Tracing the myth
An undreamed-of success: In spring 1988, the Heidelberg writer Michael Buselmeier began to give tours of his home town that highlight its intellectual history, and from 1999 on, he and the former head of the Department for Cultural Affairs, Hans-Martin Mumm, embarked on researches and collated their findings. The result has been an unprecedented success, unbroken to this day. By telling the story of Heidelberg through the actual buildings and their one-time occupants, a new kind of city tour has come into being. Throughout this all, the “myth of Heidelberg” is being constantly tracked down, as are those who helped creating it: the writers, painters, professors and composers from the Middle Ages to the present.
A large number of guided tour companies have included literary tours in their programs, as for instance the Heidelberg Gästeführer e.V., which offers tours of the city in 22 languages for guests from around the world. In these tours the visitors get to know the literary figures and the places where they made their mark, their paths through life and their work. Particularly popular are tours that concentrate on specific themes, such as Romanticism and Russian Heidelberg.