Fodor's Expert Review Heiliggeistkirche
The foundation stone of this Gothic church was laid in 1398, but it was not actually finished until 1544. The gargoyles looking down on the south side (where Hauptstrasse crosses Marktplatz) are remarkable for their sheer ugliness. The church fell victim to plundering by the Catholic League during the Thirty Years' War, when the church's greatest treasure—the Bibliotheca Palatina, at the time the largest library in Germany—was loaded onto 500 carts and trundled off to the Vatican. Few volumes found their way back. At the end of the 17th century, French troops plundered the church again, destroying the tombs; only the 15th-century tomb of Elector Ruprecht III and his wife, Elisabeth von Hohenzollern, remain. Today, the huge church is shared by Heidelberg's Protestant and Catholic populations.