On the main town side, visitors can find the medieval Bridge Gate, which formed part of the city wall. An iconic site in its own right, it features towers that once served as dungeons for local criminals. On the bridge itself stand two sculptures by Konrad Linck—one of Prince-elector Karl Theodor, the other dedicated to the Roman goddess of wisdom (a nod to the prince-elector’s commitment to the arts and sciences). As you walk along the span, keep an eye out for the “bridge monkey,” a modern re-creation of a historic feature. Local lore says he holds a mirror to remind visitors crossing the bridge that they’re no better than those on the other side.