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Albstadt is spread across a variety of hills and valleys, its elevation ranges between 614 m (2,014 ft) above sea level and 966 m (3,169 ft). One valley is the river Schmiecha, a left-hand tributary of the Danube, a second valley is the river of upper Eyach, a tributary of the Neckar.
Settlement in the region dates back to at least the Iron Age. A Hallstatt cemetery in Albstadt was excavated by amateur archaeologists in the late nineteenth century and revealed a wide range of pottery and metal artefacts. Known as the 'Degerfeld Barrow' cemetery, a substantial collection was built up by the local antiquary Hyronimus Edelmann that was eventually deposited in the British Museum.
The districts Ebingen, Laufen, Lautlingen, Pfeffingen und Tailfingen were first mentioned in 793 in a document of the abbey St. Gallen. Ebingen received city rights around 1250 from the Hohenberg ducal family.
Albstadt consists of the following urban districts, which had been independent towns and merged to form Albstadt in 1975:
Most of the textiles industry (among them Hasana J. Hakenmüller) is gone today, leaving some monuments, like Villa Haux. However, one of the world's biggest makers of industrial needles, Groz-Beckert still resides there. Other prominent local companies include Mey (knitwear), Mettler Toledo (weighing systems) and a major part of Assa Abloy security systems (Eff-Eff Brand). Ebingen also hosts the technical and computer science faculties of Albstadt-Sigmaringen University with about 3,000 students (2014).