Logo of the City of Heidelberg, Old Town Information, Photographs showing several sights of Heidelberg: Old Bridge and Castle, Town Hall, Bridge gate, Karl's Gate

Bridge Gate

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Bridge Gate

The Old Bridge and its wooden predecessors led to the town’s main north entrance, which was protected by the Bridge Gate. This medieval gate survived all floods and ice, and after the construction of the stone bridge served as a guardhouse and jail (the Guilt Tower, or Schuldturm). In 1788 the original conical tops of the gate towers were replaced with Baroque spires. In the eastern tower, a sandstone spiral staircase leads up into living quarters above the gate’s arch. The western tower contains three low-ceilinged rooms that were once used for detaining suspicious persons.

Toward the west, the gate used to directly adjoin the official granary (Kornhaus), which was destroyed in 1693 and subsequently rebuilt but then torn down for good in 1897.