Friday, February 25, 2011

River Neckar bridge (1786-1788) - Heidelberg - Germany

Heidelberg [ˈhaɪdəlbɛʁk] is a German city situated in the south-west of the country. It is the fifth largest city of the German State of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Mannheim, Karlsruhe and Freiburg im Breisgau. Heidelberg is part of a densely populated region known as the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. As of 2009, over 145,000 people live within the city's area. Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald.
Heidelberg — having been a former residence of the Electoral Palatinate in the past — is the seat of the University of Heidelberg which is well-known far beyond Heidelberg's and Germany's borders. Furthermore, Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination due to its romantic and picturesque cityscape's character including the Heidelberg Castle and the baroque style Old Town. The US Army has had a military base in Heidelberg since 1951.
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The Neckar is a 367 km (228 mi) long river, mainly flowing through the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, but also a short section through Hesse, in Germany. The Neckar is a major right tributary of the River Rhine. Rising in the Black Forest near Villingen-Schwenningen in the conservation area Schwenninger Moos at a height of 706 m (2,316 ft) above sea level, it passes through Rottweil, Rottenburg am Neckar, Kilchberg, Tübingen, Wernau, Nürtingen, Plochingen, Esslingen, Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Marbach, Heilbronn and Heidelberg, before discharging into the Rhine at Mannheim (at 95 m (312 ft) above sea level).
From Plochingen to Stuttgart, the Neckar valley is densely populated and covered with industrial areas, including several well-known companies, e.g. Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes Benz cars, and Mahle GmbH. Between Stuttgart and Lauffen, the Neckar cuts a scenic meandering and in many places steep-sided valley into fossiliferous Triassic limestones and Pleistocene travertine. Along the Neckar's valley in the Odenwald hills, many castles can be found, like Burg Hornberg and Burg Guttenberg in Haßmersheim, but also the closed Obrigheim Nuclear Power Plant and the active Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant. After passing Heidelberg, the Neckar discharges on average 145 m3/s (5,100 cu ft/s) of water into the Rhine, which makes the Neckar its 4th largest tributary, and the 10th largest river in Germany.
The name Neckar was derived from Nicarus and Neccarus from Celtic Nikros, meaning wild water or wild fellow. Since about 1100, Black Forest wood was transported by timber rafting, e.g. to Holland for the use in shipyards.
During the 19th century, traditional horse-drawn boats were replaced by steam boats that used a 155 km (96 mi) long chain in the river to pull themselves upstream. The railway made it possible to transport timber to the port of Heilbronn, limiting timber rafting to the lower part of the Neckar after 1899. Thanks to the construction of 11 locks, ships up to 1500t could travel to Heilbronn in 1935.


The Neckar river in southwest Germany, flows from south to north, emptying to the Rhine at Mannheim.


Houses in Tübingen reflected in the Neckar


The Neckar river in Stuttgart


Lock in Neckar at Heidelberg
By 1968, the last of 27 locks, at Deizisau, was completed, making the Neckar navigable for cargo ships about 200 km upstream from Mannheim up to the river port of Plochingen, where the Fils joins, and where the Neckar bends, taking a Northwestern instead of a Northeastern direction. Other important ports include Stuttgart, Heilbronn and Mannheim.
The river's course provides a popular route for cyclists, especially during the summer months. Its steep valley sides are used as vineyards, to cultivate mainly Trollinger.
The name "Neckar" was also given to the world's first motorboat made during the summer of 1886 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach when their Standuhr (Grandfather Clock) petrol engine was tested on the river near Bad Cannstatt.

via wikipedia

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