Sigmaringen is a town in southern Germany, in the state of
Baden-Württemberg. Situated on the upper Danube, it is the capital of
Sigmaringen is renowned for its castle, Schloss Sigmaringen, which was
the seat of the principality of
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1850
and is still owned by the
2.1 Prehistory and early history
2.2 Middle Ages
2.3 Modern times
2.3.1 Vichy French enclave (1944–1945)
4 Transportation infrastructure
5 Notable residents
6 People who worked locally
7 Sons and daughters of the town
10 External links
Sigmaringen lies in the
Danube valley, surrounded by wooded hills in
the south of the
Swabian Alb around 40 km away from Lake
The surrounding towns are on the north,
Winterlingen (in the district
of Zollernalb) and Veringenstadt, on the east, Bingen,
Sigmaringendorf, and Scheer, on the south, Mengen, Krauchenwies,
Inzigkofen, and Meßkirch, and on the west, Leibertingen, Beuron, and
Stetten am kalten Markt. The city is made up from the following
Sigmaringen (inner-city), Gutenstein, Jungnau, Laiz,
Oberschmeien and Unterschmeien.
Sigmaringen was first documented in 1077 and was in the principality
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1850, after which it became the
Prussian Province of Hohenzollern.
Prehistory and early history
The history of settlement in the territory of the present town
Sigmaringen dates back to the Paleolithic.
In the 11th century, the end of the Early Middle Ages, the first
castle was built on the rock that protected the valley. The first
written reference is from 1077, when King Rudolf of Rheinfelden
tried in vain to conquer
Sigmaringen castle. The official city
foundation was in 1250. In 1325 the city was sold to Ulrich III, Count
of Württemberg. In 1460 and 1500, the castle was rebuilt into a
chateau. About the county of Werdenberg
Sigmaringen came in 1535 to
the high noble family of the Hohenzollern.
In 1632 the
Swedes occupied the castle during the Thirty Years' War.
From 1806 to 1849
Sigmaringen was the capital of the sovereign
Hohenzollern and residence of the princes of
Hohenzollern. As a result of the Revolution in
Sigmaringen of 1848,
the Princes of
Sigmaringen waived on their rule, whereby
both principalities in 1850 fell to Prussia. From 1850 to 1945
Sigmaringen was the seat of Prussian Government for the Province of
Hohenzollern. Karl Anton von
Hohenzollern was 1858-1862 Prime Minister
of Prussia. From 1914 to 1918 around 150 men from the town lost their
lives during World War I. In the Nazi era a
Gestapo office was in
Sigmaringen. Since 1937 it belonged to the
Between 1934 and 1942 more than 100 men were sterilized because of
"hereditary diseases". During the Nazi medical murders, the "T4",
became on 12 December 1940 for the first time 71 mentally handicapped
and mentally ill patients victims of Nazi injustice. The deportation
led them into the Grafeneck Euthanasia Centre, where the men and women
were murdered as "unworthy of life". After the closure of Grafeneck
in December 1940, on 14 March 1941 a further deportation to the
Hadamar Euthanasia Centre
Hadamar Euthanasia Centre was made.
Vichy French enclave (1944–1945)
The Castle of Sigmaringen
On September 7, 1944, following the Allied invasion of France,
Philippe Pétain and members of the Vichy government cabinet were
relocated to Germany. A city-state ruled by the government in exile
Fernand de Brinon was established at Sigmaringen. There were
three embassies in the city-state, representing each of Vichy-France's
allies: Germany, Italy, and Japan.
French writers Louis-Ferdinand Céline,
Lucien Rebatet and Roland
Gaucher, fearing for their lives because of their political and
anti-Semitic writings, fled along with the Vichy government to
Sigmaringen. Céline's novel D'un château l'autre (English: Castle to
Castle) describes the fall of Sigmaringen. The city was taken by Free
French forces on April 22, 1945. Pétain returned voluntarily to
France, where he stood trial for treason.
See also Commission gouvernementale de Sigmaringen (fr).
The following religions are present in Sigmaringen:
Roman Catholic Church
Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg
New Apostolic Church
Three railways meet in Sigmaringen, the
Danube Valley Railway leading
Donaueschingen to Ulm, the
Tübingen–Sigmaringen railway from
Tübingen to Aulendorf, and the line operated by the Hohenzollerische
Sigmaringen to Hechingen.
Public transport is organized by Verkehrsverbund Neckar-Alb-Donau
(NALDO)[better source needed].
Sigmaringen was the birthplace of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, a
Roman Catholic martyr of the
Counter-Reformation in Switzerland, and
Ferdinand of Romania, King of Romania. It was one of the residences of
deceased Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, the
late representative of the house, who was the first in the line of
succession to the throne of Romania, by Salic law. Frederick Miller,
founder of the Miller Brewing Company, was living in Sigmaringen
during the start of his brewing career.
People who worked locally
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894–1961), pro-Nazi and antisemitic French
writer, fled in 1944 to Sigmaringen, as well as the Vichy government
had been housed there.
Lucien Rebatet (1903–1972), pro-Nazi and antisemitic French writer,
fled in 1944 to Sigmaringen, as well as the Vichy government had been
Winfried Kretschmann (born 1948), politician, Minister-President of
Baden-Württemberg (The Greens), lives in the district of Laiz.
Sons and daughters of the town
Richard Lauchert (1825–1868), painter and professor
Theodor Bilharz (1825–1862), physician and scientist
Max Giese (1879–1935), contractor, inventor of the concrete pump
Josef Henselmann (1898–1987), sculptor and longtime head of the
Academy of Fine Arts in Munich
Johann Georg of
Hohenzollern (1932–2016), art historian and museum
Karl Lehmann (born 1936), Cardinal and Bishop of Mainz, from 1987 to
2008 chairman of the German Bishops' Conference
Lothar Späth (1937–2016), politician (CDU), former Prime Minister
Matthias Endres (born 1969), physician
Pascal Wehrlein (born 1994),
Formula 1 racing driver
Martin Mauthner. Otto Abetz and His Paris Acolytes - French Writers
Who Flirted with Fascism, 1930–1945. (Sussex Academic Press, 2016).
^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland nach Fläche, Bevölkerung und
Postleitzahl am 30.09.2016".
Statistisches Bundesamt (in German).
^ Bericht in der Chronik des Kloster Petershausen: Von dort zog König
Rudolf von Schwaben nach Burg Sigimaringin und belagerte sie. Als er
aber erfuhr, dass König Heinrich IV. mit einem Heer über die
Alpenpässe herannahte, um die Festung zu entsetzen, zog er ab und
ging nach Sachsen.
^ Ingrid Bauz, Sigrid Brueggemann, Roland Maier (eds.). The secret
police in Württemberg and Hohenzollern.
ISBN 3-89657-138-9, p 90ff.
^ Thomas Stöckle, Grafeneck 1940. The euthanasia crimes in East
Germany. 2nd Edition. Silberburg-Verlag,
ISBN 3-87407-507-9. Thomas Stöckle, head of Memorial in
Grafeneck emphasizes that these are preliminary. Basis of the figures
are statistical material from the Grafeneck process of 1949 and
reports of the individual dispensing stations
^ de:Verkehrsverbund Neckar-Alb-Donau
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sigmaringen, Germany.
Erster Farbfotos aus
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
Towns and municipalities in Sigmaringen
Stetten am kalten Markt