Lamy’s roots are firmly planted in the heart of Heidelberg, where countless successful series have been created and the design of writing instruments is continuously being redefined. Even as an internationally successful design brand, the family company values Heidelberg as a company location. What is it about this city which keeps Lamy inspired day after day? A digital tour to ten places in Heidelberg just waiting to be discovered.
A true classic. The Heidelberg Castle is one of the oldest sights in Germany and is the landmark of the city. Even today one can get a taste of the glorious past at these well-preserved ruins from the early 13th century. The castle is sublimely situated on the Königstuhl from which one can enjoy a panoramic view on the city. A walk through the masonry and the palace gardens surrounding it, with its imposing Renaissance sculptures, is a relaxing way to start the day.
You don’t have to be a student to have heard about the Heidelberg University: it is the oldest university in Germany and, since 2007, one of the internationally renowned universities of excellence. Max Weber, Ludwig Feuerbach, Hannah Arendt and Helmut Kohl were among the students here. In particular, however, it is best known for its excellent medical reputation: With one of the largest university clinics in Europe and such important research institutes as the German Cancer Research Centre, the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research and the Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie (center for research and higher education in molecular biology), the Medical Department offers quite a selection. Nevertheless the real highlight is the Studentenkarzer (students' prison) – a dungeon at the back of the Old University in which badly behaved students used to be locked up. Writings and paintings on the walls of the dungeon can still be found from past detentions. Definitely worth a visit!
What could be more beautiful than to stroll through the marvellous Heidelberg landscape along the Neckar and to philosophize about life? That’s right – not a lot. With panoramic views of the old town, the castle, the Rhine valley and even across to the Palatinate Forest, it’s easy to let your thoughts run free. Hölderlin, Eichendorff and Scheffel knew that too as they walked along that same route through the vineyards during their time in Heidelberg – giving the Philosopher’s Walk its name. For poets and thinkers alike, it’s the most cultivated and yet most casual way for visitors to explore the city, the Neckar and the surrounding mountains.
The Neckar River: this blue aorta of the city runs from east to west right through the middle of Heidelberg. It can be seen in all its glory in Heidelberg before disappearing into the Rhine a few kilometres further on. On warm summer days it is invitingly cool, and during especially cold winters one can stroll atop its icy surface. Some of the best places to experience the river is along the riverbanks of the Neckar, where the city meets for picnics, on a ride with the Neckar ferry or from the famous Old Bridge. This massive stone bridge with its fairy-tale gate and humorous bronze sculpture, the “bridge monkey”, really adds to the picturesque atmosphere of the city.
Something exotic in the heart of Heidelberg: orchids, bromeliads, palms, ferns, water lilies, succulent plants from the Old and New World... About 14,000 different plant species can currently be found in the Botanischer Garten der Universität Heidelberg. If the Neckar River is regarded as the blue aorta, the Botanical Garden is presumably the green soul of the city. Originally created by the university as a medicinal herb garden, today it entices visitors with its fascinating variety of plants. Entry is free and there are tours through the greenhouses and outside areas every first and third Sunday of the month.
A piece of modern poetry on the banks of the Neckar: The Liebesstein (love stone) is a mighty sandstone, and lovers from all over the world attach their engraved love locks to it. Since popular bridges in Paris, New York and Florence are threatening collapse under the burden of so much love, the city decided upon getting a stone in the summer 2013 – legend has it that this stone is supposed to have been part of the Heidelberg Castle. A love poem adorns its centre: “The View” by Joseph Freiherr of Eichendorff who, about 200 years ago, found love in Heidelberg – at least temporarily – and dedicated these lines to her. Heidelberg is now and will remain the city of the romance.
The Convention Center Heidelbergis a true feast for the eyes – both inside and out. This historical town hall combines architectural elements from the Wilhelminian style and the Renaissance, with small details in art nouveau style – playful, romantic, elegant and very sublime. It was built in 1903 by two Heidelberg architects and acts today as a modern congress and cultural center. From theatre performances and concerts to seminars and symposiums, the hall is used just as diversely as is its architectural influences. An unbeatable plus: the view to the Neckar River.
Lamy employees are able to enjoy their own Sculpture Garden; visitors of the Orthopaedic University Clinic can enjoy the Skulpturenpark Heidelberg. These gardens contain a total of 26 permanent exhibits by known sculptors from as far back as the 1950s, and also have special exhibitions which change every year. Exactly the right place to grab some fresh air and at the same time a bit of inspiration from the art. Open daily, entry is free.
Only a stone’s throw from the old town is Heidelberg’s local mountain, the Königstuhl (“king’s seat”). One can enjoy the fantastic view from the region’s highest mountain by climbing the “Himmelsleiter”, a steep set of stairs leading up from the castle, or take the more comfortable mountain railway. The Königstuhl has more to offer than just a view of the city – namely, a view of the galaxy! For those interested, the Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory offers public sky-watching as well as tours which are carried out by students of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy… at least just as thrilling as the look down!
The old town is the heart of Heidelberg. Since the city was largely spared from the destructions of the Second World War, its historical charm is still today very apparent: small, cobblestone lanes which line narrow old town buildings; picturesque squares adorned with romantic fountains and sculptures. Every rounded archway, every building wall breathes the history of the city. The old town with its numerous shopping opportunities nevertheless represents a modern Heidelberg: from fashion and designer shops to specialty shops, small bistros and cafés. It is exactly this fusion of old and new that makes the old town a special place best explored by strolling through its narrow streets.