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Main street in Rottweil
Main street in Rottweil
Coat of arms of Rottweil
Coat of arms
Location of Rottweil within Rottweil district
DanubeFreudenstadt (district)Tuttlingen (district)OrtenaukreisSchwarzwald-Baar-KreisZollernalbkreisAichhaldenBösingenDeißlingenDietingenDornhanDunningenEschbronnEpfendorfFluorn-WinzelnHardtLauterbachOberndorf am NeckarRottweilRottweilSchenkenzellSchiltachSchrambergSulz am NeckarVillingendorfWellendingenVöhringenZimmern ob RottweilRottweil in RW.svg
About this image
Rottweil is located in Germany
Rottweil is located in Baden-Württemberg
Coordinates: 48°10′5″N 8°37′29″E / 48.16806°N 8.62472°E / 48.16806; 8.62472Coordinates: 48°10′5″N 8°37′29″E / 48.16806°N 8.62472°E / 48.16806; 8.62472
 • Lord mayorRalf Broß
 • Total71.76 km2 (27.71 sq mi)
Highest elevation
609 m (1,998 ft)
Lowest elevation
557 m (1,827 ft)
 • Total25,182
 • Density350/km2 (910/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
78628, 78652 (Unterrotenstein)
Dialling codes0741, 07427 (Neukirch)
Vehicle registrationRW

Rottweil (German: [ˈʁɔtvaɪl] (About this soundlisten)) is a town in southwest Germany in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Rottweil was a Free Imperial City for nearly 600 years.

Located between the Black Forest and the Swabian Alps, Rottweil has almost 139,500 inhabitants as of 2019. The old town is famous for its medieval center and for its traditional carnival (called "Fasnet" in the local Swabian dialect). It is the oldest town in Baden-Württemberg,[2] and its appearance has changed very little since the 16th century.


Imperial City of Rottweil

Reichsstadt Rottweil
StatusFree Imperial City
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Founded
AD 73
• Gained Imp. immediacy
• Treaty with Swiss
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Swabia
Duchy of Württemberg
Imperial Abbey of Rottenmünster

Reichskloster Rottenmünster
StatusImperial Abbey
GovernmentImperial Abbey
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Founded
9 May 2018
• Gained Imp. immediacy
• Mediatised to Württemberg
23 November 1802
• Abbey abandoned
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Imperial City of Rottweil
Duchy of Württemberg

Rottweil was founded by the Romans in AD 73 as Arae Flaviae and became a municipium, but there are traces of human settlement going back to 2000 BC. Roman baths and an Orpheus mosaic of c. AD 180 date from the time of Roman settlement. The present town became a ducal and a royal court before 771 and in 1268 it became a Free Imperial City.

In 1463 Rottweil joined the Swiss Confederacy under the pretence of a temporary alliance. In 1476 the Rottweilers fought on the Swiss side against Charles the Bold in the Battle of Morat. In 1512, Pope Julius II gave the city a valuable "Julius banner" for its services in the 1508-1510 "Great Pavier Campaign" to expel the French.[3] In 1519, the Rottweilers left the old Swiss alliance. They joined a new one in which their membership was extended indefinitely – the so-called "Eternal Covenant".

Rottweil thus became a centre of the Swiss Confederation. The relations between the Swiss Confederation and Rottweil cooled rapidly during the Protestant Reformation. When Rottweil was troubled by wars, however, it still asked the Confederates for help.[4]

In the Rottweil Witch Hunts from 1546 to 1661, 266 so-called witches, wizards and magicians were executed in the imperial city of Rottweil. On April 15, 2015, they were given a posthumous pardon. An official apology was given by the City Council about 400 years after their violent death.[5]

Rottweil lost both its status as free city and its alliance with the Swiss Confederacy with the conquest of the region by Napoleon in 1803.

Lord Mayors since the 19th century[edit]

  • 1820–1833: Max Joseph von Khuon, Schultheiß
  • 1833–1845: Max Teufel
  • 1845–1848: Karl Dinkelmann
  • 1848–1851: Kaspar Rapp
  • 1852–1887: Johann Baptist Marx
  • 1887–1923: Edwin Glückher
  • 1924–1943: Josef Abrell
  • 1943–1944: Otto Mann
  • 1944–1945: Paul Fritz
  • 1945–1946: Franz Mederle
  • 1946–1965: Arnulf Gutknecht
  • 1965–1985: Ulrich Regelmann, mayor, from 1970 Lord Mayor
  • 1985–2001: Michael Arnold, Lord Mayor
  • 2001–2009: Thomas Engeser, Lord Mayor
  • 2009–present: Ralf Broß, Lord Mayor[6][7][8]

Main sights[edit]

  • The late-Romanesque and Gothic–era Münster Heiliges Kreuz ("Minster of the Holy Cross"), built over a pre-existing church from 1270. It features a crucifix by Veit Stoss and noteworthy Gothic sculptures.
  • Kapellenkirche (1330–1340), a Gothic church with a tower and with three statue-decorated portals.
  • Lorenzkapelle ("Church of St. Lawrence", 16th century) in late Gothic style. It houses some two hundred works by Swabian masters and Gothic altarpieces from the 14th and 15th centuries.
  • The town's museum, including a notable Roman mosaic with the legend of Orpheus.
  • The late-Gothic town hall (1521).
  • St. Pelagius, a Romanesque church from the 12th century. Excavations have brought to light Roman baths on the same site.
  • Dominican Museum of Rottweil – local branch of the Landesmuseum Württemberg
  • As of 2015, ThyssenKrupp was constructing a $45 million, 807-foot (246 m) tower. The tower is a research facility for the company and is to be used to test new elevator cars and technologies. At 807 feet, it is the tallest structure in the district. The windowless building is to have 12 elevator shafts.[9]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Rottweil is twinned with:[10]

Notable people[edit]


  • The Rottweiler dog is named after this town; it used to be a butcher's dog in the region.
  • "Das Mädchen aus Rottweil" is a song by the German band Die Toten Hosen


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2019". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). September 2020.
  2. ^ Website of Dominikaner Museum Rottweil (retrieved May 22, 2014), on permanent display is a wooden table from August 4, AD 186 naming arae flaviae as municipium thus making Rottweil the oldest town in Baden-Württemberg [1] Archived 2014-05-21 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Hecht, Winfried. "The Julius Banner of the Village of Rottweil". ETHZürich. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  4. ^ Hecht, Winfried. "Rottweil". Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  5. ^ Zeck, Mario (2000). "Im Rauch gehen Himmel geschüggt", Hexenverfolgung in der Reichsstadt Rottweil,. Stuttgart. p. 43.
  6. ^ "Oberbürgermeisterwahl 2009 - vorläufiges amtliches Endergebnis" (in German). Kommunale Informationsverarbeitung Reutlingen-Ulm. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Ralf Broß - Oberbürgermeister - Stadt Rottweil" (in German). XING. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Mitarbeiter: Broß, Ralf" (in German). Rottweil (official site). Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  9. ^ Brown, Eliot (September 15, 2015). "Elevators Elevate German City's Image". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Rottweil und seine Partnerschaften". (in German). Rottweil. Retrieved 2021-03-16.

External links[edit]