Heidelberg Legend of the Witch’s Bite

In the heavy wooden door of the Heidelberg Castle you will find a smaller gate with a thick ring made of iron. They used to use that gate for single visitors or emissaries in times of war when they did not want to open the big wooden door. Today you can see a dent on the thick ring of the gate which they have used for knocking. This dent is the so called “Witch’s Bite”. The old Heidelberg Legend of the Witch’s Bite relates that once the Electoral Prince, who was in a dying condition, worried about a successor because he has not left any descendants behind. So he promised the transfer of power to the one who would bite through the thick iron ring. The Electoral Prince thought anyone who would be strong enough to bite through an iron ring would be also strong enough to be a ruler. Many noble and brave men tried their luck but they failed because of broken teeth. Not only men did desire the power. There was a witch who had a try at biting through the ring. As she was almost successful in doing it she fortunately also lost her teeth at the critical moment . The iron ring remained entirely and there was just a dent left thanks to which today they use the term “witch’s bite”.

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