Mystical castle ruins, magnificent castles and imposing churches - even the smaller towns in Baden-Württemberg can boast numerous cultural and historical attractions. Five particularly attractive places introduce themselves:

Bad Säckingen

The spa town of 17,500 inhabitants is located on the High Rhine, about 35 km upstream from Basel. The town is best known for Joseph Victor von Scheffel's first work "Der Trompeter von Säkkingen," published in 1854.

Ellwangen

The town of around 27,000 inhabitants in eastern Baden-Württemberg near the border with Bavaria is located about 17 kilometers north of Aalen. Its sights include the late Romanesque basilica of St. Vitus, the extensive Renaissance castle and the pilgrimage church at Schönenberg.

Rottenburg on the Neckar

The city of 44,000 inhabitants is located about 50 kilometers southwest of Stuttgart. The Roman and Episcopal city is a popular tourist destination thanks to its rich cultural and historical heritage.

Waldkirch

The district town of about 22,000 inhabitants in Breisgau on the Elz River in the southwestern part of the Black Forest is located about 16 kilometers northeast of Freiburg. Waldkirch is located on the German Clock Road.

Weinheim

The town of 45,000 inhabitants in northwestern Baden-Württemberg is located about 18 km north of Heidelberg. Thanks to its two landmarks, the Windeck Ruin and the Wachenburg Castle, it is nicknamed the "Two-Castle City".

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Bad Säckingen

Known is the small town in the very south of Baden-Württemberg on the High Rhine, above all as the setting for the poem "Der Trompeter von Säckingen" by Joseph Victor von Scheffel. Around the turn of the century, the people of Säckingen erected a monument to their honorary citizen on the market square - the Trumpeter Fountain. With Schönau Castle, the baroque cathedral, an old town worth seeing and the longest covered wooden bridge in Europe, Bad Säckingen also has a number of other highlights worth seeing.

The heart of the city beats on the from the double towers of the Fridolin Minster and numerous historic houses framed Münsterplatz. The mighty church building with the onion domes visible far into the country reflects the size and importance of the women's monastery once led by prince abbesses.

The High Rhine Museum Schönau Castle stands in the middle of an idyllic park on the banks of the Rhine and was built around 1600 by the Lords of Schönau in place of a moated castle. On the west side of the castle is a concert shell for open-air performances and concerts. Here you will also find an open-air cinema during the summer months. The castle itself houses the Scheffel Rooms, the Trumpet Museum and the museums for prehistory and early history as well as for the history of the city.

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Ellwangen

Soaring towers, curved gables, Artfully designed portals and lattices: Its 1250-year history has given Ellwangen an unmistakable townscape. It is particularly characterized by the Romanesque Basilica of St. Vitus and the castle towering over the town. Everywhere in the town you will find traces of its religious heritage. If you stroll through the alleys, you will discover chapels and statues of the Madonna greeting you from the niches of the Baroque houses. The Romanesque basilica of St. Vitus, built as a collegiate church for the monastery, dominates the market square. The Evangelical Town Church stands right next door and there is even a direct connecting door between the two - a curiosity in the church landscape. 

The extensive plant of the castle above Ellwangen goes back to a medieval castle. Prince Provost Johann Christoph von Westerstetten had the complex remodeled as a Renaissance castle between 1603 and 1608. The beautiful arcaded courtyard, where the Heimattage are held in the summer, dates from this period. In the baroque period, the prince provosts' increased need for representation led to further reconstruction.

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Rottenburg on the Neckar

The Episcopal City is worth a visit for its Roman roots alone. In the Roman Sumelocenna Museum, the largest known toilet complex north of the Alps from this period can be seen. When strolling through the old town, however, it is above all the Middle Ages and the history of the Anterior Austria that are present everywhere.

Narrow streets and wide squares: Buildings from eight centuries characterize the townscape. Whether medieval towers and gates, Gothic churches or Baroque chapels - there are many traces that point to an interesting history. The Sülchgaumuseum will take you back to that time. The Cathedral St. Martin is the defining building on the market square. In the nearby Diözesanmuseum you can learn a lot about the ecclesiastical history of the city. The pilgrimage routes of St. James, St. Martin and St. Meinrad also lead through Rottenburg.

Who enters the Cathedral of St. Martin, is confronted with an asymmetrical space. The reason for this lies in the tower as the oldest part of the church. Its substructure was built around the year 1280. Around this tower the church was built in the following centuries: first a chapel of Our Lady, then the market church of St. Martin. Due to the spatial limitation of the market square and the enlargement of the nave, it was not possible to build in one axis and therefore simply moved the central nave towards the south.

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Waldkirch

Waldkirch - shining town in the middle of the Black Forest hills © Frank Gehring

Framed by colorful old town houses the marketplace of Waldkirch is certainly one of the most beautiful places in the whole country. From here you also have a wonderful view of the nearby Kandel, the local mountain of Waldkirch. It is an imposing 1242 meters high, a real Black Forest elevation with a magnificent panoramic view from the summit.

On the outskirts lies the still well-preserved ruins of the Kastelburg, the town's landmark. The lords of Schwarzenberg built the Kastelburg around 1280. At the time of the Anterior Austrian cameral rule, the castle was the court seat and the location of the manorial prison. In 1632 A.D. the Hochbergs captured it. Imperial troops destroyed the castle in 1634 after a three-day siege.

The ruins of the castle shrouded in mystery not only attracts visitors from out of town, but also plays an important role in Waldkirch's cultural life. Thus the history of the Castle is brought to life again and again in nocturnal spectacles. In the course of a guided tour of the tower, you have the opportunity to experience the history of Waldkirch's landmark in a particularly entertaining way. The knight's path leading up to the castle brings history to life for children. And a model of the castle before its destruction can be viewed in the Elztal Museum.

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Weinheim

Two castles, one castle, the historic Gerberviertel and the market square are among the sights in Weinheim an der Bergstraße. However, the many parks, gardens and the romantic exotic forest also create a special atmosphere in the city. The castle, which once belonged to the Electoral Palatinate princes, rises above the old town. Today, the ensemble, which is made up of building elements from different eras, serves as the town hall.

Windeck is the second oldest castle on the mountain road. It is located at an altitude of 222 meters. Built as a protective castle of the Lorsch monastery after 1100, Windeck was destroyed in the late 17th century. Since 1978, the castle ruins have been owned by the city of Weinheim. An architectural rarity is the spiral staircase embedded in the wall of the keep.

The almost on the hilltop of the Wachenberg Wachenburg Castle was built between 1907 and 1928 as a memorial and meeting place for the Weinheim Senior Citizens' Convention (WSC) and its active student corps. However, the castle courtyard and castle tavern are open to everyone.

Cover picture: View of Bad Säckingen - the "City of the Trumpeter" © Tourismus- und Kulturamt Bad Säckingen

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