Monday, January 27, 2014
Besigheim, located in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg, is a town located at the confluence of the Neckar and Enz rivers. The town is surrounded on three sides by water. The earliest written documentation of Besigheim was dates back to 1153. Its ownership passed through various hands and was ravaged by war numerous times over the centuries. Most of the military occupations were imposed by the French armies, the last of which was during the Napoleonic Wars, which ended in 1815.
The old town once boasted a castle, but it was destroyed over a period of more than 50 years following Louis XIV's Nine Years' War (War of the Palatine Succession). A couple of towers still remain in the old town amidst a number of other beautiful, historical buildings. I found some of the ancient stone manors found in the town calling me to photograph them. I gladly obliged.
Not only was Besigheim owned by several different German princes, it was for a time owned by the Hapsburgs as well.
The colorful Fachwerk (half-timbered) buildings are a favorite of mine, which can be found all over Germany. The old Rathaus (Town Hall) above shows an example of this.
It was nice that my first visit there was a sunny autumn day. The creeper making its way all over a number of walls could not have been more splendidly bedecked in glorious shades of reds, yellows and more. The sun and the blue skies made for marvelous backdrops to photographs.
The Schoch Tower, built somewhere around 1200, and the old stone house above are principal landmarks in the upper part of the Old Town.
One of several very old homes located in the upper Old Town. Note the size of the windows and simple carving around the doorway.
Besigheim is definitely worth the visit. It can be reached from Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof (main station) via the R4 line within approximately 25 minutes. Trains leave every 30 minutes on the quarter hour.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Located approximately 20 kilometers north of Baden-Württemberg's state capital of Stuttgart, the city of Bietigheim-Bissingen boasts some beautiful, historical structures that date far back into the Middle Ages. The city's only remaining gate-tower was built in the 14th century, and together with a number of other marvelous structures, be they half-timbered or stone, visitors in search of history will be quite pleased by their findings.
Like most German cities with similar historical offers, the city of Bietigheim-Bissingen is perfectly suited for pedestrians. The well-cared-for buildings and interesting places to visit make for a nice walk through the streets and an enjoyable visit.
Above: One of my favorite things to be found throughout so much of central and northern Europe is pictured above: the beautiful and intricate trade shingles protruding out from over doors or windows of stores and other businesses announcing symbolically what kind of business is going on below. In the days when most could neither read nor write, these signs bore simple emblems of the trade going on in the businesses over which they hung, so the average shopper could easily find what kind of shop or business they were looking for. Fortunately, they are still found all throughout these parts of Europe - some of which can be almost comical-looking today. Clearly this shingle demonstrates something to do with ale of some sort.
|The main street of Beitigheim-Bissingen is a pedestrian zone.|
The beautiful medieval Fachwerk (half-timbered) structures
are in abundance here.
This splendid bridge was constructed between 1851 and 1853 by Karl Etzel. Known as the Bietigheim Enz-Valley Viaduct, it carries one of the train lines between Stuttgart and Bruchsal over the Enz River and Valley. The view from the train is quite extensive. It was damaged in the Second World War, but well restored. If you should come to "B-B" via train from Stuttgart, the walk from the station, which is on the Bissingen side of the River Enz, allows for a nice walk along the river and a marvelous view of the massive viaduct-bridge as you make your way under the structure to get to the Bietigheim side.
|One of several lovely gardens one passes when making one's way along the river toward Bietigheim.|
The two cities of Bietigheim and Bissingen were joined into one municipality in 1975. Bietigheim, the oldest of the two, was first documented around 789. Bissingen is mentioned in 870.
Above: One of the covered footbridges that crosses the narrow Metter. The River Metter is much smaller than the larger Enz. The Metter flows into the River Enz at Bietigheim, where it continues northward and joins the much larger Neckar, not terribly far away in another "B" city by the name of Besigheim. Check the next blog entry for my photos on my visit there.
|A sculpted garden below the walls of Bietigheim.|
Above and below: It is my humble opinion, based on the Württemberg antlers in the upper left quadrant of the shield which the statue above the fountain is holding next to itself, that the statue is none other than Count Eberhard II of Württemberg. He purchased part of the then neighboring community of Bissingen in the 1339, but later gave Bietigheim city status in 1364.
Many years later, the powerful Württemberg family was to include these two locations within their growing duchy of Württemberg, which became a kingdom at the grace of Napoleon I at the beginning of the 19th century. See Bebenhausen: where it all ended.
Below: The old Rathaus, or town hall, of Bietigheim was built in 1507. Unfortunately the sun was directly above the building when I took the photo. For the life of me I could not find an angle get a clearer shot. The colors are not exact due to my not having a filter with me.
This city is filled with so many beautiful buildings of the Fachwerk, half-timbered, style. I regret that I do not have but so many photographs of them all to show you. Probably, the most famous of the structures here is the Hornmoldhaus, which was built in 1535/36. It is one of the best of its type in all of southern Germany. I hope the photos that I do have here will at least whet your appetite to visit this very interesting city, with its many offers and attractions.
|Note the beautiful half-timbered (Fachwerk) work and window settings in this house.|
The Schloß, or castle, built in 1546 has been renovated and is today the home of a very good music school.
|Part of the remaining wall of the city.|
How to get there:
From Stuttgart take the S-5 from the main train station (Hauptbahnhof). The S-5 normally leaves from underground at the station. As stated above, the city is only about 20 kilometers north of Stuttgart.
From Karlsruhe, take the S-5 either directly to Bietigheim-Bissingen or the one that passes through there on the way to Stuttgart.
Whether from Stuttgart or Karlsruhe, Bietigheim-Bissingen is easily a nice day trip.