Heidelberg is a city in the Rhein-Neckar region in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Southwestern Germany. It lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald, population: 148,000. Heidelberg is a jewel among German travel destinations, as one could say it is what tourists stereotypically expect of “Germany”. It is home to the country’s oldest university (est. 1386). With 28,000 students, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität is one of Germany’s main academic institutions and boasts the full spectrum of an ancient academy, from Egyptian Studies to Computer Linguistics. The faculties for Medicine, Law, and Natural Sciences are considered to be among the best in Germany. The university fostered the establishment of several other world class research institutions such as the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biological Lab (EMBL), Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Max Planck Institutes for Medicine, Astronomy, Nuclear Physics, among others. Generally speaking, Heidelberg is an academic city with a long and rich history and is similar in many ways to cities such as Cambridge or Oxford (Heidelberg and Cambridge, England are twinned). During WW2, the city was almost completely spared allied bombings for being in a rural area. As a result, it has retained its baroque charm of narrow streets, picturesque houses, and the world-famous castle. After WW2, the US Army built large barracks at the southern end of the city. Heidelberg’s 148,000 inhabitants thus include not only 28,000 students at the university but also nearly 30,000 US citizens, almost all of them soldiers and their families. With hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to the city annually, Heidelberg is a culturally diverse and international destination, despite its small size. People who have lived and worked in the city include the poets Joseph von Eichendorff, Jean Paul, Goethe, and Iqbal, scientists such as Bunsen and Kirchhoff, philosophers such as the founder of the “Illuminati” order von-Knigge, atheist Ludwig Feuerbach, existentialist Karl Jaspers, political theorist Hannah Arendt, architect Albert Speer, and many more.