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.

schwaebisch hall st michaels church
The Roman-Gothic style of St. Michael’s Church is just one of the archetcural styles found in Schwaebisch Hall.

And more Fachwerk houses:

schwaebisch hall houses w laundry

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.

schwaebisch hall castle wall houses

See more places to visit in Germany.

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About Author

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Laurel
Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel. She's passionate about getting outdoors as often as possible and helping travellers do the same on their vacation in a sustainable way. She's Canadian and grew up in the Canadian Rockies but now lives in Munich, Germany. You can find her skiing or hiking in the mountains most weekends, hanging out with her cat or with her nose in a good book.

Comments

November 15, 2011
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!
Laurel
November 15, 2011
@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.
November 15, 2011
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!
November 16, 2011
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.
November 16, 2011
What a lovely town - I've never seen Medieval houses with so daring colours and odd shapes.
November 16, 2011
Thanks for sharing photos of a beautiful place I'd never heard of! Definitely looks like it's worth a visit.
November 16, 2011
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.
Eastgale
November 17, 2011
“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.
November 17, 2011
The houses are really picturesque! I bet it looks great with a snowy landscape (does it snow over there??).
November 17, 2011
"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!
November 18, 2011
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!
November 18, 2011
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.
November 24, 2011
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...
Christy @ Technosyncratic
November 25, 2011
These buildings are gorgeous; I really love the Bavarian architecture (is that what it's called?) that we saw so much of in Germany.
November 26, 2011
I love your posts on charming German towns! You have such an eye for the colors and architecture that really make them stand out.
eileen ludwig
December 21, 2011
Love German architecture and envy you being able to live there
Masha (2away)
May 24, 2012
Schwäbisch Hall is very often overlooked by tourists and this is a pity. The town is absolutely gorgeous! Nice photos :-)
Jon Hoef
July 11, 2012
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!
calum wallace
September 16, 2012
Was there twice in the early eighties and it is my favourite mainland europe town. Friendliest people in germany.
September 18, 2012
@Calum - Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!
bashir hwissa
October 3, 2012
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.
October 6, 2012
@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.
shana
December 18, 2012
I live there for 3 years and loved it! Schwabisch Hall will always be my German home.
December 28, 2012
@Shana - Lucky you! What a great opportunity!
January 21, 2013
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.
January 21, 2013
@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.
January 21, 2013
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.
January 25, 2013
@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.
January 21, 2013
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 :-)
January 21, 2013
@Ad-lib - Glad to hear it. It's such a cute town and I love St. Michael's Church, very beautiful and lots to see inside.
Steve stanley
October 31, 2014
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.
Tom Klier
January 4, 2015
I was a Chaplain's Assistant at Dolan Barracks from 1968-1970 with the United States Army. Great experience.
February 2, 2015
@Tom - Very cool!
Jim Dike
February 14, 2019
Tom What Chaplin did you work with? I was an Army Brat there in 1968. Our Chaplin was Chaplain Johnson. The two Chaplin Assistants that I knew were Adler and Schultz.
February 14, 2019
@Jim - I didn't work with any Chaplin as I only visited Schwäbisch Hall. I never lived there.
Wendy Henderson
April 27, 2015
We lived in Schwäbisch Hall for 3 months in the summer of 2014. It is absolutely my favorite place on earth! The town is amazing and the people there are even better! The gray home in the photo with the bridge is our friends home and was built is 1392! I can't say enough great things about Schwäbisch Hall! We hope to make it our home one day soon!! Thanks for sharing about it and letting folks know about this little German gem!
Kafa
March 26, 2016
The city seems very beautiful and unique. If i were to come here, what is the best way to use? Can some one let me know? From Riga, ill be travelling to Cologne. How to get here from Cologne?
March 30, 2016
@Kafa, the easiest way from Cologne would be to drive as it's ~360km, but you could also take the train, although it would take a while.
Kathy
February 7, 2017
My grandparents lived in Schwaebisch Hall and my Aunt was married at St. Michaels. It is truly one of the more beautiful towns in Germany. My grandfather would give city tours to Polish tourists and students who didn't speak German. As a kid, the bones in the church were just scattered everywhere. When I returned in 1996 they were all neatly organized and stacked. I am bringing my children here this summer for the first time and would love any recommendations of restaurants or stores that you like.
February 9, 2017
@Kathy, what a wonderful history. I haven't been in a few years so unfortunately don't have any further recommendations about restaurants or stores, but wish you a wonderful visit.

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