Reutlingen Experience our city

Experience our city Reutlingen – Experience our city A warm welcome to Reutlingen! Visitors to Reutlingen are amazed first and foremost by its brea...
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Experience our city

Reutlingen – Experience our city

A warm welcome to Reutlingen! Visitors to Reutlingen are amazed first and foremost by its breathtaking location. The city, with its own local mountain, the Achalm, nestles picturesquely in one of the most beautiful parts of the Swabian Alb region. Take time out to enjoy and experience all Reutlingen has to offer: An endearing and truly individual mixture of medieval half timbered houses, gothic church buildings and contemporary urban architecture awaits you. Not to forget lively shopping malls, dreamy forgotten corners, a richly varied cultural diversity and cordial, welcoming people: There is so much to discover in Reutlingen – so why not start right now?


Living history Reutlingen looks back on an eventful and

We know from rich finds discovered around the Achalm moun-

lively past. Historic buildings and part of the

tain dating as far back as 5,000 B.C. that the area around Reut-

medieval fortifications still bear witness

lingen was attractive to settlers as long ago as Neolithic times.

to the city’s rich heritage.

The region was later populated by the Romans and Alemannians.

Reutlingen was first mentioned by name in the Bempflingen Treaty in 1089/90. Just under a hundred years later, market rights were conferred on the town. Between 1220 and 1240, Kaiser Friedrich II. elevated Reutlingen to the status of city and fortified it with city walls, moats and towers against attack by the enemies of the Staufen dynasty. Other privileges conferred by the Kaiser made Reutlingen what was known as a Free Imperial City. The city went on to pass its own democratic guild-based constitution. Events which have shaped the course of the city’s history include the courageous stand taken by its citizens in favour of the Lutheran reforms from 1520, and also a devastating city fire which destroyed a good four-fifths of the city’s entire housing stock in 1726. The city literally linked into the process of industrialization which was sweeping through Germany in the 19th Century in 1859 with the opening of the first railway line from Plochingen to Reutlingen. Today, the city claims the railway pioneer, national economist and administrative reformer Friedrich List as its most famous son.

Eisturm: This round tower was used up until 1906 as an ice cellar.


Tübinger Tor: This gate was one of the main entrances to the former fortified city.

Friedrich List: Railway pioneer and national economist.

Marienkirche: This church with its 71 metre-high West Tower is one of the city’s most familiar and best-loved symbols.

Houses along the city wall: One of the most charming corners of the old quarter.

Tanner’s baptism: A living tradition played out in the Tanner’s Fountain (Gerberbrunnen).

Gartentor: This gate bears witness to the city’s long and eventful history.


Marktbrunnen: The fountain is surmounted by a sculpture of Emperor Maximilian II.

A walking tour of Reutlingen’s old quarter is worthwhile at any time of year. The history of these medieval streets reveals itself as you wander between historic buildings, romantic parks and picturesque alleys.

What remains of the medieval fortifications still wraps protectively around the city’s lively half-timbered historic quarter. The Tübinger Tor, one of the main gates built to admit entrance through the old city wall, still proudly receives visitors to the city, be it market-goers, shoppers or sightseers.

A row of lovingly restored and beflowered historic houses nestles against the city wall. Together with the romantically overgrown garden of the Museum of Local History, this group of houses forms one of the most charming corners of the city’s old quarter, and bears witness to some of Reutlingen’s colourful history. The Marienkirche has become the enduring symbol of the City of Reutlingen. Built between 1247 and 1343, this church is one of the most beautiful and significant gothic structures in the Swabian region, and was declared a national culture monument in 1988. 6

Discovering the places of interest From the lively Marktplatz (market square), the eye is drawn to the architecturally intriguing “Spital”, built as a hospital during the original construction of the city in the 13th Century. The delightful inner courtyard of the building is popularly used for events such as theatrical performances in the summer. A walk through the Spreuerhofstraße offers an interesting insight into the history of the medieval city. Just 31 cm in width at its narrowest point, this alley has gained a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The knowledgeable city guides have plenty of curiosities and interesting facts to impart to visitors. All year long, they lead entertaining and also informative guided tours through the historical old quarter of the city.

Spreuerhofstraße: The world’s narrowest street.

Marienkirche: A jewel of Swabian gothic architecture.

Reutlingen’s Museum of Local History with its romantic garden.

City Hall: Contemporary architecture on Market Square.


Art and culture in Reutlingen Reutlingen enjoys an impressively diverse and lively cultural life. From a

The performances and concert series

dedicated fringe theatre scene to classical concert series, from captivating

staged by the Württembergische

theatre performances to fascinating exhibitions, the events calendar in the

Philharmonie Reutlingen are a must,

city is always full to bursting.

and a treat for all lovers of classical and contemporary music. Other

musical highlights include the annual Classic Open Air performance of the Philharmonica Choir accompanied by an enormous firework display, and the Reutlinger Musiktage Festival. The city’s Spendhaus Art Museum has specialised in artistic wood carvings of the 20th and 21st Century. Among a wide selection of other exhibits, the Museum is the proud owner of the most extensive collection of wood carvings and large-format wood cuts by HAP Grieshaber. This internationally renowned wood carver and painter is one of the City’s most celebrated sons. The Reutlingen Die Tonne Theatre has earned itself a reputation well beyond the city boundaries by presenting a bold mixture of experimental and classical plays. A visit to the auditorium housed in the authentic basement rooms of the historic hospital building is an experience not to be missed for any theatre goer. Theatre enthusiasts can also enjoy one of the many productions staged by Naturtheater Reutlingen, one of the HAP Grieshaber: A permanent exhibition of the work of this renowned artist is on show in the Spendhaus Art Museum*.

oldest and biggest open-air theatre anywhere in the South of Germany, which nestles in the middle of the idyllic local Wasenwald recreation area.

Reutlingen Die Tonne Theatre: Famed for its challenging and diverse theatrical productions.


Classic Open-Air: An annual highlight of the classical music calendar.

Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen: Unforgettable concerts and a magnet to audiences from around the region.

In der Mitte Jazz Club: This city centre jazz club is a must for fans of fine live music.

Spendhaus Art Museum: A museum specializing in contemporary wood carving.

Reutlinger Naturtheater: Open-air theatre for young and old at its finest.


The retail and nightlife experience Among the major attractions of Reutlingen for both young and old are its rich and varied nightlife and its lively and eclectic retail mix. Department stores, specialist shops and boutiques jostle together in the city’s old quarter to entice shoppers through its picturesque streets and alleyways, which turn by night into a magnet for those in search of fine dining and entertainment.

Reutlingen’s biggest pedestrian zone is a true shopper’s paradise. The centre of the old quarter with its quaint streets and open squares is home to independent boutiques and specialist outlets alongside large department stores carrying well known leading brands, turning the shopping experience in Reutlingen into something completely unforgettable and extraordinary.

The weekly market attracts visitors from the whole region. Its colourful collection of sumptuous stands and the upbeat Mediterranean ambience provide a true feast for the senses. An added attraction alongside the weekly market is the market hall, which is open daily offering fresh produce from around the region. Whether regional or international, a quick snack or the full five-course dining experience, modern cuisine, traditional hearty cooking or vegetarian: The culinary scene in Reutlingen offers outstanding variety. A quick snack break at one of the city’s lively street cafés or a quiet hour away from the bustle in a secluded bistro are all part and parcel of the Reutlingen shopping experience. And evenings out and about in Reutlingen usually include a culinary excursion: the night can grow long as visitors enjoy the city’s many bars, pubs, discos and clubs.

Charming: The smallest house in Wilhelmstraße.

Cafés, bistros and pubs: Seeing and being seen!


Shopping malls: Contemporary shopping enjoyment protected from the elements.

Market hall: A wide range of fresh produce.

Wilhelmstraße: Reutlingen’s premier shopping street and promenade.

The weekly market: Fresh produce from around the region.

Restaurants: Reutlingen boasts local Swabian and international cuisine to a high standard.

Nightlife: Discos, clubs and pubs provide the perfect backdrop for all kinds of enjoyment.


Events, festivals and celebrations

City festival: A party atmosphere in the historic city centre.

An old adage tells us to eat, drink and be merry. That

In the spring, Reutlingen cele-

Reutlingen has this down to a fine art is proven by its all-

brates its local dialect in a

year program of events and festivals. The innate Swabian

week-long festival featuring

love of conviviality is the secret ingredient which turns every event into a never-to-be forgotten experience.

performances by poets, philosophers, comedians and musicians. There is plenty of banter

and local dialect in evidence, too, at the City Festival held in summer. Autumn sees the city centre transformed into a wine village. Stands and bowers are erected offering not only local Württemberg wines but also wines made from international grape varieties. And in winter, the traditional Christmas Market creates a magical seasonal atmosphere in the city. 12

Reutlingen has handed down more than its fair share of customs. These include two curious traditions, the Mutscheltag and Schiedweckentag. One of these involves groups of friends coming together for an evening around the Mutschel, a large star-shaped pastry, to play dicethrowing games and eat cold meat salad.

Mutschel: A traditional pastry used as a basis for games.

The other involves the Schiedwecken, a special veal pie which forms part of the celebrations marking the end of the dark period of fasting known as “Lichtkarz”. Another popular tradition upheld by the citizens of Reutlingen is the Schwörtag, or Oath Day, whose origins date back to the time of the Free Imperial City of Reutlingen, when citizens swear a mutual oath of allegiance every year after the election. This historical democratic custom is celebrated nowadays over a whole weekend, featuring a parade, a traditional flag ceremony and a program of entertainment.

Reutlinger Schwörtag: The historically significant Oath Festival.

Reutlingen Vintage Car Festival: Something to warm the hearts of car enthusiasts.

Reutlingen Wine Festival: Conviviality at the wine stalls clustered around the Marienkirche.


Recreation and leisure The selection of leisure activities on offer and the idyllic location of the city at the foot of the Swabian Alb

Apart from Vienna, Reutlingen is the only large-scale city in the world to be located in a biosphere region.

mountain range make Reutlingen a true magnet for those

The unique cultivated landscape with its tremendous

seeking rest and relaxation. Romantic parks and gardens

variety of flora and fauna combined with wide-ranging

in the city provide the perfect backdrop to while away enjoyable leisure time.

scope for leisure activities make this a not-to-be-missed experience.

It is almost obligatory for guests to Reutlingen to take a trip out to the Achalm (707 m). With its characteristic conical shape, the city’s very own mountain is one its most important landmarks. All that remain of the original castle are a few sections of the wall and the present-day viewing tower constructed in 1838 on the foundations of the former keep. A walk on the Achalm is worthwhile if only for the tremendous view it affords over Reutlingen and the surrounding area. The Markwasen sport and pleasure grounds provide a natural paradise for the city’s inhabitants to enjoy, offering a generously dimensioned open-air swimming and wave pool in the summer months. The River Echaz, which winds its way peacefully through Reutlingen, also provides some secluded and idyllic spots for leisure enjoyment. The Pomologie is a historical park on the edge of the old quarter which also offers a welcome chance for leisure enjoyment. Some of Reutlingen’s districts such as the Gönningen Lakes are also perfect destinations for rest and recreation in a rural setting. There are opportunities offered for sporting activity all around Reutlingen. The varied landscape of the Swabian Alb area and its extensive network of cycle and walking trails provide plenty of opportunties for fresh air enthusiasts and serious athletes alike. The mountain Achalm: Breathtaking panoramic views over Reutlingen and the surrounding area.

Gönningen Lakes: This picturesque idyll is the perfect destination for bathing, relaxation and walking.


Rosengarten: Relax in the enchanting pavilion of the Pomologie park.

Markwasen outdoor wave pool: The ultimate bathing experience for young and old.

Pomologie: Enjoying a round of golf billiards.

Markwasen: Wide-ranging opportunities for the active.


Centre of commerce and learning

Centre of learning: Reutlingen University of Applied Sciences enjoys an excellent international reputation.

Reutlingen is a modern service and industrial location, and with a workforce totalling around 50,000 is acknowledged to be the biggest

While the economic life of the city was once shaped by the textile industry, today

economic centre in Southern Württemberg. With an atmosphere

it is the electronics and mechanical engi-

shaped by a mixture of the traditional and the cosmopolitan, Reutlin-

neering sectors which dominate Reutlin-

gen offers the ideal location for an ever growing number of businesses.

gen’s manufacturing landscape. Renowned

Many of the corporations domiciled here are extending their theatre of

companies such as Bosch, Wafios or Stoll

operations to the international arena.

have been based in Reutlingen for decades.

Craftsmen’s enterprises also continue to play a major role in the city’s economic life. Innovative, business-oriented services and a lively trade sector complete the economic profile of the city today. Unique anywhere in the world and a true symbol of the traditional heritage of the City of Reutlingen is its famous International Leather Training, Testing and Research Centre.


New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre: The new trade fair grounds are quickly accessed from Reutlingen.

The Technology Park Tübingen-Reutlingen and one of the country’s most progressive Universities of Appliance Sciences provide the foundation for excellent networking between industry and science. The Reutlingen University of Applied Sciences is a centre of competence for information and organization, international business administration and technology. Interdisciplinary and applied research products as well as a lively system of expertise and technology transfer have made Reutlingen a significant future workshop. Close cooperation between science and business provides fertile ground for young, up-and-coming new business start-ups. One of the major benefits offered by Reutlingen as an industrial location is its close proximity and easy access to Stuttgart Airport

Technology Park Tübingen-Reutlingen: Business centre for research and development.

and the new Stuttgart Trade Fair.

Innovative SüdWestMetall: Prize-winning architecture in the city centre.

Bosch: Tradition – internationally renowned and successful companies are based in Reutlingen.


Attractive surroundings There is a wide selection of impressive places of interest to visit just a proverbial stone’s throw away from Reutlingen. Underground caves and ruined castles are just waiting to be discovered. The scenic beauty of the Alb plateau can be explored on foot, by canoe or by bike.

One of the major attractions for visitors to the Reutlingen area is Lichtenstein Castle, inspired by Wilhelm Hauff’s novel Lichtenstein. More courageous visitors can try their skill in the treetop adventure park next to the castle.

Germany’s most visited stalactite cave, the Bärenhöhle, as well as the caves Nebelhöhle and Wimsener Höhle attract visitors to descend to the “underworld”. The Wimsener Höhle is the only cave anywhere in Germany that can be navigated by boat. Interested visitors can also discover the Swabian poetry and wine route, or travel over the Alb in the “Swabian Railway” featured in a popular German folk song. And for horse lovers, a visit to the famous Marbach Stud Farm with its impressive stallion parade is a never-to-be-forgotten experience. A sidestep to the nearby bustling cosmopolitan State Capital Stuttgart provides the opportunity to see a musical, visit a museum or take in a gallery or two. Neighbouring Tübingen is also an appealing destination for a day trip, with its punts on the River Neckar and a charming old quarter for shopping and browsing. Hohenzollern Castle in Hechingen is another popular tourist destination, and affords a majestic panoramic view over the entire region.

Impressive: Lichtenstein Castle.

So much to experience: The Bärenhöhle cave and leisure park, State Capital Stuttgart, Tübingen – the city of philosophers and poets, cycling in the countryside.


Imprint: Responsible for content: StaRT – Stadtmarketing und Tourismus Reutlingen GmbH Responsible in the context of press legislation: Tanja Ulmer Layout and implementation: Launer Kommunikationsdesign GmbH, Reutlingen Photos: Andreas Böhm Claus Dick Rainer Fieselmann Jörg Launer Messe Stuttgart Christian Mladenovic Markus Niethammer Dieter Reisner Hartmut Schenker Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH Gerlinde Trinkhaus * © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2007

See you in

Tourist Information Marktplatz 2 72764 Reutlingen Phone: +49 (0) 71 21 / 93 93 53 53 Fax: +49 (0) 71 21 / 93 93 53 55 [email protected]