Aim High – Reach the Top with the Heidelberg Mountain Railway
For over a hundred years, a ride on the Mountain Railway, a funicular, has been a special experience in Heidelberg. From the romantic Old Town, the railway takes Heidelberg’s visitors and residents first to the castle station, then to the Molkenkur station, and finally to the top of the King’s Chair Mountain, at a height of some 400 meters or 1,300 feet above the Neckar valley.
Along the way there is much to discover. With the attractively priced Castle Ticket, the newly renovated railway transports you quickly and comfortably to the castle and back again to the valley station. The entrance fee for the castle courtyard, the Great Vat building, and the German Apothecary Museum is included in the price. Those wishing to go higher can take the railway up to the next stop, Molkenkur. Here, where in earlier times guests partook of a coveted whey cure (Molken-Kur) in the hotel, today’s visitor can enjoy coffee and cake on the spacious, sunny terrace looking onto the town.
While the lower funicular presents its streamlined form in dynamic silver grey, a change of trains at the Molkenkur station propels you into nostalgia. From here onward, the historic original car designed of venerable wood in 1907, and completely restored in 2005, takes the visitor to the peak of the King’s Chair and the surrounding forests. The spectacular view, from a height of 567 meters or 1,860 feet above sea level, is sublime. From the terrace of the funicular station, the panorama stretches over the entire Rhine-Neckar area to the chain of hills of the Palatinate Wine Route. On a particularly clear day, the silhouette of the Vosges Mountains is visible in the west.
For fans of technology and history, the mountain railway offers a special treat: an exhibition in the charming old building transfers you to the early beginnings of the King’s Chair railway, and the engine room itself is open for inspection. In 2004, the Heidelberg Mountain Railway was declared a culturally significant monument.
An outing with the mountain railway of Heidelberg’s public utility company is not only an entertaining experience, it is also a tangible contribution to environmental and climate protection. The mountain railway is a prime example for environmentally safe electromobility – and what’s more, it eliminates the search for a parking place!