In The Black Forest

In The Black Forest.

The Ruin's Of All Saints

The Ruin's Of All Saints.

Hidden away from the world, in the cool depths of the Black Forest, within the shade of stately trees and within easy distance of some beautiful cascades, is the once famous monastery of All Saints. That all who lived within its walls were saints, I would not venture to affirm; but it was certainly a noble building in its prime, five hundred years ago, and held its place as one of the richest institutions of the kind in Germany. At the very beginning of this century, however, its property was confiscated and the site abandoned. A miserable fortune then awaited the monastery, since it was purchased for a cotton-mill. Apparently the gods protected it from sacrilege; for, on the very day when its new owners were to take possession, the lightning's bolt set fire to the massive edifice and made of it the ruin which we see. No lover of the beautiful, however, can regret it; for now, instead of a prosaic factory, the tourist finds in this delightful spot one of the finest ruins to which luxuriant ivy and romantic legends ever lent their charm.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg.

Soon after leaving Baden, another charming feature of the Rhineland greets the traveler in Heidelberg, partially mirrored in the river Neckar, which here rolls downward like a flood of silver to the Rhine some miles away. The great attraction of the place is, of course, its famous castle, which is certainly one of the grandest strongholds ever designed by mediaeval architects, and has been enthusiastically called the "Alhambra of Germany." All German castles are picturesquely located, but few can equal this; for the steep mountain side of Heidelberg is covered with a dense forest, from which, more than three hundred feet above the river, the lovely ruin emerges, like a solitary flower out of a mass of dark green leaves. It is only a short walk from the Castle Hotel to this historic edifice, but it will not be easily forgotten; for the dark woods are threaded with a multitude of winding paths, completely sheltered from the sun, and in the early spring bordered with violets. Sometimes these walks are spanned with ruined arches, adorned with wild flowers, and caressed by the clinging fingers of innumerable vines. Moreover, in these sylvan shades, on every pleasant summer afternoon, the visitor can seat himself in a rustic cafe (the roof of which is the green canopy of the trees), and listen to orcnestral music, that invariable feature of German out-door life, cheering the pilgrimage of the summer tourist in Rhineland with continuous strains of melody.

The Castle From The Rhine

The Castle From The Rhine.

Heidelberg From The Rhine

Heidelberg From The Rhine.

Heidelberg Park

Heidelberg Park.

On entering the courtyard of the castle, we see a great variety of architecture in the buildings that enclose it.

Each differs from its neighbor, both in general design and ornamentation, for Heidelberg Castle was not the work of a single architect, or even of one age, but is, rather, a series of palaces built by successive princes during a period of three hundred years. A wonderfully fascinating place is this old courtyard, either at sunset, when its ruined walls, with their elaborate statues and stone-carving, stand out like finely decorated screens against the sky, or, when the moon pours a flood of silver through their ruined arches, giving a glory to their remnants of departed splendor, and softening all traces of the conflict which they still survive. In that mysterious light their sculptured kings and warriors seem like living beings, who have assembled to converse of the old times when the grand halls were filled with valiant knights, fair ladies, and sweet-voiced minstrels.

No one can fail to be impressed with the former strength of the castle's walls, if he observes an enormous mass of masonry called the "overthrown tower." Two hundred years ago, the army of Louis XIV. left the town of Heidelberg a smoldering heap of ruins, and the castle itself so far dismantled, that the French king ordered a medal to be struck, bearing the inscription, "Heidelberg is destroyed." But, happily, it was impossible to destroy such a massive structure, and some of its old battlements remain almost as strong as formerly in their enormous thickness of twenty feet.