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Nördlingen is a town in the Donau-Riesmarker district, in Bavariamarker, Germanymarker, with a population of 20,000. It is located in the middle of a giant meteorite crater, called the Nördlinger Riesmarker. The town was also the place of two battles during the Thirty Years' War. Today it is one of only three towns in Germany that still has a completely established city wall, the other two being Rothenburg ob der Taubermarker and Dinkelsbühlmarker.

Another tourist feature of this mediæval town is its 90m-steeple called "Daniel" being part of the Saint Georg's Church and made of an impact breccia called suevite containing shocked quartz. Other famous buildings are the town hall (13th century), St. Salvator church and the Spital, a former medieval hospital. The Ries crater museum is located in the well-preserved medieval tanner's quarter.

The city is home to several other museums, such as the Bavarian Railway Museummarker, the Nördlingen city museum (Stadtmuseum), the city wall museum (Stadtmauermuseum) and Augenblick museum with panoramas, magic lanterns, silent films, barrel organs, pianolas, music boxes and gramophones.

Nördlingen is also famous for the Scharlachrennen, a famous horse riding tournament that was first mentioned in 1463.


Nördlingen stamp
The remains of a Roman castellum, built in the year 85 and probably called Septemiacum, have been found under the city. In 1998, Nördlingen celebrated its 1100-year-old history.

Until Thirty Years' War and the Battle of Nördlingen , Nördlingen was one of Germany's major trading towns. Nördlingen trade fair (Pfingstmesse) was first mentioned in 1219.

Nördlingen was one of the first protestant cities and took part in the Protestation at Speyer in 1529.

In 1604 a shortened and simplified version of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was performed in Nördlingen - this was one of the first performances of any Shakespearean play outside England.

In 1802 Nördlingen ceased being a Free imperial city and became part of Bavaria.


Important companies in Nördlingen are:

  • Strenesse – fashion
  • C.H. Beck – book publisher
  • Kathrein – antenna manufacturer
  • Ankerbräu – brewery

Nördlingen in Sport

[[Image:Noerdlingen town hall from Daniel.jpg|Nördlingen town hall, seen from Daniel
thumb]]The local sports club, the TSV 1861 Nördlingen, has a very successful basketball department with the men's and the women's team both in the Basketball Bundesliga. The clubs football team is traditionally the strongest side in northern Swabia. Its most successful former player is Gerd Müller, who was born and raised in Nördlingen. Its stadium was renamed in his honour in 2008.

Nördlingen in popular culture

The fairytale-ballet anime Princess Tutu is set in the fictional Kinkan Town, which is heavily based on Nördlingen.

Nördlingen was the town shown in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in the final scenes when the glass elevator is floating over a town.Image:Nordlingen aerial screenshot 1970.jpg|A screenshot of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The 1970 town looks much the same as today.Image:Nordlingen aerial screenshot.jpg|Another screenshot of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Impact Diamonds

Moon rock in the Ries crater museum
Stone buildings in the town contain millions of tiny diamonds, all less than 0.2 millimeters across. The impact that caused the Nördlinger Riesmarker crater created an estimated 72000 tons of them when it impacted a local graphite deposit. Stone from this area was later quarried and used to build the stone buildings.

Twin Cities

See also


Emsley, John (2001). NATURE'S BUILDING BLOCKS. Oxford University Press, pp. 99. ISBN 0-19-850341-5.

Baier, Johannes (2007): Die Ausfwurfprodukte des Ries-Impakts, Deutschland, 'in Documenta Naturae, Vol. 162, München. ISBN 978-3-86544-162-1

Baier, Johannes (2008): Zur Herkunft der Suevit-Grundmasse des Ries-Impakt Kraters, in Documenta Naturae, Vol. 172, München.

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