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Heidelberg Funicular

Heidelberger Bergbahn

From: Heidelberg, Germany


ABOVE: The upper section of the Heidelberger Bergbahn.  INSET BELOW: Maintenance workers collect leaves from the tracks in early December.

photoIn 2022, the Heidelberger Bergbahn will celebrate its 120th year of providing service between the Kornmarkt, in Heidelberg's Altstadt, and the Königstuhl, or "King's Chair," with its spectacular views and activities such as the Märchenparadies (a fairy-tale park for children) and the Tinnunculus Falknerei (where you can see falconry demonstrations year-round).

The lower section of the funicular, which runs underground from the Kornmarkt to the Schloss or castle, is even older: It opened for business in 1890, with service to the castle and to the settlement of Molkenkur.

Today, the completely renovated funicular consists of two parts:

  • The underground stretch from Kornmarkt to Molkenkur, which has all-new cars and a tunnel with the latest fire-safety technology;

  • The longer above-ground stretch from Molkenkur to Königstuhl (shown above), which uses antique cars with modern working parts.

Like most funiculars, the Heidelberger Bergbahn has two cars that travel in opposite directions and pass each other at the midpoint of their ascent or descent.

The total length of the system is just over 1.5 km. Travel time is 2 minutes from the Kornmarkt to the Schloss, 5 minutes to Molkenkur, and another 9 minutes to Königstuhl after changing to the vintage funicular at Molkenkur.

The funicular runs daily from 9 a.m. until late afternoon in winter and until mid-evening in summer. Ticket prices depend on how far you're traveling, and on whether you want to stop along the way.

Getting married? You can exchange wedding vows on the historic Königstuhl section of the Heidelberger Bergbahn.

For more information on riding the funicular or taking your vows on the trip up, visit the English-language Heidelberger Bergbahn Web site.

More Heidelberger Bergbahn photos:


A modern funicular car arrives in the lower station of the Heidelberger Bergbahn. (Cars run underground between Kornmarkt, in the Altstadt, and the Schloss or castle on the hill overlooking the old town.)

Like other underground funiculars around the world, the Heidelberger Bergbahn's tunnel and subterranean funicular were closed and completely rebuilt after the Gletscherbahn Kaprun 2 funicular fire in Austria killed 155 people on November 11, 2000. The new funicular opened in 2005, making it both the oldest and most modern of Germany's funicular systems.

This nighttime picture of the funicular tunnel was taken with the camera looking downhill from the Schloss station toward Kornmarkt.

More about Heidelberg:
Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg Castle - Schloss Heidelberg
Heidelberg Student Prison - Studentenkarzer
German Christmas Markets: Heidelberg

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (now including Germany for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

For more information, see About Europe for Visitors, press clippings, and reader testimonials.