Heilbronn on the Neckar is a vibrant city in the heart of Baden-Württemberg. Its unique position on the Neckar, hospitality and the gastronomic delights on offer make it highly sought-after, and not just for Castle Road travellers. It became world famous through the play "Cathy of Heilbronn" (Käthchen von Heilbronn) by Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811). The distinctive Swabian-Franconian mentality of the residents is clearly seen in the calendar of festivals in the town. The Horse market, Trollinger.... [More about Heilbronn]
Heilbronn, whose first documentary mention dates back to 741 A.D., was given the right in 1333 through a decree signed by the Emperor to change the course of the Neckar so that it would flow past the then free imperial city. The "golden age" of the imperial city ended with its occupation by Württemberg troops in 1802, and Heilbronn became the Oberamtsstadt (chief administrative city) of Württemberg. During an air raid on December 4, 1944 over 80 percent of the city was destroyed. Despite the fact that the city suffered heavy damage during World War II, we can still find traces of historic Heilbronn – reconstructed, restored and lovingly maintained by the Heilbronn citizens. Let us begin our stroll in the market square in front of the historic town hall. The elegant Gothic building was erected in 1417. The Renaissance façade is adorned with a highly decorative astronomical clock by Isaak Habrecht. Adjacent to it is the historic House of Kathy, a Gothic stone house with a Renaissance corner oriel window, named after the heroine of "Kathy of Heilbronn", a drama of chivalry by Heinrich von Kleist. Just a few steps further is the St. Kilian's Church, with the 62 m high St. Kilian's Church tower, considered to be the first significant Renaissance construction north of the Alps. The stonemason Hans Schweiner built the west tower in the Renaissance style from 1513-29. In the hall choir of the St. Kilian's Church can be found the high altar (1498) by Hans Seyfer, an important of work of Late Gothic altar art . The nearby historical Deutschhof (former residence and fruit storehouse of the commandery of the Order of Teutonic Knights) is today a center for cultural events. You can walk up the three major towers of the town center, the Götzenturm, the Hafenmarktturm, and the Bollwerksturm. At the top, they open up totally new vistas of the city on the Neckar River.
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