Set amidst the stunning backdrop of the 600 year old Heidelberg Castle with its fairytale-like courtyards and towers, the Schlossfestspiele (castle pageant) is a must for all visitors to this city. The event looks back on a long and proud tradition; founded by Frederick V in the 16th Century, the pageant initially featured a mix of music, theater and drama, but was expanded in the 18th Century to include operatic performances. Nowadays the Schlossfestspiele mainly consists of operas and concerts performed in the castle grounds by the ensemble of the Theater der Stadt Heidelberg (City Theater). The festival has featured such theater productions such as Wolfgang Maria Bauer's production of Goethe's Urfaust and Carmina Burrana as well as an adaptation of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. The idyllic scenario is further enhanced by the fact that most of the shows are outdoors; this is where the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra concludes the festival, as they do every year.
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