Villingen-Schwenningen Schwarzwald

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Villingen

'Church of Our Lady'
 

Construction first began in 1120. The late Romanesque church was rebuilt in around 1220. Heinrich von Fürstenberg chose the church as his burial site. In 1530, the dedication of the church was changed from John the Baptist to Mary and was consequently renamed 'Church of our Lady'.

Church fountain

Built in 1989, the church fountain is a masterpiece by Black Forest artist Klaus Ringwald featuring famous personalities from recent history. It illustrates the 1000-year history of the town. Each of the 8 sides of this work of art is different. They are dedicated to the eras of history of significance to the town.

Town wall

Construction work on the inner town wall began shortly after 1200. It stood 10 metres high following its completion. Today, most of the wall still stands.

Pulvertürmle (Powder tower)

This was the name given to the small round tower where powder was stored in the Middle Ages. The powder tower was built directly on the town wall, as the powder was to be stored such that it did not pose a threat to the town’s residents and was protected from outsiders.

Benediktinerkirche (Benedictine church)

In 1688, construction work began on the Benediktinerkirche, which was consecrated in 1725. The church is 50 m long and features pilasters (which are 16 m tall) and galleries, the naves of which have a barrel vault design. In 1999, the Silbermann-Orgel (Silbermann organ) was faithfully restored. 

Franciscan concert hall

It was rebuilt between 1705 and 1709. The monastery was removed in 1797, between 1825 and 1978, the building was used by the Holy Ghost Hospital. The years between 1978 and 1999 saw planning and work undertaken to transform the building into the Franciscan culture centre featuring a concert hall and museum.

Franziskanermuseum
(Franciscan museum)

This museum has an impressive range of items, including a Black Forest collection (clocks, furniture, porcelain and stained glass) and artefacts from the Magdalenenberg, a Celtic tumulus grave from the 6th century BC.

Altes Rathaus (Old town hall)

Although the Altes Rathaus is still waiting for being renovated, it is still used for readings, guided tours, small exhibitions and marriages in the registry office.

 

Bickentor

The Bickentor was one of the first gate towers of the town. Characterised by its red clock face, this town gate has a Bicken monastery attached. The monastery has the Order of St Clare since 1480 and, in 1782, became an Ursuline monastery and girls’ school. Today, it is used as a grammar and secondary school.

Riettor

The Riettor is the western town gate with a blue clock face. It is the oldest entrance to the town, probably built in spring 1233. It has a stairway to the "Keffit" prison.

 

Oberes Tor

This is the town’s tallest gate tower and features a green clock face. As a result of the renovation work performed over the years, it is hard to say when it was first built. It is, however, younger than the other two gates still standing (Bickentor to the east and Riettor to the west) and has different foundations. The north town gate played a key role in defending the town in centuries past. The second floor is home to a wood-panelled parlour which was used as a detention cell.

Kaiserturm (Eperor's tower)

The Kaiserturm was one of the towers used to defend Villingen in the past. It was built in 1372 and renovated between 1992 and 1994. Previously, it was named after the quarter in which it stands. Therefore, it has been known for  “Gerberturm” and, subsequently, “Wachtelturm”. It was dedicated to the Emperor in 1871. You can visit the Kaiserturm as part of a guided city tour combined with a sparkling wine reception and slide-show.

If you  require more information, please contact the Tourist-Info & Ticket-Service.

Romäusturm (Romäus tower)

With a height of 39 metres, the Romäusturm is the tallest defence tower in the city wall. It is made out of squared block masonry surfaces known as ashlar. On the north side there is a picture of the local hero Romäus, who was once imprisoned here.

 

Romäusbrunnen (Romäus fountain)

This fountain is dedicated to Villingen’s local hero, who, according to legend, managed to remove an entire town gate from the town of Rottweil. Romäus is portrayed wearing mercenary clothing and a beret and holding a halberd. He was killed in the Battle of Novara in 1513. The figure on the fountain was designed by Manfred Merz.

Narrobrunnen (Fool’s fountain)

Every year on Epiphany, the “Narro”, the traditional figure of the Villingen carnival, is ceremoniously positioned on his base and crowned with brushwood. On Ash Wednesday, he is removed for a short time before coming back in spring. The wooden figure was designed by Villingen wood carver Manfred Merz.

Radmacherbrunnen (Wheelmaker’s fountain)

The figure on this fountain is a historical one, who, as part of a bet, in one day built a wheel, took it to Rottweil, approximately 20 km away, received the equivalent of his winnings there in food and drink and returned to Villingen with the wheel before the day ended. This masterpiece was designed by Villingen wood carver Manfred Merz.