Wednesday, October 4, 2017

And Then There Was Schwäbisch Hall

The Kocher River in Schwäbisch Hall

On our recent trek to Germany 
I was completely unprepared to fall in love with Schwäbisch Hall. 
And I almost don't want to tell you about it - 
and keep it my secret. 

Schwäbisch Hall is breathtaking. 

Schwäbisch Hall, or Hall as it is commonly called, 
sits along the Kocher River in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.  
Just south of Hall, in the small village of Ottendorf, is where my husband's family is from. 
Meeting family is why we visited Hall. 
But Hall is definitely worth your visit even with no family to meet. 

Original watch towers still exist.

Hall is like a medieval village frozen in time 
and most travel guide books barely mention it - if at all. 
So it is definitely off-the-beaten tourist path. 

St Michael's Church.
The animals are fake and props for the outdoor theater. 

What put Hall on the historical maps 
was the salt springs (now spas), 
the mint providing currency throughout Europe,  
and St Michael Church's role in the reformation. 

The Rathaus with the seating for the theater in the foreground. 

Hall does have some tourism due to
 an outdoor summer theater that takes places on the 53 steps 
leading up to St. Michael's Church 
and the salt springs feeding a spa.  
Hall also attracts students to the Goethe Institute branch located there. 

This property is owned by my husband's family and was purchased c1940.
The property from where I am standing has been in the family for centuries and has a similar look
but is undergoing rennovations. 
Old meets new.  Renovations must be historically accurate. 

One branch of my husband's family settled in Hall. 
There they were originally leather workers. 
We were able to tour the old home and see where the leather was tanned. 

St. Michel's Church at night

Today, the family still owns that home as well as the property they purchased across the street 
where they operate a high end interior design business. 


Hall has everything I love. 
If big time night life is more your style 
then Hall might not be for you. 

Nothing says history like sword marks in the church wall where soldiers blessed their swords for safety before going to battle. 

But if you love history, architecture and off-the-beaten-path quaint villages 
Hall will be right up your alley. 

From the tower of St. Michael's Church

I cannot even say how much I loved this place and hope to return someday. 

On the balcony of our hotel overlooking Hall and the Kocher River. Sigh. 

Map of Germany showing Schwäbisch Hall


Sarah Huizenga said...

Hall looks and sounds perfect for a girl like me. Thanks for taking us on the tour.

Tamar SB said...

I am in love with the architecture!!

MadSnapper said...

Love seeing you in that last photo. great pic of both of you. my favorite pic is looking down on the tri colored buildings. and you are right it is BREATHTAKING, all of it, the reflections at the top make it double breathtaking. and WOW on the architecture...