Moore Haus overlooks romantic Old Town Heidelberg, a university town rich in culture and history. The University of Heidelberg was founded in 1386 and is the oldest University in Germany. Three hundred yards from the entrance to Heidelberg's famous castle (Schloß), the house provides easy access to the bustling main street (Hauptstraße) of Old Town Heidelberg, but is located in the peaceful setting of a quiet, wooded neighborhood.
The students will live in a four-story mansion that houses a library, computer lab, administrative offices, dorm rooms, student center, and a faculty apartment. The bedrooms are comfortable and full of character, and those on the upper floors afford through-the-trees views of the beautiful Neckar Valley. A grand piano dominates the large living room, which is open for student use much of the time. Students attend classes in office facilities at Hauptstraße 92, approximately a fifteen-minute walk from Moore Haus, in the heart of the busy Altstadt (Old Town).
Built in 1906, the Moore Haus made architectural history because of its eclectic German country villa style. After World War I, the wealthy Schmitthelm family, manufacturers of down comforters, purchased the mansion. During World War II, in 1945, the U.S. occupational army confiscated the house and it became headquarters for the C.I.C., forerunner of the C.I.A.. The house was used to interrogate former Nazis and monitor communist activities, and you can still see evidence that the current office was used as a prison cell. When West Germany received limited sovereignty from the Allies in 1953, the house was returned to the Schmitthelm family.
Pepperdine University purchased the mansion in 1965, the third year of the Heidelberg Program, and made extensive renovations, converting the mansion into a dormitory building. Great care was taken to preserve its turn-of-the-century character and architectural interest. The house was christened "Moore Haus" after J.C. Moore, Jr., Pepperdine Controller and spiritual father of the Heidelberg Program, along with Dr. Norvel and Dr. Howard White. More than 2,000 students have called the grand old house, now a historic monument, their home.
A German-style breakfast is served daily in the house. This includes an assortment of breads, pastries, meat and cheese platters, cereal, fruit and yogurt. Sunday through Thursday evenings, students eat dinner at an authentic German restaurant near the university. Each student receives a cash allowance on a stored-value card for lunches approximately five days a week. All meals will be prepared and served in accordance with local customs, and provisions cannot always be made for special diets. There is a kitchen available in the house for student use, should students want to prepare their own lunch. Meals while traveling on weekends will be the responsibility of the student.
Some locations students have visited in the past include Vienna, Madrid, and Paris. In the Fall of 2009, the Heidelberg program visited Vienna, and will visit Madrid in the Spring of 2010. The Educational Field Trips have not been determined for the 2011 Spring semester.
Those students who attend during the Fall 2010 semester will have the once-in-a-decade opportunity to travel the Romantic Road to Oberammergau to experience the historic Passion Play with an audience from all around the world. For more information on the Passion Play, visit the the official website. Get a better idea of the history of the Passion Play by watching the video.
The most unique cultural outreach program that Heidelberg has is the Tandem Language project, in which students are paired up with local Heidelbergers to practice their German language skills while riding on a tandem bicycle around town. Students in Heidelberg also take the iniative on their own to engage in the German culture. For instance, in Fall 2009, one student auditioned and was selected to join a local ballet studio.