The Holy Ghost Church was first mentioned in the year 1239.
In 1398 Prince Elector Ruprecht III (King Ruprecht I of Germany)
laid the cornerstone of the present-day church. The chancel
was finished in 1410. The nave was completed in 1441 and the
tower after 1508. In the early 18th century the tower roof
was redone in Baroque style. The chancel was once used as
a final resting place for Prince Electors. Their tombs
with the exception of Ruprecht IIIs were all
destroyed in 1693, however.
Until 1623 the churchs galleries contained Europes
largest collection of handwritten books and documents, the
Bibliotheca Palatina. After Heidelberg was conquered
by Tilly, it first passed as war booty into the hands of Maximilian
of Bavaria, who gave it to the Pope in Rome as a gift. From
1705 to 1936 the Holy Ghost Church was divided into two parts
by a wall through the middle. Protestant (Lutheran) services
were held in the nave, and Catholic and later Old Catholic
masses took place in the chancel.