Heidelberg was founded in the 12th century and became a electorial palatinate during the 13th century until 1720 and hence an important political center in Germany.
During the war of succession Heidelberg was conquered twice by french troups (1688 and 1693) and completely destroyed. After the war 1697, Heidelberg was rebuild in barrock-style on the medival groundings. After the change of residence of the elector from Heidelberg to Mannheim and the destruction of the palace through lightning, Heidelberg´s descent began by loosing most of the former jobs to Mannheim.
In 1803 the electorial palatinate was dissolved and Heidelberg became part of the grand duchy of Baden. The badic grand duke Karl Friederich (1771–1811) built the university up to an important and renowned institution which it still is. To honour him and the founder of the university, elector Ruprecht I., it was now called „Ruprecht-Karls-Universität“.
After 1693 Heidelberg wasn´t destroyed and is the only city in Germany which survived the second world war mostly unharmed.
After the war, Heidleberg was a base of the Americans until 2012 when the troops got moved to Wiesbaden. The soldiers had an own village called Patrick-Henry-Village which is now a sanctuary for refugees. The baracks are partly changed into student flats. Due to the withdrawl of the Americans Heidelberg lost around 20 000 people, a seventh of its population.
Nowadays Heidelberg is a modern vibrant student city known for its University and clinic. Every year around 600 erasmi come to heidelberg for an exchange and several thousand international students study here. Once you are here it will be easy to start your live and make new friends.