Schwaebisch Hall: My 3rd Favorite Town in Germany

Castle wall/houses in Schwaebisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

If you haven’t heard of  Schwäbisch Hall you are not alone but don’t let it’s obscurity stop you from visiting.

Next to Maulbronn, and Bamberg Schwäbisch Hall is my favorite city in Germany.  It’s a historic town that once flourished with salt production dating back to the medieval times.    Its medieval roots are still visible by its towers, wooden bridges, Fachwerk houses (half-timber houses) cobblestone streets and partially preserved city wall.  Upon entering it, I felt like I was entering a time warp that threw me back 800 years.

I loved these colorful houses in the Marketplatz.

I loved these colorful houses in the Marketplatz.

I found the varying architectural styles of Schwäbisch Hall fascinating. Next to the Fachwerk houses is a Baroque City Hall:

Baroque City Hall in Schwäbisch Hall 's Marketplatz.

Baroque City Hall in Schwäbisch Hall ‘s Marketplatz.

Across from that is the Roman-Gothic St. Michael’s Church.  I was in awe of so many different architectural styles in one marketplatz!  St. Michael’s Church is worth a visit in itself.  I can normally be in and out of a church in a matter of minutes, but this one held my attention with its interesting artifacts, including a mass leg bone grave dating back from the middle ages.

St Michael's Church

The Roman-Gothic style of St. Michael’s Church sits prominently in the marketplatz.

And more Fachwerk houses:
Half-timber houses I find these houses with their  laundry hanging out to dry adorable.  They remind me of something straight out of a fairytale.  J.P. (my German husband) had another opinion and was mortified that I included the photo in this post. Perhaps they’re inhabited by some of the 2000+ students who study German at the renowned Goethe Institute.   I can’t think of a more picturesque setting for learning German.

Bridge tower

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that way.  Despite having a population of just under 40,000, Schwäbisch Hall residents represent over 100 different countries.  I don’t think I would want to leave after a couple of months of studying German here either.

Castle wall houses

Comments

  1. says

    Is it really obscure? I didn’t think it was…but I bet I only think that because the name of the company is well-known, so it feels like I’ve known about the town as long as I’ve been here. Or maybe I’ve just been here too long! :P It’s definitely in all my guides, though. We finally went there this summer and had a really nice day walking around!

  2. Laurel says

    @CN Heidelberg – Glad to hear you enjoyed it. When I lived in Stuttgart none of my German friends had been there and only vaguely knew where it was. I liked that it wasn’t over run with tourists.

    • says

      We felt the same way when we visited Limburg – this place is so close and nice; why is no one talking about it?? I think a lot of natives (of any country) don’t always know the great things in their own backyards!

  3. says

    The architecture never ceases to amaze me. It seems born out of fairytales and the photographs are like classic paintings. Very enjoyable post, Laurel. Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing photos of a beautiful place I’d never heard of! Definitely looks like it’s worth a visit.

  5. says

    Dang you, another city I need to visit! I am intrigued that you liked it better than Rothenburg. . . hmmmmm. Your pictures did paint a very pretty picture. I especially liked the one with the wooden bridge.

  6. Eastgale says

    “They remind me of something straight out of a fairytale.”

    I think I get this feeling a lot when I was in Germany. One of the major reasons I fell in love with that country is that I tend to find fairytale-like moments and sceneries simply by turning a corner!

    Lovely city, I am still hoping for a chance to go back to Germany, some day, heh.

  7. says

    “Preserve the old construct the new” … This motto already make me love this town. I’m prone to places that’s not too urban, especially those that preserves their past. I’d love to take a tour to this town and see those homes that recycled the town walls – absolute genius!

  8. says

    So picturesque! I’ve been to Germany a few times and my favourite thing to do is just start driving and see in what quaint little town I end up :D Baden-Württemberg is full of gems!

  9. says

    Excellent photos, Laurel.

    It is so true that many Germans don’t know the beautiful cities and towns in their country.

    I stayed three days / nights in Schwäbisch Hall this summer, and absolutely loved the picturesque scenery, and the delicious local food.

  10. says

    Cute little village. I hope to make it there someday myself!

    I’m now at the point where I’m very sure I want to make Germany my perm home. These little places convince me even more…

  11. Jon Hoef says

    I lived in “The Hall” when I was stationed at Dolan Barracks in the early 1990″s and it was the best experience of my life. The city is beautiful and the festivals and the people there are great. Some of my best memories are of my young sons playing in the park downtown by the river and riding on the zip line in the park. I traveled extensive throughout Europe while stationed in Germany and I have to say I loved this little city! To those of you reading this if you have never been to this area of Germany it is a must see!

  12. calum wallace says

    Was there twice in the early eighties and it is my favourite mainland europe town. Friendliest people in germany.

  13. bashir hwissa says

    i have been six months at schwabisch hall in 1978 and i cou ld not forget that wonderful time i spent in since that days, now one can imagine how i am feeling when i am seeing the photos above.

    • says

      @Bashir – So glad that it brought back good memories for you. I can imagine that Schwabisch Hall would be a wonderful place to spend 6 months.

  14. says

    Since studying German as GCSE back in England, I’ve cultivated a love affair with Deutschland. Never heard of this place, but would love to visit it. Must brush up on my German a bit, though. Last time I visited, I ordered an apfelkorn and ended up with a Black Forest Gateau.

    • says

      @Matthew – I didn’t realize that you studied German. Food is a great motivator for learning any language :). When I lived in Thailand one of the first things I learned to say was “no ice” since I don’t like ice in my drink.

      • says

        My eldest son’s now studying it at school. I like to try and converse with him in German but my recall is limited. My wife’s always saying, “Can’t you ask him anything else?” There’s a short answer to that: no.

        • says

          @Matthew – Haha, and kids learn so much more quickly than adults do. I was even surprised by how much more quickly the 19 year olds in my German class picked up on things than I did, or maybe I was just a slow learner.

  15. says

    I absolutely adore this town. Have visited several times and spent many mornings being woken by the 6am chime of St. Michaels Church! Great to see you featuring a town that I enjoyed so much :-)

  16. Steve stanley says

    I was stationed at Dolan Barracks from 1987 to 1991. The city and surrounding areas were beautiful. I especially enjoyed hikes up a “mountain ” where there is a stone and wood tower on the edge. There is an observation deck that top out the tower but getting to it was difficult for me since I have a fear of heights.

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