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Ravensburg is a city in Upper Swabia in Southern Germany, capital of the district of Ravensburg, Baden-Württemberg. Ravensburg was first mentioned in 1088. In the Middle Ages, it was an Imperial Free City and an important trading centre. The "Great Ravensburg Trading Society" (''Große Ravensburger Handelsgesellschaft'') owned shops and trading companies all over Europe. The historic city centre is still very much intact, including three city gates and over 10 towers of the medieval fortification. "The all-white Mehlsack (Flour Sacks) is a tower marking the Altstadt’s southern edge. A steep staircase leads up to the Veitsburg, a quaint baroque castle."

History

Ravensburg was first mentioned in writing in 1088. It was founded by the Welfs, a Frankish dynasty in Swabia who became later Dukes of Bavaria and Saxony and who made the castle of Ravensburg their ancestral seat. By a contract of inheritance, in 1191 the Hohenstaufen Frederick Barbarossa acquired the ownership of Ravensburg from Welf VI, Duke of Spoleto and uncle of both Frederick Barbarossa and Henry the Lion. With the death of Conradin 1268 in Naples the Hohenstaufen line became extinct. Their former estates became imperial property of the Holy Roman Empire. Like many other cities in Swabia, at the end of the 13th century Ravensburg became an Imperial Free City in 1276. The "Great Ravensburg Trading Society" (''Große Ravensburger Handelsgesellschaft'') was founded at Ravensburg and Konstanz around 1380 by the merchant families of Humpis (from Ravensburg), Mötteli (from Buchhorn, modern-day Friedrichshafen) and Muntprat (from Constance). At first, the society mostly dealt in the production of linen and fustian. With the opening of one of the first paper mills north of the Alps in 1402 in Ravensburg, paper became another commodity. The Ravensburg stores also sold oriental spices, Mediterranean wines and Bohemian ores. After the liquidation of the Great Ravensburg Trading Society in 1530, Ravensburg stagnated economically. The Thirty Years' War caused a grave decline of the population. Swedish troops destroyed the old castle, now named "Veitsburg" after the St. Veit chapel at the castle grounds. Following the Reformation a "paritetic" government emerged, meaning an equal distribution of public offices between the Catholic and Protestant confession. The city council was one half each Protestant and Catholic. For some time there was even a Catholic and a Protestant mayor at the same time, and the both confessions celebrated the village fair, the "Rutenfest", apart from each other. This system was approved at the end of the Thirty Years' War in the Peace of Westphalia (1648) which named four "Paritetic Imperial Cities" (german: Paritätische Reichsstädte): Augsburg, Biberach, Dinkelsbühl and Ravensburg. In 1803 the ''Immerwährende Reichstag'' passed the ''Reichsdeputationshauptschluss'', a bill which included the secularisation and mediatisation of many German states — the first meaning the confiscation of the estates belonging to the church, the second the incorporation of the imperial estates and Imperial Free Cities into larger regional states. As a result, Ravensburg first became a Bavarian exclave within Württemberg. After a swap of estates between Bavaria and Württemberg it was incorporated in the Kingdom of Württemberg in 1810. Since Ravensburg was impoverished and depopulated after the Thirty Years' War, only a few new buildings were raised during the 18th and the early 19th century. The benefit of this economic stagnation was the conservation of a widely intact medieval city with nearly all towers and gates of the historic fortification.

20th century

During World War II Ravensburg was strategically of no relevance. Ravensburg did not harbor any noteworthy arms industry (unlike nearby Friedrichshafen with its large aircraft industry), but was home to a major aid supplies center belonging to the Swiss Red Cross. The historic city centre was not damaged by air raids. By 1945, the city came into the French occupation zone and thus came in 1947 to the newly founded state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern, which in 1952 merged to the state of Baden-Württemberg. In the 1970s, Ravensburg increased in population and territory by the incorporation of smaller communities like Eschach, Schmalegg and Taldorf. Ravensburg University of Cooperative Education was established in the city in 1978. In the 1980s, the Old Town was renovated and all transit traffic was banned from the city centre. thumb|250px|Ravensburg, Blaserturm (trumpeter's tower), Waaghaus (weighing house) and city hall

Economy and infrastructure

Ravensburg is a thriving shopping city in the wealthy region of Upper Swabia. Unemployment is relatively low. The nearest large cities are Munich, Stuttgart and Zurich, approximately a two-hour drive away each. Ulm, Konstanz and Bregenz are each less than a one-hour drive away. Ravensburg is part of an urban agglomeration that also comprises Weingarten (Württemberg) and several suburbs. Ravensburg, Weingarten, and Friedrichshafen (on the shores of Lake Constance) share the functionality of a ''Oberzentrum'' (that is, the highest-ranked centre in the system of spatial planning and development in Baden-Württemberg).

Transport

Ravensburg is located at a crossing of the federal roads (national highways) B30, B31 and B32. A by-pass highway around Ravensburg and Weingarten was completed recently. The regional airport is situated at Friedrichshafen, about 15 km south of Ravensburg. The nearest national motor-ways are the A7 and A8 (approach at Ulm) and the A96 (approach at Lindau or Wangen im Allgäu). In 1847, the railway station of Ravensbug was put in operation, part of the so-called "Swabian Railroad" from Stuttgart to Friedrichshafen, the oldest railroad of Württemberg and well known in all of Germany by the folk-style song '.

Local businesses

Mechanical engineering has traditionally been the main type of industry in the region. Based on the demand of the paper and textile industries (now widely reduced) and a long tradition of flour, paper and other mills many engineering factories arose at the end of the 19th century. Today the primary engineering firms in Ravensburg are the left-overs of the former Escher-Wyss AG (a subsidiary of the Swiss ''Sulzer AG'') which are now subsidiaries of the Austrian "Andritz Hydro". ''Ravensburger AG'', whose headquarters are located in the city, is a company internationally known for board games, jigsaw puzzles and children's books. The pastry factory '':de:Tekrum'' (Theodor Krumm GmbH & Co. KG) is another company with an internationally known brand name. Since January 2005 it has been a wholly owned subsidiary to Griesson–de Beukelaer. Other large industrial companies include: *''Vetter Pharma'', a manufacturer of pre-filled injection systems *''Omira'', one of the largest dairies in southern Germany *the tool factory ''Hawera Probst'' (a subsidiary of Robert Bosch), the worldwide market leader in hammer drill bits *the component supplier ''EBZ Engineering Bausch & Ziege'' (formerly ''Nothelfer'', a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Automotive) *the packaging manufacturer "Coveris Rigid" (formerly Autobar Packaging) *two suppliers of solar power systems, ''Pro Solar Solarstrom'' and ''pro solar Energietechnik''

Media

The local newspaper is the ''Schwäbische Zeitung''. The radio companies ''Radio 7'' and ''Südwestrundfunk'' run broadcasting studios at Ravensburg. In Horgenzell near Ravensburg, the ''Ravensburg-Horgenzell transmitter'' transmitted Deutschlandfunk on the medium wave frequency 756 kHz.

Culture

The city's most popular festival is the annual "Rutenfest", which takes place mid year.

Sport

The city's association football club FV Ravensburg, formed in 1893, has played in the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg on three occasions from 1978 to 1983, from 1998 to 2000 and again since 2003. From 2006 to 2010, Ravensburg hosted the Air Canada Cup or MLP Nations Cup, an international women's ice hockey tournament.

Twin towns – sister cities

Datteln is twinned with: * Brest, Belarus * Coswig, Germany * Mollet del Vallès, Spain * Montélimar, France * Rivoli, Italy * Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, United Kingdom * Varaždin, Croatia

Notable people

*Henry the Lion (1129/1131–1195), Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, allegedly born on the Ravensburg''Über Ort und Zeitpunkt der Geburt Heinrichs des Löwen haben wir nur wenige genaue Nachrichten. Er selbst hat gesagt, daß er in Schwaben geboren sei (‚se de Suevia oriundum’), ob aber auf der Ravensburg bleibt ungewiss.''(About the place and the date of his birth, we have only little information. He said that he was born in Swabia, whether it was on the Ravensburg, is uncertain), In: Joachim Ehlers: ''Heinrich der Löwe. Biographie.'' Siedler, Munich 2008, .
Rezension)
(Standardwerk), p. 47
*Ladislaus Sunthaym (c. 1440–1512/1513), historian and geographer *Hans Buchner (1483–1538), organist and composer *Joannes Susenbrotus (1484/85–1542/43), humanist, taught in Ravensburg *Franz Joachim Beich (1666–1748), painter *August Natterer (1868–1933), art brut artist *Karl Erb (1877–1958), tenor *Klaus Schwab (born 1938), economist, founder of the World Economic Forum *Theo Seiler (born 1949), ophthalmologist and physicist *Erich Buck, (born 1949), figure skater *Angelika Buck (born 1950), figure skater *Andreas Gestrich (born 1952) historian and director of the German Historical Institute in London *Gregor Amann (born 1962), politician (SPD), Member of Bundestag 2005–2009 *Kai Diekmann (born 1964), journalist and chief editor of the Bild-Zeitung *Stefanie Dimmeler (born 1967), biologist and biochemist, Leibniz Prize Winner *Kofi Ansuhenne (born 1973), boy group singer ("Bed & Breakfast") *Simon Henzler (born 1976), football player and coach *Daniel Unger (born 1978), triathlete, *Christoph Meschenmoser, (born 1983), cyclist *Susanne Fellner (born 1985), ice hockey player *Rahman Soyudogru (born 1989), footballer *Ömer Toprak, (born 1989), Turkish footballer *Emanuel Buchmann (born 1992), cyclist

References



External links

*
RutenfestBlaserturm.de
{{Authority control Category:1803 disestablishments Category:States and territories established in 1276 Category:Towns in Baden-Württemberg Category:Upper Swabia Category:Württemberg