The Student Kiss – A Heidelberg Tradition

The Legend of the Heidelberg Student Kiss:

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Heidelberger Studentenkuss

Heidelberg has many sweet shops and one of the more interesting chocolate shops is Heidelberger Studentenkuß. Located at Haspelgasse 16 in the heart of the old town centre of Heidelberg, Heidelberger Studentenkuss is a popular chocolate shop with a nice legend attached to it.

Heidelberger Studentenkuss

Heidelberg’s Student Kiss was the clever creation of Fridolin Knösel who was the proprietor of the long-standing Café Knösel, located in Heidelberg’s historic centre. Knösel was a chocolatier and master confectioner who was much liked by his customers. His wittiness and creative and exquisite chocolates attracted many to his cafe, including the young ladies who were attending Heidelberg’s finishing school. Of course the presence of the young women attracted the male students of Heidelberg university who would also flock to the store, hoping to catch the attention of the young women. However, their ever-protective governesses, who were never far away, made it difficult for the young people to meet.

The furtive glances and secret desires of the young men and women did not escape Fridolin Knösel. It pained him to see his young patrons suffer and so he very cleverly created a chocolate delight which he called the Student Kiss. The exquisite chocolate delight was ingeniously promoted as a gallant token of affection from the giver.  Put that way, even the governesses of the young ladies found it hard to refuse them. Finally, it seems the young men and women had a discreet way of sending messages to each other. If the young lady accepts the Student Kiss, it is an indication that she is accepting of the young man’s approach. If however the Student Kiss is returned, it is bad news for the bloke as it indicates rejection.

Student Kiss Chocolates

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Heidelberg Student Kiss

Fridolin Knösel created the Student Kiss back in 1863 and up to this day his descendants still carry on the tradition of making Student Kiss according to the original recipe. I’m sure these days, better quality ingredients are used.

From Heidelberg Hauptstrasse (near the historic Ritter Restaurant), we spotted the black and white logo of the Student Kiss in Haspelgasse and walked down the street to the Hiedelberger Studentenkuss. Tony wanted some Dark Student Kiss chocolates and so we bought a little box of that. Then I spotted some marzipan nougat chocolates at Euro 1.75 each and couldn’t resist them. The lady in the shop is German, but speaks English with a lovely English accent. I asked her if she’s lived in England and she said that she’s never been to England.

The marzipan chocolate didn’t make it back to our riverboat as we ate them in place of lunch. It tasted nice, but I think I still like my Lübeck marzipan best.  The dark Student Kiss however is very nice.

Heidelberg Kiss

Although courting standards have changed since 1863, the Student Kiss is still very much a Heidelberg tradition that the residents of Heidelberg have fun with. Celebrities and VIPs visiting Heidelberg are also presented with the Student Kiss, Michelle Obama included.  If you’re looking for a romantic treat or souvenir of Heidelberg, check out these Student Kisses. For the young at heart looking for a smooch and a bit of fun, the shop also sells chocolate sticks which couples can share from opposite ends of the stick, and when the chocolate stick is all eaten up, it naturally ends up with a Kiss!

Student Kisses can be bought from several chocolate shops and cafes in Heidelberg, but we enjoyed visiting the Haspelgasse shop and the Café Knösel is just next door at Haspelgasse 20.


Heidelberger Studentenkuß
Haspelgasse 16
69117 Heidelberg
Tel: (06221) 2 23 45

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