Schwäbisch Gmünd viewed from the Kings Tower (Königsturm)
|• Lord Mayor||Richard Arnold|
|• Total||113.78 km2 (43.93 sq mi)|
|Elevation||321 m (1,053 ft)|
|• Density||510/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Vehicle registration||AA, GD|
|Imperial City of [Swabian] Gmünd
Reichsstadt [Schwäbisch] Gmünd
|Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
Schwäbisch Gmünd (German pronunciation: [ˈʃvɛːbɪʃ ˈɡmʏnd̥]) is a town in the eastern part of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. With a population of around 60,000, the town is the second largest in the Ostalbkreis and the whole region of East Württemberg after Aalen. The town is a Große Kreisstadt, a chief town under district administration; it was the chief town of its own rural district until the district reform on 1 January 1973.
From 85 AD, the Neckar-Odenwald line was the frontier of the Roman Empire. The Romans built the Limes Germanicus to secure this border. Along the border they built fortifications in regular distances, which included a small castrum on the site of the Schirenhof farm in Schwäbisch Gmünd.
The first major settlement in this area was around the 2nd century AD, when Roman soldiers settled nearby the Limes. In the 3rd century the border lines were assaulted and taken by the Alemans, who settled down in the areas abandoned by the Romans.
In the 8th century a false document in the name of Charlemagne, in the Monastery of St Denis near Paris mentioned a monk's cell called Gamundias built by Abbot Fulrad of St Denis. Whether or not this refers to Gmünd is uncertain. There are no archaeological indications for a cell of this type in Gmünd.
Schwäbisch Gmünd was founded in the mid-12th century. It was a Free Imperial City from 1268 until 1803, when it passed to Württemberg.
By the end of the 14th century, the name "Etzel castle" was used for the remains of the Roman fort, which had been built to protect the Neckar-Odenwald border of the Roman Empire. In a baroque chronicle of the city of Schwäbisch Gmünd, written by the councillor Friedrich Vogt (1623–1674), the "Castle" was mentioned in ancient writings as "Etzel castle". Even at the time of Vogt, the Roman remains were cheaper than stones from quarry, and these were thus removed to the ground. Only parts of the moat would still be visible.
The demesne officer, wine expert and archaeologist Carl Friedrich Christoph Gok (1776–1849), a half brother of the poet Friedrich Hölderlin, suspected in 1847, that the alleged castle on the Schirenhof farm had probably once been a Roman fort. The first modern and scientific excavations took place under the guidance of retired army chief of staff of the Württemberg army, General Eduard von Kallee and by Major Heinrich Steimle in the years 1886 to 1888, i.e. before the Empire-Limes-Commission (Reichslimeskommision) had been set up. The so-called Schirenhof Castrum is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Limes Germanicus.
From 1963 to May 1991, the United States Army's 56th Field Artillery Brigade, equipped with Pershing missiles, was headquartered at the Bismarck Kaserne along with the A, and D firing batteries of the 1/41 FA Battalion. Family housing and the commissary was across the street from the Hardt Kaserne and overlooked a hill above Bismarck Kaserne. The Hardt Kaserne, formerly Adolf Hitler Kaserne, which was finished in 1937 and used to train officers for the war, was home to the 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery (Pershing), Headquarters, B, C and Service Batteries, 1/41st FA Battalion, 56th FA Brigade, After the closure of the base, which often attracted protests, the University of Maryland University College opened a four-year German campus on the Bismarck Kaserne in 1992, which closed in 2002 due to financial difficulties and a lack of students. Festival Europäische Kirchenmusik was established in 1989.
The 3d Battalion, 17th Field Artillery was stationed here, at Hardt Kaserne, until late 1963. The units mission was reinforcing fires for the 7th Army Light and medium Artillery units. The 8", M-55 Howitzer (SP) was considered the most accurate weapon in the Army's arsenal.
Since the 17th century, Schwäbisch Gmünd has been home to producers of gold and silver handicrafts. An almost forgotten craft was the so-called "Silberporzellan", "Metallporzellan" or "Silberbelagwaren". Today it is known as Silver overlay and Schwäbisch Gmünd was home of inventor Friedrich Deusch who began to decorate not only porcelain but also glass with this unique technique in the end of 19th century. All the important items which are dealt on the art market today are originated in Schwäbisch Gmünd. The town is also home to the Forschungsinstitut für Edelmetalle und Metallchemie, an institute for precious metal work and surface technology. Other important industries include automotive suppliers, manufacturers of machinery and glass, and a large subsidiary of the Swiss toiletries and medicine producer Weleda.
- Peter Parler (1330–1399), architect and builder
- Hans Ratgeb (circa 1480–1526), painter
- Hans Baldung (1484 or 1485–1545), painter
- Hans Judenkönig (died 1526)
- Veit Warbeck, diplomat at John Frederick's court and translator of the Magelone
- Emanuel Leutze (born in Schwäbisch Gmünd 1816; died in Washington, D.C. 1868)
- Lina Haag (1907–2012) and Alfred Haag (1904–1982), local communists and concentration camp survivors
- Aron Strobel (*1958), band member of Münchener Freiheit
- Emil Holzhauer (1887–1973),painter
- Michael Braungart (*1958), chemist, famous for Cradle-to-Cradle concept (C2C)
Twin towns – Sister cities
Schwäbisch Gmünd is twinned with:
- Barnsley, United Kingdom, since 1971
- Antibes, France, since 1976
- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States, since 1991
- Székesfehérvár, Hungary, since 1991
- Faenza, Italy, since 2001
- [Statistisches Bundesamt – Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31.12.2012 (XLS-Datei; 4,0 MB) (Einwohnerzahlen auf Grundlage des Zensus 2011) "Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31.12.2012"]. Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 12 November 2013.
- Hans Ulrich Nuber: Schwäbisch Gmünd in frühgeschichtlicher Zeit. In: Geschichte der Stadt Schwäbisch Gmünd. Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8062-0399-7, S. 26.
- Schwäbisch Gmünd Closure, from the University of Maryland University College, on the Wayback Machine
- Landesgymnasium für Hochbegabte Schwäbisch Gmünd
- See Weleda (Unternehmen) on the German Wikipedia
- "Town twinning Information about town twinning". Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
- Bozsoki, Agnes. "Partnervárosok Névsora Partner és Testvérvárosok Névsora" [Partner and Twin Cities List]. City of Székesfehérvár (in Hungarian). Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Schwäbisch Gmünd.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Gmünd.|
- Official website
- Schwäbisch Gmünd Live Webcam
- Schwäbisch Gmünd — The oldest Staufertown (English)
- Schwäbisch Gmünd portal, links, image gallery, artists (English) (German)
- Wikisource (German) - some hundred of PD texts