Schwäbisch Hall (German pronunciation: [ˈʃvɛːbɪʃ ˈhal]), or
Hall for short is a town in the German state of Baden-Württemberg
and capital of the district of Schwäbisch Hall. The town is located
in the valley of the
Kocher river in the north-eastern part of
Hall was a
Free Imperial City
Free Imperial City for five centuries until it was annexed
by Württemberg in 1802.
2.1 Early history
2.2 Middle ages
2.3 17th century to early 20th century
Germany and World War II
2.5 Post World War II
7.1 Next scheduled elections for citizens of Schwäbisch Hall
11 People from Schwäbisch Hall
11.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
13 External links
"Schwäbisch" refers to the
Swabian League (German: Schwäbischer
Bund). The origin of the second part of the name, "Hall", is unclear.
It might be derived from a West Germanic word family that means
"drying something by heating it", possibly referring to the open-pan
salt making method used there until the saltworks closed down in
Imperial City of [Swabian] Hall
Reichsstadt [Schwäbisch] Hall
Free Imperial City
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
End of Swedish occupation
Mediatised to Württemberg
House of Hohenstaufen
Duchy of Württemberg
St Michael's Church, Schwäbisch Hall
Houses in the centre of Schwäbisch Hall, next to the river Kocher.
Salt was produced from brine by the
Celts at the site of Schwäbisch
Hall as early as the fifth century BCE. The town was first
mentioned in a document called Öhringer Stiftungsbrief dating from
1063. The village probably belonged first to the Counts of
Comburg-Rothenburg and went from them to the Imperial house of
Hohenstaufen (ca 1116). It was probably Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa
who founded the imperial mint and started the coining of the so-called
Heller. Hall flourished through the production of salt and coins.
Since 1204 it has been called a town.
After the fall of the house of Hohenstaufen, Hall defended itself
successfully against the claims of a noble family in the
neighbourhood (the Schenken von Limpurg). The conflict was finally
settled in 1280 by Rudolph I of Habsburg; this allowed the undisturbed
development into an
Free Imperial City
Free Imperial City (Reichsstadt) of the Holy Roman
Empire. Emperor Louis IV the Bavarian granted a constitution that
settled internal conflicts (Erste Zwietracht) in 1340. After this, the
city was governed by the inner council (Innerer Rat) which was
composed by twelve noblemen, six "middle burghers" and eight
craftsmen. The head of the council was the Stättmeister (mayor). A
second phase of internal conflicts 1510–12 (Zweite Zwietracht)
brought the dominating role of the nobility to an end. The
confrontation with the noble families was started by Stättmeister
Hermann Büschler, whose daughter Anna Büschler is the subject of a
popular book by Harvard professor
Steven Ozment ("The Bürgermeister's
Daughter: Scandal in a sixteenth-century German town"). The leading
role was taken over by a group of families who turned into a new
ruling class. Amongst them where the Bonhöffers, the ancestors of
From the 14th to the 16th centuries, Hall systematically acquired a
large territory in the surrounding area, mostly from noble families
Comburg monastery. The wealth of this era can still be seen in
some gothic buildings like St. Michael's Church (rebuilt 1427–1526)
with its impressive stairway (1507). The town joined the Protestant
Reformation very early. Johannes Brenz, a follower of Martin Luther,
was made pastor of St. Michael's Church in 1522 and quickly began to
reform the church and the school system along Lutheran lines.
Hall suffered severely during the Thirty Years' War, though it was
never besieged or scene of a battle. However, it was forced to pay
enormous sums to the armies of the various parties, especially to the
imperial, Swedish and French troops, who also committed numerous
atrocities and plundered the town and the surrounding area. Between
1634 and 1638 every fifth inhabitant died of hunger and diseases,
especially from the bubonic plague. The war left the town an
impoverished and economically ruined place. But with the help of
reorganizations of salt production and trade and a growing wine trade,
there was an astonishingly fast recovery.
17th century to early 20th century
Fires were a constant threat to the mostly wooden houses of the town.
The great fires of 1680 and especially of 1728 destroyed much of the
city, which led to new buildings in the
Baroque style, such as the
The 1802 mediatization of Hall in contemporary imagery
Napoleonic wars brought the history of Hall as a Free Imperial
City to an end. Following the
Treaty of Lunéville
Treaty of Lunéville (1801), the duke of
Württemberg was allowed by
Napoleon to occupy the town and several
other minor states as a compensation for territories on the left side
Rhine that fell to France. This took place in 1802 — Hall
lost its territory and its political independence and became a
Oberamtsstadt (seat of an Oberamt, comparable to a county). Ownership
of the salt works was handed over to the state. A long economic crisis
during the 19th century forced many citizens to move to other places
Germany or to emigrate overseas, mostly to the United States. While
other towns like
Heilbronn grew steadily due to the Industrial
Revolution, the population of Hall stagnated. The economic situation
improved during the second half of the 19th century — a main factor
was the railway line to
Heilbronn (1862) — but was not followed by a
significant growth of the town. It was not until the 1920s and 1930s
that new settlements were built on the heights surrounding the old
town. Hall also grew through the incorporation of Steinbach (1930) and
In 1827, a health spa was established on one of the islands in the
Kocher river. Especially after the building of the railway (1862) it
became a considerable economical factor. The well-preserved old town
also brought a rising number of tourists. Since the beginning of the
20th century, Hall has developed many festivities. Especially well
known are the theatre productions which are performed every year in
the centre of the city on the steps of St. Michael.
Germany and World War II
In 1934, Hall was officially named Schwäbisch Hall. During the Third
Luftwaffe air base was built at Hessental. During
Kristallnacht on 9 November 1938, local Nazis burned the synagogue in
Steinbach and devastated shops and houses of Jewish citizens.
Approximately 40 Jewish citizens of
Schwäbisch Hall fell victim to
Holocaust in extermination camps in Eastern Europe. In 1944 a
concentration camp was established next to the train station
Hall-Hessental. The train station at Hall was targeted by an American
air raid on February 23, 1945, but the devastation was mostly limited
to the suburbs of St. Katharina and Unterlimpurg. The town was
US Army troops on April 17, 1945 without serious
resistance; though several buildings were destroyed or damaged, the
historical old town suffered comparatively little.
Post World War II
Schwäbisch Hall reached the status of a "Große
Kreisstadt." This means that the city took over some tasks of the
district. From the end of World War II until the end of the Cold
War, Dolan Barracks and
Schwäbisch Hall Army Air Field was a kaserne
which hosted a series of
US Army aviation units and artillery units
until it was turned back over to German control in 1993.
As of December 31, 2009,
Schwäbisch Hall has a population of 36,799.
The residents of
Schwäbisch Hall come from over 100 countries. As
of December 31, 2008, there are 18,838 Protestants, 7,375 Roman
Catholics and 10,234 who are either in another religion or not
City hall by night.
Schwäbisch Hall has a mix of historic buildings and modern
buildings. The older buildings are mostly medieval, and with Timber
Frame, Gothic and
Baroque styles dominating the city center. The more
modern buildings are on the outskirts and suburbs, as to preserve the
history of the city.
There is an outdoor summer theater which performs on the open-air
staircase at St. Michael's Church and at the Globe Theatre. The
Hällisch-Frankische Museum and the Hohenloher Freilandmuseum shows
the history of the region starting from the Middle Ages. The
Kunsthalle Würth, a modern art gallery, can be explored to see
paintings, graphic art, and sculptures dating from the 19th century
Schwäbisch Hall and the surrounding area offer a plenty of
leisure activities which includes sports flying, swimming, hiking and
cycling. Other parts of the city's culture includes the Salt
Festival where the historical salt economy of the town is celebrated,
the Summer Night Festival, the Baker's Oven Festival and the Christmas
Market which includes traditional handicrafts.
Schwäbisch Hall has a long tradition as a university town.
Schwäbisch Hall offers education opportunities through Vocational
schools and various technical schools. Programs are offered in schools
Schwäbisch Hall Evangelical School of Social Work, Social
Service Department of Social Professions, Protestant vocational school
for the elderly, School of Alternative Education Nursing, School of
Nursing and the Ayurvedic teaching and training institute, the
Institute of Ayurveda and Yoga.
Due to the location of a branch of the
Goethe-Institut at Schwäbisch
Hall, the town attracts up to 2,000 students from countries around the
world every year to study the German language. The programs are
especially popular during the summer, as college students attend the
program over their break to earn credits and advance their German.
There is The City Archives Hall which is a documentation centre which
allows for historical research and memory management. The duties
of the City Archives Hall is the ordering, preparing, evaluating and
deploying its archives and collections, care and support historical
research, collaborating in exhibitions and publishing their own or
other authors authored publications on the history of Schwäbisch
The archive keeps official records and files of the present city
administration and its predecessor, and collection items of different
type and origin, which refers to the city, such as photographs,
posters, graphics, paintings, maps and plans, or a newspaper clipping
collection. There are also offer extensive library collections in
the literature on the history of
Schwäbisch Hall and the region, as
well as valuable historical prints.
Hermann-Josef Pelgrim is the current
Lord Mayor. The city
administration was an early mover in the migration from Microsoft
Windows to GNU/
Linux and open source software in the early years of
the 21st century.
Next scheduled elections for citizens of Schwäbisch Hall
Length of term
Schwäbisch Hall is the most important regional economic hub between
Stuttgart and Nuremberg. Formerly, salt was important
to Schwäbisch Hall, but today the economy is shaped by a group of
medium-sized companies, focusing mainly on trade and services
sectors. A number of businesses dealing in property finance, solar
energy and telecommunications sectors also have their headquarters in
Schwäbisch Hall. One notable company is Bausparkasse Schwäbisch
Hall AG, a housing credit company, founded in 1944.
Annually, there are up to 600 overnight stays in Schwäbisch Hall
Land tax A
Land tax B
305.1 Mio. Euro
Purchasing power of town
People employed and subjected
to social insurance
trade, restaurants and traffic
Schwäbisch Hall has an exit on the Autobahn 6
(Heilbronn–Nürnberg). Federal highways 14 (Stuttgart–Nürnberg)
and 19 (Ulm–Aalen–Schwäbisch Hall–Würzburg) also run through
Schwäbisch Hall-Hessental station
Schwäbisch Hall-Hessental station is at the junction of the
Waiblingen–Schwäbisch Hall railway
Waiblingen–Schwäbisch Hall railway and the Crailsheim–Heilbronn
Schwäbisch Hall station
Schwäbisch Hall station (the town station) is on the
Schwäbisch Hall has a history with brine. The first brine bath
started in 1827. Diakonie-Krankenhaus, with 574 beds, is the main
hospital in Schwäbisch Hall. There are 100 general practitioners,
medical specialists and physiotherapists in Schwäbisch Hall.
There are health fairs such as Well-Vital Health Fair and the Haller
Gesundheits- und Naturheiltagen in Schwäbisch Hall.
The sports played in
Schwäbisch Hall include swimming, light
athletics, tennis, shooting, soccer, baseball, handball and American
football. There are 22 sports halls and 25 outdoor playing
Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have been among the
preeminent German American Football teams ever since their two
national championships in 2011 and 2012. The Unicorns are further
notable for being the former team of Moritz Böhringer.
People from Schwäbisch Hall
Melchior Hofmann 1600
Melchior Hofmann (around 1500–1543), Baptist leader
Johann Ulrich Steigleder (1593–1635), composer and organist
Louis Brown (1836–1916), professor of art and important history
painter in Munich
Otto Ruff (1871–1939), chemist
Walter Haeussermann, (1914–2010), German-American aerospace engineer
Hans Beißwenger, (1916–1943),
Wolfgang Gönnenwein (1933–2015), conductor, music educator and
Walter Müller, (born 1943), physician and politician (SPD)
Joachim Rücker (born 1951), diplomat,
Special Envoy of the UN
Secretary General and Head of United Nations Human Rights Council
Heinrich Schmieder (1970–2010), German actor known for playing
Rochus Misch in Downfall (Der Untergang).
Marco Sailer, (born 1985), footballer for SV Darmstadt 98
Tobias Weis, (born 1985), footballer for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Louk Sorensen, (born 1985), Irish professional tennis player
Jonas Koch (born 1993), cyclist
Bahram Nikmard (born 1974), painter.
Twin towns – Sister cities
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Schwäbisch Hall is twinned with:
Épinal, France, 1964
Loughborough, England, 1966
Lappeenranta, Finland, 1985
Neustrelitz, Germany, 1988
Zamość, Poland, 1989
Balıkesir, Turkey, 2006
Rasht, Iran, 2016 
^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland nach Fläche, Bevölkerung und
Postleitzahl am 30.09.2016".
Statistisches Bundesamt (in German).
^ a b c d e f g The city of Schwäbisch Hall, Goethe-Institut,
retrieved March 22, 2011
^ Kuno Ulshöfer, Herta Beutter (ed.): Hall und das Salz. Beiträge
zur hällischen Stadt- und Salinengeschichte, Sigmaringen 1982, p. 8.
^ "Schwäbisch Hall". castleroad.de. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
^ a b c d e f g h i j The history of
Schwäbisch Hall - an overview,
Schwäbisch Hall, retrieved March 23, 2011
^ Elkins, Walter. "U.S. ARMY INSTALLATIONS - HEILBRONN".
USARMYGERMANY.COM. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
^ a b c d Welcome, Schwäbisch Hall, retrieved March 23, 2011
^ "Religion" (in German). Schwäbisch Hall. Retrieved March 26,
^ GmbH, Q4U. "Festivals and Celebrations – City Schwäbisch Hall".
www.schwaebischhall.de. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
^ a b "Schulen in Schwäbisch Hall" (in German). Schwäbisch Hall.
Retrieved March 26, 2011.
^ a b Goethe-Institute, Schwäbisch Hall, retrieved March 23,
^ a b c d "Stadt- und Hospitalarchiv" (in German). Schwäbisch Hall.
Retrieved March 31, 2011.
^ "Open Source for municipalities". Schwäbisch Hall. Retrieved March
^ "Wahlen in Schwäbisch Hall". Schwäbisch Hall. Retrieved March 31,
^ Learning German in Schwäbisch Hall, Goethe Institute, retrieved
March 22, 2011
^ a b c d "Overview of Economic Data". Schwäbisch Hall. Retrieved
March 23, 2011.
^ a b c d e "Health and Wellness". Schwäbisch Hall. Retrieved March
^ a b The sports city, Schwäbisch Hall, retrieved March 23,
^ "Walter Haeussermann". stimme.de. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
^ "Tobias Weis". TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
^ a b c d e f g "
Schwäbisch Hall and its twin towns". Stadt
Schwäbisch Hall. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
^ "Miasta partnerskie - Zamość". Urząd Miasta
Zamość (in Polish).
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Schwäbisch Hall.
Official website (in English)
"Hall, a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Württemberg".
Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
Swabian League (1488–1534) of the Holy Roman Empire
St George's Shield (Gesellschaft von Sanktjörgenschild)
Swabian Circle (1500–1806) of the Holy Roman Empire
St. George's in Isny
Königsegg and Aulendorf
Mindelheim / Schwabegg
Rothenfels and Stauffen
Stühlingen and Hohenhöwen
Tettnang / Langenargen
Circles est. 1500: Bavarian, Swabian, Upper Rhenish, Lower
Rhenish–Westphalian, Franconian, (Lower) Saxon
Circles est. 1512: Austrian, Burgundian, Upper Saxon, Electoral
Rhenish · Unencircled
Free imperial cities of the Holy Roman Empire
Weißenburg in Bayern
Free Imperial Cities as of 1648
Lost imperial immediacy or no longer part of the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire by
Weißenburg in ElsaßD
D Member of the Décapole
H Member of the Hanseatic League
S Member or associate of the Swiss Confederacy
Towns and municipalities in
Schwäbisch Hall (district)
Kirchberg an der Jagst
Michelbach an der Bilz
Rot am See