The so-called „English colony“ in Heidelberg

24. Mai 2019 19:00

Beverley Mühlbauer

The English Plantagenet princess Blanche (daughter of Henry IV) lived in Heidelberg in the early 1400s, followed by another British princess Elizabeth Stuart two hundred years later, but it was not until the start of the 19th century that British people began to reside in Heidelberg. As their numbers grew, they founded their social circles and own church, followed by two boarding schools for boys and sports clubs. This community was often referred to as the “English colony” in Heidelberg. Over the years there was a shift in the sociological structure of this community, which came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Who were these residents and institutions, why did they come to Heidelberg and did they leave their mark on present-day Heidelberg?

Beverley Mühlbauer comes from North Yorkshire in England and made her first visit to Heidelberg in 1972 on a school exchange with Hölderlin-Gymnasium. In 1976 she spent six months in Heidelberg on an industrial placement as part of her studies in Modern Languages at the University of Bradford. After graduating, Beverley returned to Heidelberg to work as a technical translator in industry and ended up making Heidelberg (Dossenheim) her second home of over 40 years now. Upon taking early retirement just over three years ago, she trained to become an official tourist guide in Heidelberg. This is when she heard about and became interested in the existence of the “English colony”.