The city of Heidelberg is perhaps most famous for the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, but there is plenty more royal history to explore. One of these places is the Heiligengeistkirche or Church of the Holy Spirit.
This church houses the remains of the Palatinate and Palatinate-Simmern family, a branch of the Wittelsbachs. It is also the final resting place of Dorothea of Denmark, a niece of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Unfortunately, many of the tombs were destroyed during the Palatinate War of Succession. The only one to survive was that of Rupert I, German King (this title was later known as King of the Romans) and his wife, Elisabeth of Hohenzollern-Nuremberg.
The tomb was originally in a different place in the church, and the faces are idealised. Rupert is portrayed with a sceptre, crown and orb. Both are portrayed as wearing heavy robes, and at Elisabeth’s feet lies a dog as a sign of loyalty.
Elisabeth was born in 1358 as the daughter of Frederick V, Burgrave of Nuremberg and Elisabeth of Meissen. She was the eldest of their nine children. Her brother Frederick was the last Burgrave of Nuremberg, and he became the Elector of Brandenburg in 1415. Elisabeth married Rupert on 27 June 1374, and he succeeded his father as Elector Palatine in 1398. He was elected German King in 1400, making Elisabeth a Queen.
The couple went on to have nine children together, though not all survived to adulthood. One of her great-grandchildren was Margaret of Anjou, later Queen of England. Her husband died on 18 May 1410, and Elisabeth followed him to the grave just over a year later on 26 July 1411.
The Heiligengeistkirche in Heidelberg is free to visit and is not far from Heidelberg Castle.