Twisting alleys through half-timbered houses, secluded meadows on the banks of the Kocher, open-air theater on the church square or modern art in the Kunsthalle Würth – you can discover all this and more on a trip to Swabian Hall.
Here you can live like God in France, I think, as I enjoy a cool bike beer with friends on the banks of the Kocher and let my gaze wander over the magnificent towering half-timbered houses. I am not the first time in Swabian Hall and certainly not the last time, because every time this pearl of a city inspires me anew.
It is located in the northeast of Baden-Württemberg and has a lot to offer culturally for a small town with just over 40,000 inhabitants: a wonderful old town, the Kunsthalle Würth, the Neue Haller Globe Theater and the open-air plays held in the summer on the grand steps of the St. Michael’s Church.
First and foremost, however, Schwäbisch Hall invites you on a sunny summer day to stroll through the winding alleys that nestle against the mountain here and enjoy beautiful vistas and views time and again.
Top tip for those interested in art: In Swabian Hall, there is the Kunsthalle Würth in the Katharinenvorstadt since 2001, which shows very worthwhile temporary exhibitions of modern art from the Würth Collection – and free! Since 2008, the Johanniterkirche has served as a branch of the Würth Collection for works of art by great Old Masters such as Hans Holbein the Younger, Tilmann Riemenschneider, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Matthias Grünewald and other great masters.
My friends and I start our tour at the Market Place above which towers the mighty St. Michaelskirche. On the steps of the long, wide and steep (!) staircase leading to the entrance, the open-air plays take place in summer between June and August. Years ago, I once saw a performance of Schiller’s “Kabale und Liebe” in this setting, which I remembered as particularly impressive because one of the actors galloped up and down the stairs on a real horse.
On the side terraces of Swabian Hall’s market square, café tables invite you to linger under large sunshades. But we walk on for the time being.
We direct our steps past the church further up the hill. Via several narrow stone staircases we reach a viewpoint above the marketplace, from which one can look far over the whole town and the Kocher valley.
As we descend along the old fortifications, my eyes fall on grazing goats seeking shade under a bridge, looking so serene and relaxed that inner peace is automatically transferred to you.
We pass a small roofed wooden house that reminds us that Schwäbisch Hall in the Middle Ages owed its wealth to salt production. From saline spring water was extracted by a sophisticated process, step by step more and more saline brine and finally dry salt.
Finally, we arrived down at the bank of the Kocher and the proximity of the water offers not only pleasant cooling, but also the most beautiful views of Swabian Hall, where blossoms, water and the old half-timbered houses blend into a harmonious whole.
Swabian Hall is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful small towns in Germany for me and I can highly recommend a trip here, especially on beautiful days in spring or summer. But all year round and in any weather, the Museum Würth can also be recommended to anyone who has a thing for modern art. The entrepreneur Reinhold Würth, who became one of the richest people in Germany through screw trade and production, is also a great art lover and exhibits here again and again parts of his private collection, as well as loans from other museums in changing exhibitions and that completely free!
You are looking for more excursion tips for picturesque cities? Be sure to check out our article on the most beautiful old towns in Germany!
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