Rottweil ([ʁɔtvaɪl] About this sound listen ; Swabian: Rautweil) 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 about 25,000 inhabitants. 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
Free Imperial City
Capital Rottweil
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Founded AD 73
 •  Gained Imp. immediacy 1140
 •  Treaty with Swiss 1463
 •  Swiss associate 1519
 •  Mediatised to Württemberg 1802
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Swabia
Duchy of Württemberg
Imperial Abbey of Rottenmünster
Reichskloster Rottenmünster
Imperial Abbey
Capital Rottenmünster
Government Imperial Abbey
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Founded 9 May 1224
 •  Gained Imp. immediacy 1237
 •  Razed by Württemberg in Thirty Years' War 1643
 •  Mediatised to Württemberg 23 November 1802
 •  Abbey abandoned 1850
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 a mosaic of Orpheus (c. AD 180) date from the time of Roman settlement. The present town became a ducal and a royal court before 771 and in the Middle Ages it became a Free Imperial City in 1268.

In 1463 the city joined the Swiss Confederacy, with which it was closely aligned for several centuries. Both its status as free city and its alliance with the Swiss Confederacy were eventually lost with the conquest of the region by Napoleon in 1803.

Lord Mayors since the 19th century

  • 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[3][4][5]

Main sights

  • 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 in the same site.
  • ThyssenKrupp is constructing a $45 million, 807-foot (246 m) tower. The tower is a research facility for the company and will be used to test new elevator cars and technologies. At 807 feet, it will be the tallest structure in the district. The windowless building is going to have 12 elevator shafts.[6]


  • The Rottweiler dog is named after this town; it used to be a butcher's dog in the region.
  • Adam of Rottweil, the 15th-century scholar and printer, was born in Rottweil.
  • Konrad Witz, painter
  • "Das Mädchen aus Rottweil" is a song by the German band Die Toten Hosen

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Egon Rieble (1925–2016), art historian and dialect poet
  • Hermann Schäfer (1927–2009), composer and music scientist
  • Kurt Bantle (born 1933), politician (SPD), former member of Landtag
  • Ekkehard Lindner (born 1934), chemist and professor
  • Sigrid Peyerimhoff (born 1937), chemist
  • Peter Dussmann (1938 - 2013), chemist
  • Erwin Teufel (born 1939), politician (CDU), former minister president of Baden-Württemberg
  • Rüdiger Safranski (born 1945), writer and literary scholar
  • Thomas Engeser (born 1948), 2001–2009 Lord mayor of Rottweil
  • Rita Haller-Haid (born 1950), politician (SPD), Member of Landtag 2001-2016
  • Anne Haigis (born 1955), musician and singer
  • Bernd Marquart (born 1958), jazz musician
  • Ralf Broß (born 1966), since 2 July 2009 Lord mayor of Rottweil
  • Andreas Schwab (born 1973), politician (CDU) and member of European Parliament
  • Joshua Kimmich (born 1995), football player (Bayern München)

International relations

Rottweil is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland nach Fläche, Bevölkerung und Postleitzahl am 30.09.2016". Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 2016. 
  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]
  3. ^ "Oberbürgermeisterwahl 2009 - vorläufiges amtliches Endergebnis" (in German). Kommunale Informationsverarbeitung Reutlingen-Ulm. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Ralf Broß - Oberbürgermeister - Stadt Rottweil" (in German). XING. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Mitarbeiter: Broß, Ralf" (in German). Rottweil (official site). Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Brown, Eliot (September 15, 2015). "Elevators Elevate German City's Image". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 

External links