On our stop in Heidelberg, my friend and I (who were road tripping across Europe), decided that one "attraction" we had to check out was the Nazi Amphitheatre, the Thingstatte. Both of us are very intrigued by WWII history with an emphasis on the Nazi Culture (no we are not pro Nazi, just interested in the history and whatnot behind it all) so we knew this was a stop we had to check out. Due to the not so favorable fall/winter hours (it got dark at like 16:30) and our tight schedule, we had no choice but to check out the Thingstatte in the dark. Now, this is not a journey for the faint at heart and it probably was not the safest thing for two girls (30 year old women=girls to us ;-) ) to be doing in the dark, but it was most definitely one of the top 3 things we did on our trip. We put the address from TripAdvisor in our car's GPS and headed up the mountain. Because it had rained most of the day, there was an eerie, patchy fog as we drove along the wooded road to the top of the mountain. We were a little nervous, not just because it was quite spooky, but also because of the reports from other TripAdvisors that it was kind of hard to find. As our high beams guided the way, they illuminated ruins of what looked to be an old lookout tower; St Stephen's Tower to be exact, which had a stone marker that read 1096. So what did we do when we approached this creepy 11th century tower, you ask? Well, we climbed it!! What beautiful views of Heidelberg stretched out before us as our reward for bravely climbing this tower in the pitch black. As we continued our journey to find the Thingstatte, we passed a bier garten and could travel no further by car, so we took to foot. It was not very well marked, but somehow we chose the right path (straight forward past the biergarten). As we rounded the path, our jaws dropped...illuminated by moonlight, the Thingstatte stood before us. This place was huge. From the stage to the 115 steps (yes, I counted) you could just imagine what took place here so many years ago. I advise you all to investigate everything here... it is pretty amazing. I also found a black and yellow salamander (fire salamander I later found) crawling around on a step. Unfortunately, because it was so dark, none of our pictures came out but of the lizard... but the memories will last a lifetime of this amazing eerie place.
It was built by the Nazis between 1934/35 now used as a venue for concerts and theatre.
In the night of the 1st May (Walpurgisnacht) up to 20.000 people walk up the hill. The best way is along the Philosophers' Way - with an astonishing view on the castle and old town on the other side of the river Neckar.
Once you've reached the Thigstätte (late in the evening) you will be welcomed with an amazing view: torches all across the Amphitheatre, the sound of drums, a big fire in the middle and 20.000 people sitting, chilling, chatting - almost quiet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can already come during the day and enjoy a picknick with your family.
But anyway and anytime it is worth to be there - at least once (be aware that atmosphere is quite addictive ;-) lol )
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