Bacon showed up for the first time in the breakfast buffet, so many in the group were happy to see that! After breakfast we took the bus to the nearby city of Speyer. The Speyer Dom was built around the year 1000 AD in a Romanesque architectural style. The major significance of the Dom is that it is the burial site of 4 major kings and emperors that ruled the German people from 1000 to 1200 AD. The tombs are found in the crypt and we were able to visit those tombs.
Our next stop was the city of Heidelberg. Heidelberg is know for many things: oldest university in Europe, the city of one of the 7 prince electors (middle ages), the place where the Heidelberg catechism was written, and the home base for US soldiers after WWII. The two major landmarks are the Heidelberg Castle (partly in Ruins) and the Holy Ghost Church (the home church of the writers of the catechism). We were able to tour the church and then walk to the university where we saw the spot where Martin Luther defended his 95 theses to the faculty of the university. This took place approx 6 months after nailing them on the church door in Wittenburg. While the students went off looking for lunch, the profs went in the university museum to see a beautiful and historic lecture hall as well as a student prison used to hold the students when caught misbehaving. After that, the profs went to the university library to see a replica of the original Heidelberg Catechism. The original is held in a safe at the university, so the replica was good enough for us. It was neat to see the original writing of Q and A 1.
After lunch, the group took the funicular up to the castle for a guided tour. The castle is mostly in ruins, but some rebuilding has taken place that we could tour through. The city below was beautiful with the recent snow fall. After the tour, students had some free time before heading back to the bus and the hotel for a dinner of curried chicken and rice.
Tomorrow we visit two companies on our way to the Bavaria region.