With Heidelberg, SPR has chosen a very special place for its 2021 Annual Meeting. Mark Twain speaks of Heidelberg as "the last possibility of the beautiful".

Today a city with some 160.000 inhabitants, Heidelberg was once the royal residence of German Prince Electors, and for hundreds of years it was a focal point of German history. It is well known as one of the symbolic and real centers of German Romanticism, home of many famous scholars, writers and poets and of influential intellectual groups at the end of the 19th century.

Strikingly is the beauty of Heidelberg’s landscape and architecture: edged north and south by the forested hillsides Heidelberg lies where the Neckar River leaves the Odenwald Forest and flows onward into the Rhine valley.

The baroque silhouettes of the houses, the sweep of the bridge over the river, and the impressive ruin of the castle towering above the Old town, blend with the landscape to offer a most beautiful image. Amidst this magical setting, the town pulsates with modern life. In the angular lanes of the Old Town, students, tourists, and long-time residents cross paths day and night. Numerous stages beckon citizens and passers-by alike to enjoy the annual festivals for classics, jazz, film, theater, and literature.

In Heidelberg’s oldest university, founded in 1386, teaching and research are take place on the highest level. Heidelberg University is being part of the German group of “Universities of Excellence” for many years and soince many years is one of the top 100 universities in the world. At present some 31,000 students are enrolled, roughly a fifth of the city’s population. It is largely the students (and the scientists) who create the citys cosmopolitan, international, and youthful atmosphere. Positioned in one of the most dynamic economic regions of Germany, Heidelberg is among the most attractive conference and convention sites in the country.

To find out more about the attractions and the surroundings of the city, there are numerous websites with much information. E.g.


When starting to plan for the Heidelberg meeting in 2018 we immediately reserved the Heidelberg Castle for our banquet on Saturday 26th of June 2021. The Heidelberg Castle is the symbol for a romantic ruin. It is located 80 metres (260 ft) up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown of Heidelberg. It is served by an intermediate station on the funicular railway. It also can be reached by foot from Oldtown.

Within the still-intact building, we have reserved the king’s hall where we will be served a delicious dinner and can dance until the morning (if hygiene rules will allow us). If you can stay longer, do not miss the stunning firework at the 10th of July at the Heidelberg Castle which takes place three times a year as a staging of its destruction by the French army in 1693.