In the 15th century, a bridge tower on the opposite side of the city adorned the Heidelberg Neckar Bridge (one of the predecessors of today’s Old Bridge) as the gateway to Heidelberg’s old town. The tower was intended to inspire respect, but also fear, from the newcomers. In addition to fear, there was ridicule. A monkey, always a symbol of human inadequacies, offered the visitor to the city from a tower niche with a grip on the bare rear (ugliness and lasciviousness) the “Palatinate greeting”. To make matters worse, the monkey held out the mirror of self-knowledge towards him.
When it was destroyed in 1689, the monkey tower was blown up and the bridge monkey was lost.
Since 1979 the monkey is back – for the people of Heidelberg and the tourists.
Two small mouse figures are reminiscent of the electoral granary, which was formerly located at this point next to the bridge gate.