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Passing Lower Remstal to the medieval centre of Waiblingen

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Passing Lower Remstal to the medieval centre of Waiblingen

Our first visit to Waiblingen by bicycle through the Lower Remstal had led us into the mediaeval town center of Waiblingen, which had a lot of interesting half-timbered houses, remains of the city wall and the High Observing Tower on the Zwinger, which are really visitable places, not to forget the Park-like landscape on the Remsinsel (island).

With Staufer-spectacle now there was another reason to visit the city again.

The High Observing Tower at Zwinger is probably the most striking landmark of the city, which was opened on the day of this town festival and invited us on its viewing platform. It stands on the highest point of the Old Town and belongs to the group of buildings of Waiblingen, which are still preserved from the Middle Ages. Further buildings are the medieval, publicly accessible walkway of the covered city fortification and the Beinsteiner gate tower from the 13th century with Sgraffito on the Rems, which are still preserved. The Protestant church of St. Michael is the main church of the city. It was built between 1470 and 1480 as a three-aisle relay hall. The choir was written in 1440/50. The Nonnenkirchle near the Michaelskirche was built in 1496 by Hans Ulmer. It is a two-storey nave chapel. The Nikolauskirche was first mentioned in 1269 and was rebuilt in Gothic style in 1488. Also worth visiting is the Waiblinger Pharmacy garden, located at the Nikolauskirche and designed according to the medieval monastery garden model. Twelve beds between geometrically arranged paths contain plants, which are arranged according to the healing effects on individual organs.

The location of the later village of Waiblingen was extremely favorable for a settlement: very close to the extremely fertile loess areas of the Schmidener field on a hill above the river Rems, so that it was lying on the water but protected from flood. This is very central in the "Waiblinger Bay" with the possibility to check the access to the Remstal (both south along the Schurwald as well as north around the Korberkopf) from there. It is therefore hardly surprising that many traces of human settlement have been found since the Neolithic period.

In the region, finds of the old and middle stone age are known. Around Waiblingen, another settlement was found from various prehistoric epochs, beginning with the culture of the linear barb ceramic (around 5000 BC).

During the Roman period there was a pottery near the outdoor swimming pool for about 100 years (ca.150 to 260 AD). This was one of the largest in the Roman Empire north of the Alps, where crockery was burnt to the use of the soldiers at the Limes (north and east of Lorch in the Remstal). In the associated handicraft settlement also high-quality tableware (Terra Sigillata) was manufactured. In the district of Hegnach, references to another brick kiln were excavated.

In the Alemannic period, the area around today's Waiblingen town center, developed into a political, economic and ecclesiastical center. Several Merovinger burial grounds are located in the surroundings of the city. After the permanent annexation of the former duchy of Alamannia by the Franks in the blood court at Cannstatt in 746, Waiblingen became more and more a center of the Frankish government and came into the possession of the Karolinger. A royal column was built, in which Emperor Charles III. mentioned Waiblingen, which is the first written reference to the town. In 887 there was a court day. The Palatinate, which has not been archaeologically discovered, is presumed to be in the area of ​​the Old Town. Waiblingen also remained under the following rulers dynasties of the Ottones, Salier and Staufer until 1253, probably around 1200, it came to Wurttemberg. The Staufer Friedrich I, better known as Friedrich Barbarossa, was possibly born in Waiblingen in 1122. In any case, the Staufers in Italy were called Ghibellines (Italian for Waiblinger), because their battle cry was "Waiblingen!".

A direct proof of Waibling's mediaeval importance in Württemberg is provided by the controversy of the present district of Neustadt on the Rems ("Nova Civitas"), which was supposed to weaken Waiblingen. In the war against Wurttemberg, the city was destroyed for the first time in 1291/93, fell to the imperial city of Esslingen and did not turn back to Württemberg until 1315. Waiblingen became the town of the government and became the center of an office or circle no later than the 14th century.

Until the end of the 14th century, the old town in Waiblingen was further expanded. It was the Michaelskirche being built outside the city walls and the outer city wall ring and also the Zwinger. In addition, the city gates were increased and equipped with coats of arms such as, for example, the coat of arms of Eberhard I (Württemberg, Herzog), erected in 1491, at the Beinsteiner tower gate.

In the Thirty Years' War, Waiblingen fell victim to the imperial and Spanish troops, which had fallen after the Battle of Nördlingen in 1634, into the no longer defended Wurttemberg: the town was plundered and set on fire. Only a few houses, outside the city wall, escaped destruction. Rebuilding was slow from 1640 onwards due to the following serious population loss. Other fire disasters occurred in 1771 and 1784.

Please read as well:

Ludwigsburg - a a drawing board planned and realized city

Visiting the Staufer-Spectacle in Waiblingen

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