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spaceout Schwabisch Hall - A travel report by VK
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Schwabisch Hall,  Germany - flag Germany -  Baden-W├╝rttemberg
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spaceout's travel reports

Deep within the Schwabish Alb

  9 votes
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Deep within the forests the Schwabisch Alb, we discovered the medieval town built in tiers among the steeps banks of the Kocher River. We stumbled on the impressive fortified Benedictine abbey of Comburg founded in 1075. And when we drove down to the city, we found Munster St. Michaels, a Basilica built at the time of the Staufen dynasty in 1156. It also holds a soaring flight of stairs, built around 1507 within the same theme of the rest of the city.We also walked down to the city center, which holds a market, and while we were there, we played mini putt, and rode on some rides at the fair that was present. The city which was once called Hall, is filled with numerous stairs. They had altered the name due to the many alleys one has to climb and descend throughout the town. You'll find that most buildings in city center are almost new, that is due to the serious fires in 1680 and 1728.

Favourite spots:
The outside of Munster St. Michaels' Basilica has numerous work of arts which includes a larger-than-life painting of Peter James and John on the Mounts of Olives (1506) and on the front tower a sun-dial and a clock indicating the moon’s phases. Under the clock is one of the most famous set of staircases, being 54 steps and up to 70 meters wide. Inside you will find a double row of low pillars, stone tombs and numerous sculptured figures. Don’t miss seeing the fourth chapel which is home of a self-portrait from the armless artist, Thomas Schweiker (1540-1602) which he painted and inscribed with his feet. Also behind the choir is a open cellar, holding the bones accumulated from the cemetery which existed where the present Gothic choir was built.

What's really great:
Schwabisch Hall was built while the Celts as early at 500 BC, exploited salt springs. It continued until the 19th century. The salt production is still commemorated in a traditional yearly festival. Although commercially developed, Schwabisch Hall didn’t spoil its historical buildings. We found that it is a popular tourist resort with extensive shopping, cultural and sporting facilities.

Sights:
I was surprised when descending the stairs of Munster St Michael, that the building erected at the bottom wasn't a palace but it is actually the Town Hall. This building built in 1730, also has a tower standing high above its roof, with a golden clock crowned with a bell and sun shaped vane. It took 10 years to rebuilt the enterior due to a fire in 1945

Other recommendations:
Lined with tall green trees, the long uphill driveway takes you to the gates of Comburg. We were greeted with sculped lion head and a nice cobble stone walkway. Unfortunately we couldn’t visit Comburg in details as today it is a teacher’s training center and we were running out of time but if you do visit,don’t miss seeing the altar front, made in 1130, in the form of a crown. The Basilica was built between 1108 and 1120 and it contains numerous wall paintings from the 12th century. Opening hours are April to October. November to March by appointment. Tel 0791-2548. Also you can still witness the foundations of 13th century Limpurg Castle, which was pulled down in 1575. We walked around the area, and I took pictures of the eaves in the form of lion heads, and the numerous signs which I hope one day to translate as my German isn't up to par yet.

Published on Friday October 11th, 2002


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