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Popular Points of Interest in and near Heidenheim an der Brenz
Güssenburg Castle (also Güssenberg) is a ruined castle on a hill near Hermaringen in Heidenheim County in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was built around 1346, during the High Middle Ages and much of the curtain wall and keep remain.
The ruin sits an elevation of about 500 m above sea level and about 50 m above the floor of the Brenz valley. The castle hill, known as the Schloßberg, is very steep on the north, west and east sides which made it an ideal location for a fortification.
Hellenstein Castle is located 70 meters (230 ft) above the city of Heidenheim an der Brenz in eastern Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was once the home of the Lords of Hellenstein.
The castle was first built during the 12th century by the Hellenstein family. In 1273 the castle passed out of the control of the Hellensteins and had several owners before coming under the control of the Dukes of Württemberg. On August 5, 1530 the old castle burned to the ground and was rebuilt during the mid-16th century. At the end of the century it was expanded on its eastern flank to create a new castle. During the seventeenth and early 18th century the castle was at its peak as a symbol of the Württemberg dukes. Around 1762 the family could no longer maintain the castle and it began to fall into disrepair. Eventually some of the stones were sold off as building material.
In 1901 the former castle church was acquired by the Folk and Ancient History Society of Heidenheim as a museum. The museum expanded throughout the first half of the 20th century, until in 1956 the entire castle was rebuilt as a museum. In 1993 the city of Heidenheim took over the museum from the Society. Today the castle contains several museums which are open from March 15 until November 15 Tuesday through Sunday.
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Heidenheim an der Brenz Overview
Heidenheim is situated between Albuch and the Härtsfeld region in the northeast corner of the Swabian Alb where the valley of the Brenz meets the Stubental at the foot of Hellenstein Mountain. The source of the Brenz is located in Königsbronn (Königsbronn vacation rentals | Königsbronn travel guide) and enters Heidenheim from the northwest. It runs through the boroughs of Aufhausen and Schnaitheim before it gets to Heidenheim (proper). From there it continues on to the south through the borough of Mergelstetten, before it leave the city limits to head for Herbrechtingen.
Things to See in Heidenheim an der Brenz
The State Museum of Württemberg ("Württembergisches Landesmuseum") operates a branch location in Hellenstein Castle where it placed its Carriage and Chaise Museum. The Museum in the Roman Baths exhibits finds dating back to Roman time. The Art Museum, located in a former Jugendstil bath, organizes traveling exhibits. It also displays in permanent exhibit the world's largest and most complete collection of Picasso posters.
Located on top of Hellenstein Mountain and overlooking the city, the most important building and landmark of Heidenheim is Hellenstein Castle.
Notable structures in the inner city are: Protestant Michaels' Church (former parish seat of the city), the Elmar-Doch-House, the Crown Inn and Pub, the Lower Gate, Villa Waldemaier, the burgher tower Türmle, the Castle Pharmacy, the weavers' settlement, the Heathland Smithy, the Old Mint and old Peters' Church (today cemetery chapel).
The little castle in Schnaitheim is situated at the Brenz river's edge and offers a sight to see for visitors and residents alike. The Schnaitheim Mill is located just a few hundred yards away with its large wheel though operation of the mill was halted several years ago.
In Mergelstetten the old church was torn down in 1841 and replaced with a new, Protestant church built in neo-gothic style. The building was commissioned by Carl Alexander Heideloff who also commissioned Lichtenstein Castle. Lumber was used to build parts of the church because the parish was poor at the time. For the same reason the church tower wasn't built as tall as originally planned. Nonetheless, this church is popular and picturesque and frequently used on postcards.
Every other year the Shepherd Run takes place in Heidenheim, first held in 1723 by Duke Eberhard Ludwig. It attracts all the shepherds in the area. Part of the Shepherd Run festivities is the crowning of a new shepherd king and queen. The Run was held until 1828. After that followed a long break until 1922 when it was held again (five times until 1952). Since 1972 it is once again an integral part of Heidenheim's regular cultural program.
In 2006 Heidenheim hosted the bi-annual Baden-Württemberg State Botanical Show.
Heidenheim annually hosts a World Cup fencing tournament in épée. Because of the size and depth of the field, the Heidenheim event is considered the strongest épée event in the world, stronger even than the World Championships or the Olympic Games.
Annually Heidenheim puts on the Opera Festival "Opernfestspiele Heidenheim" in Hellenstein Castle. The festival developed out of the former serenades held there. Over the past years it has received international recognition and critical acclaim under the artistic direction of conductor Marco-Maria Canonica. In the summer of 2009 the Festival will stage Marschner's opera "Der Vampyr", which will be the second part of a cycle of three operas under the motto "Romantik im Rittersaal". The first part was von Weber's "Der Freischütz", performed in 2008, and the third and final installment will be Wagner's "Der fliegende Holländer" in 2010. During the summer of 2010 all three operas will be performed in full cycles. The Opernfestspiele Heidenheim draws visitors from around Europe and overseas, and has significally boosted the city's reputation as an important cultural site. Residents also enjoy the annual theater festival in the outdoor Nature Theater.
[ source: wikipedia ]
More about the History of Heidenheim an der Brenz
At the time of the Roman Empire from about 85 AD on, Heidenheim was the location of Castle Aquileia with attached cavalry of more than 1,000 mounted soldiers. The unit, called ala II flavia milliaria was later, around 159 AD, moved further North to Aalen (Aalen vacation rentals | Aalen travel guide). At first, the Castle marked the Eastern end of the Alblimes. But it didn't take long until a civilian settlement was founded at this strategically important spot, marked by the intersection of five Roman roads. This settlement was the largest Roman city in, what is today, Baden-Württemberg and archeological finds suggest that it covered an area of approximately 37 - 50 acres (15 - 20 hectares). More recently, excavations have found the remains of a representative Roman administrative building. Its exact function is not yet fully known (as of May 2005). But because of Aquileia's size, location and other indicators, it is believed that it probably was the capital of a Roman administrative district (see also Civitas). From 233 on, the Alamanni repeatedly attacked the Roman limes fortifications. The Roman surrender of the limes in 260 spelled the end of the Roman city of Heidenheim. It is not clear to what extent Romans stayed on under the new, Alammanic rule but it is very likely that some did.
The economic development of the village and city is founded mainly on the area's ore deposits that were already being harvested in Roman times. However, the importance of this branch of the city's economy vanished near the turn of the 19th century due to great competition first from Wasseralfingen and later from the Rhineland.
Mergelstetten was first mentioned in an official document by Bishop Walter von Augsburg (Augsburg vacation rentals | Augsburg travel guide) in 1143 in which he confirmed that the nearby Cloister of Anhausen owned a mill, a fish pond and a farm. However, it is estimated that the first settlement was founded in the 7th or 8th century by the Alamanni. Other important dates for the local economy are 1828 when Jakob Zoeppritz from Darmstadt (Darmstadt vacation rentals | Darmstadt travel guide) founded a woolen blanket factory and 1901 when Carl Schwenk of Ulm (Ulm vacation rentals | Ulm travel guide) built the concrete factory.
[ source: wikipedia ]
Heidenheim an der Brenz (short: Heidenheim) is a town in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. It is located on the border with Bavaria, approximately 17 km south of Aalen and 33 km north of Ulm. Heidenheim is the largest town and the seat of the district of Heidenheim, and ranks third behind Aalen and Schwäbisch Gmünd in size among the towns in the region of East Württemberg. Heidenheim is the economic center for all the communities in Heidenheim district and is the headquarters of the Voith industrial company. The town's population passed the 20,000 mark in 1925. Heidenheim collaborates with the town of Nattheim in administrative matters.
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