Vaihingen an der Enz
|Vaihingen an der Enz|
|• Mayor||Gerd Maisch|
|• Total||73.41 km2 (28.34 sq mi)|
|• Density||380/km2 (990/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Vaihingen an der Enz is located between Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, in southern Germany, on the western periphery of the Stuttgart Region. Vaihingen is situated on the river Enz, and has a population of around 30,000. The former ‘district-capital’ is now part of the district of Ludwigsburg in the Land (state) of Baden-Württemberg. It is 25 km northwest of Stuttgart, and 15 km west of Ludwigsburg.
Vaihingen may date back as far as 799 a.d., but the documents are not clear. In 1252 documents refer directly to Vaihingen as a town, established by Count Gottfried von Vaihingen. The city changed hands several times. In the sixteenth century it became a Protestant city. During the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), Vaihingen was besieged by both the Protestant and Catholic warring factions. The consequences of the 1848 revolution caused harvest failures and inflation, and the city population diminished by a large emigration. In the early 1900s, a connection to the railroad network brought more people and industries to Vaihingen. In 1938 Vaihingen became a regional center.
Vaihingen was the site of a concentration camp during World War II. See Vaihingen an der Enz concentration camp.
Landmarks, Sights and Culture
The panoramic sight at the market place includes the city hall and the city church (alternative central/main church). Due to devastating fires in 1693 and 1784, housing facilities had to be rebuilt and their architecture dates back to then.
- City Hall
A fire destroyed the old city hall building in 1693. It was rebuilt in the same location in 1720, following long years of controversy between the citizens of Vaihingen and the administration of Wurttemberg. Its paintings date back to 1901. The ground floor was originally used as a sales area for tradesmen.
- The Town Wall
The former Town Wall is partly preserved in the Baedergasse. It is accessible by foot in the direction of the Klingengasse. A broad alley including a stone portraying the coat of arms was built in 1786. Small bridges connect the top level of the buildings and served as escape routes during high flood water.
- The Peterskirche (St. Pete’s Church)
The Peterskirche is the oldest church in Vaihingen and dates back to 1490 Roman architecture. Modifications were carried out several times. It remained Vaihingen’s cemetery church until 1839. From 1871 onwards, it was used as a gym and was rebuilt again in 1980 according to the old style. The city museum can be found on the top floor of the building. Even today, old gravestones from the former cemetery can still be seen. The museum is open every first Sunday of the month from 2pm – 4pm. Other viewing appointments can be arranged via phone at +497042/98100.
- The Haspelturm (Tower of Pulley)
The Haspelturm, also called "a thief’s tower“ is the oldest tower in Vaihingen. An old roman ornament ("Rundbogenfries“) indicates that it might have been built as early as the 13th century. The tower’s six stories dominate the old town’s silhouette. In the first floor the "Haspel,“ a kind of pulley that was used to lower its prisoners into the dungeon, can be found.
- The Pulvertum (lit. "Powder Tower")
The Pulverturm is a former prison with massive walls up to three meters thick. The former corner tower of the city’s defense wall was built in 1492 and served among others as a prison, a home of homeless people and a slaughterhouse. Today the tower, with its historic atmosphere, can be used as an extraordinary place for special occasions, in particular art exhibitions.
- The City Church
The City Church was built in 1513. Its current appearance came to be after the fire of 1693. Before that fire, the church suffered from destructions because of the fires in 1617 and 1618. The tympanum over the south entrance (carrying the cross) is from 1521. In 1892-93 the inside of the church was rebuilt by the master-builder Dolmetsch. That is when the organ was put in the place where it still sits today. Moreover, galleries have been included. These galleries as well as the outside stairways at the south entrance were removed in the 1960s.
- Kaltenstein Castle
This castle is Vaihingen’s landmark. It was built on a rocket of Muschelkalk (Middle Trias). It was the former seat of the area’s duke and was first mentioned in 1096 as »castrum vehingen«. Duke Karl Alexander had it renovated in 1734 and later fortified. In the following years it was used as a garrison and a hospital, from 1842 onwards as a workhouse. Today, it is the seat of a social, Christian charity organisation ("Christlichens Jugenddorf“).
- May Festival
The May Festival Vaihingen Enz is one of the oldest children's festivals in Baden-Württemberg, first documented in 1687. Despite being held yearly on Pentecost (May or June), it is a non-religious festival. The highlight of the festival is a parade presenting several historic events as well as current sportsclubs and institutions of Vaihingen. Many people who moved away from Vaihingen take the opportunity to visit their hometown on this event.
- Jacob Friedrich von Abel (1751–1829), Professor of Philosophy
- Born in Vaihingen May 9, 1751. Published his "Introduction to the doctrine of spirituality" ("Einleitung in die Seelenlehre") in Stuttgart, 1786.
- Karl Friedrich Hensler (1759–1825), Viennese theater director
- Karl Gerok (1815–1890), Bishop
- Konstantin von Neurath (2 February 1873 – 14 August 1956) was a German diplomat remembered mostly for having served as Foreign minister of Germany between 1932 and 1938.
- Friedrich Kellner (1885–1970) Chief Justice Inspector, Diarist
- Born in Vaihingen February 1, 1885. His 10-volume diary was exhibited at the George Bush Presidential Library in 2005 and is the subject of the Canadian documentary, My Opposition: the Diaries of Friedrich Kellner.
Vaihingen an der Enz is located on the western periphery of the Middle Neckar region, “Region Mittlerer Neckar”, with its old name. See also
- Pictures of the concentration camp cemetery at Vaihingen/Enz at the Sites of Memory webpage
- Pictures of the military and refugee memorials in the municipal cemetery at Vaihingen/Enz at the Sites of Memory webpage
- official internetpresence of Vaihingen Enz town council
- internetpresence of district Aurich
- Internetpräsenz of district Kleinglattbach