The Heidelberg Palace has many hidden gems among the beautiful ruins, but one gem in particular has a mysterious origin.

A few years ago I had the incredible opportunity to go on a study abroad trip to Europe. I went to several different countries and kicked the trip off in Germany. The first thing I did after I got off the plane was buy a beer at a local beer house, naturally. The second thing I did was tour the ruins of the Heidelberg Palace built in the 1200s for the Electors of Germany. I cannot begin to describe how awestruck I was.

Side note: Growing up in Chicago, the oldest buildings in the city are from the late 1800s because most of the buildings constructed in the early 1800s were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Even then, Fort Dearborn (as it was first known) was established in 1804. I had sort of forgotten that castles really do exist and aren’t some made up grandiose residence I read about in fairytale books as a kid.

Touring the Heidelberg Palace, I had never seen anything so old!

At one point in the tour, we stopped at a footprint that was indented in the ground. How unusual and mysterious this footprint was! Turns out, it is part of “The Legend of the Knight’s Jump”.

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Once upon a time…

There was a royal couple who lived in this castle. The prince was often away from the castle, leaving his princess alone and lonely. She began to have an affair with a knight and they met in secret every time the prince was away. One day the prince came home early, unannounced, and caught the lovers in bed together. Upon being caught, the knight knew he had only two options. He could either engage in a sword fight with the prince (a lose-lose situation), or run. To no surprise, he ran. Allegedly, he jumped out the window and landed on the ground with such force, his footprint created a permanent indentation. He was never seen again.

There’s another legend that if your foot fits in the footprint, you’re great in bed. Yes, I tested it. No, I don’t kiss and tell. But just this one time I will say it was a favorable outcome. ♥

Despite the legend, I still wonder… how the hell did that footprint get there??

What do you think? Have you been to the Heidelberg Palace? Would you like to read about other legends and stories I learned about while in Europe? Comment below!

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