ZUM RITTER ST GEORG IS ONE OF THE FEW PATRICIAN MANSIONS TO SURVIVE THE THIRTY YEARS WAR:
One of the more interesting and historic hotel buildings in Heidelberg Old Town is the Hotel Zum Ritter St Georg at Hauptstrasse 178. Built by the Huguenot cloth merchant Charles Bélier in 1592, this gabled house is a Late Renaissance architectural style that was commonly found in Heidelberg during that period. However, Zum Ritter St Georg is one of the few patrician mansions to survive the War of the Palatinate Succession.
Zum Ritter St Georg
Hotel Zum Ritter St Georg is opposite the Heiliggistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit Church) on Marktplatz. On top of the pointy gable of the building is a knightly bust of St George, after whom the building was named. Perhaps it was due to the protection of St George that Zum Ritter survived the repeated French invasions and total destruction of the area during the War of the Palatinate Succession.
When Charles Bélier, had his Haus Zum Ritter built in 1592 he added touches to the facade which immortalized himself and his family. The ram symbol above the entrance is the coat-of-arms of his family (Bélier was an immigrant from France and “bélier” is French for “ram”). In the right box sill of the second floor of the building are the engraved images of Bélier and his wife Francina. Below the pediment are the Latin inscriptions: PERSTA invita, VENUS which translates as “Stay always undefeated, beauty”.
As it was one of the few remaining intact townhouses in the Old Town, Zum Ritter served as the City Hall from 1693 to 1703. Apart from this period, it has been operated as a hotel and inn since the end of the Thirty Years War.
Great Fan of Hotel Zum Ritter St Georg
One of the famous guests of Hotel Zum Ritter St Georg was Victor Hugo who described the hotel as a gorgeous building, and he went into great lengths in describing its features and its great resilience in surviving the many fires and sieges.
Tips for Booking Zum Ritter
If you’re looking for a hotel with friendly service and old world charm, you can’t beat the location of Hotel Zum Ritter St Georg right on Marktplatz. Ask for a room that overlooks the church for a better view of the Old Town. However, being on Markplatz can mean some noise from Heidelberg’s vibrant nightlife as well as church bells ringing, so bring earplugs if you are sensitive to noise. You can book Hotel Zum Ritter Here. With only 37 rooms, Hotel Zum Ritter St Georg gets booked up, so book early if you plan to stay here.
Hotel Zum Ritter St Georg