[ source: Wikipedia ]

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Lauffen am Neckar Overview

Lauffen is located in the southern part of the district of Heilbronn (Heilbronn vacation rentals | Heilbronn travel guide), 9 kilometres south of Heilbronn and 50 kilometres north of the capital of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart (Stuttgart vacation rentals | Stuttgart travel guide), on the Neckar. The small river Zaber flows into the Neckar at this point. The neck of the previous great bow in the course of the north-flowing Neckar was broken through by erosion somewhere between 400 BC and 100 BC and for several centuries the watercourse survived as a ring of lakes. The old circular riverbed is now dry, apart from one small artificial lake. Along the old riverbed, a round hill was formed - its slopes now partially covered by the Kaywald forest and with other areas given over to the cultivation of vines. There is a hill on the western bank of the Neckar at the centre point of the ancient river bow. This hill became separated from another on the present eastern bank when the river broke through. Lauffen grew up on the western bank, on the ridge which is the site of today’s Regiswindis Church. This hill settlement became known as Lauffen-Dorf (Lauffen village). In the middle of the river, between the two hills, is an island with a castle. This castle, originally the seat of the Earls of Lauffen, is now home to the town hall - the island itself is a nature reserve. Another settlement, Lauffen-Stadt (Lauffen town), later established itself on the hill on the eastern bank. The two districts, Lauffen-Dorf and Lauffen-Stadt, are joined by a bridge. A smaller bridge from Lauffen-Stadt leads to the island and the town hall. Yet another district, the so-called Lauffen-Dörfle (Lauffen little village), grew up around a convent and is situated on the western bank to the north of Lauffen-Dorf and the Zaber. An exclave of Lauffen, the town's forest of Etzlenswenden, is located further east in the Löwenstein (Löwenstein vacation rentals | Löwenstein travel guide) Mountains. It is presumed that this forested area was allocated to the town by its founders in around AD 1200, as there was no other forest within its boundaries from which timber and firewood could be obtained. It is here, in the exclave, that the highest point is situated – 452 m above sea level; the lowest point – 154 m above sea level is by the Neckar.

Things to See in Lauffen am Neckar

Town Hall and Museum: This former castle of the Grafen (Earls) of Lauffen was built in the 11th century. Destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War, it was rebuilt after 1648 as the seat of the governor. The castle’s Roman keep survives. The structure has served as the town hall from 1818 and has since been subject to frequent alterations. The town's museum in the convent yard was rebuilt in 1923 from the remains of the previous convent church. It is now the home of exhibitions devoted to the history of Lauffen and Friedrich Hölderlin.

The pedestrianised area known as Städtle is also worth a visit. This consists mainly of well preserved 15th century houses built in the traditional timber-framed style. Significant are the Erkerhaus (bay-fronted house), the Alte Kelter (old winery) the Vogtshof (governor’s residence) as well as the town wall with its two gates – the 13th century Heilbronner Tor (Heilbronn Gate) and the Neues Heilbronner Tor (New Heilbronn (Heilbronn vacation rentals | Heilbronn travel guide) Gate) and the Gefängnisturm (Gaol tower), both of which date from 1772.

The Martinskirche (Martin's Church) in the Lauffen-Stadt district, erroneously named thus since the middle of the 19th century, was built in honour of St Nicholas in around 1200. Not an independent church, it was ministered by priests from Lauffen-Dorf. Following the Reformation the chapel fell into disrepair and became a store for hay and oats.

The Martinskirche was renovated in 1883/4, badly damaged during the Second World War but renovated yet again in 1949 and 1977/78. This chapel, with its single nave, has been used for services since 1978. In 1977/78, several layers of wall paintings were discovered during renovation work.

The Lauffener Rustica Villa is located out of town on the road to Ilsfeld. This Roman villa was excavated in 1978 and has been partially restored. Also on the Ilsfeld road can be seen the remains of the Württemberg Landgraben (defensive moat) and the Landturm (tower), which was formerly a customs post.

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Lauffen am Neckar

In 1914, two districts (Lauffen-Stadt and Lauffen-Dorf) were merged to create the new town of Lauffen am Neckar. The new town council marked the occasion by planting a lime tree in the terraced garden in front of the Pfalzgrafenburg castle. This tree stands opposite another lime at the Regiswindis Church on the other bank, the two trees thus symbolising unity.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Lauffen am Neckar (Lauffen) is a town in the district of Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated on the river Neckar, 9 km southwest of Heilbronn. The town is famous as the birthplace of the poet Friedrich Hölderlin and for its quality wines – in particular the “Lauffener Katzenbeißer Schwarzriesling“.

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