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Rottenburg am Neckar (until July 10, 1964 only Rottenburg) is a medium-sized town in the administrative district (Landkreis) of Tübingenmarker in Baden-Württembergmarker. It rests about 50 km southwest of the provincial capital Stuttgartmarker and about 12 km southwest of the district town Tübingenmarker. Rottenburg is the second largest city of the district after Tübingen and makes up a secondary center for the surrounding community. Since May 1, 1972, Rottenburg am Neckar is a district town (Große Kreisstadt). Rottenburg agreed to an administrative collectivity with the municipalities of Hirrlingenmarker, Neustettenmarker and Starzachmarker.

Rottenburg is the seat of a Catholic bishop, being the official centre of the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.


Rottenburg is divided into a city core and seventeen (suburban) districts.

Suburban districts of Rottenburg: Bad Niedernaumarker, Baisingenmarker, Bieringenmarker, Dettingenmarker, Eckenweilermarker, Ergenzingenmarker, Frommenhausenmarker, Hailfingenmarker, Hemmendorfmarker, Kiebingenmarker, Obernaumarker, Oberndorfmarker, Schwalldorfmarker, Seebronnmarker, Weilermarker, Wendelsheimmarker and Wurmlingenmarker.


Rottenburg was originally founded as a Roman town, Sumelocenna, probably around the year 98, and was one of the most important Roman towns in the southwest of Germany. It had a line of walls built to defend it from the attacks of the Alamanni, who nevertheless destroyed it in 259-260.

The name Rottenburg is thought to derive from a Germanic root that is also present in the English word 'rotten', in an older meaning of 'destroyed'. According to this hypothesis, the town would have received its name when, in the early Middle Ages, Alemannic people founded their settlement in the vicinity of the ruins of Roman Sumelocenna. An alternative etymology of Rottenburg as "red borough" is also considered possible, however.

Rottenburg became the seat of a Catholic bishop as late as 1821-28, when, after the secularization and the Napoleonic wars, a reorganisation of Catholic life in south west Germany had become necessary.. It was then decided not to choose the more important nearby places of Stuttgart or Tübingen as a diocesan town, as these were firmly protestant.

Main sights

Dom St. Martin has been the city's cathedral since 1821. Its tower, dating from 1486, is its most prominent feature.

Spanning various architectural periods, the Stiftskirche St. Moriz incorporates a Gothic core with elements from an earlier church and a later Baroque hall church. The Gothic feel is what persists, from 14th and 15th centuries frescoes on the pillars to the 15th-century painting of the Four Evangelists on the ceiling in the choir. In the north aisle stands an ornamented column depicting various princes, donated in 1470 by Archduchess Mechthild, the wife of Ludwig I and mother of Eberhard the Bearded. A copy also stands in the city's Marktplatz.

There are two museums in town, the Sülchgau Museum, specializing in pre- and early history and Roman influences on the area, and the diocesan museum, focusing on ecclesiastical art, painting, and sculpture.

In nearby Weggental is the pilgrimage church of Wallfahrtskirche St. Maria, rebuilt in 1682-1695 in Baroque style, but containing a medieval pietà and a very fine rendition of the Virgin swooning during the deposition of Christ from the cross.

A more modern landmark is the Eckenweiler Water Tower. Built of reinforced concrete in the 1970s, its unusual design is notable.

Twin town

Since 1979 Rottenburg's twin town is Saint Claude in France.


Honorary citizens

The Town of Rottenburg am Neckar and respectively the former municipalities, which have been incorporated, have awarded the honorary citizenship to the following persons:

  • 1901: Hermann Friedrich Wittich, Regierungsrat
  • 1904: Gustav Holzherr, independent gentleman
  • 1909: Karl Bitzenauer, parish priest of the town
  • 1924: Paul Wilhelm von Keppler, Bishop of Rottenburg
  • 1930: Karl Landsee, merchant
  • 1931: Alois Kremmler, Oberstudiendirektor (principal)
  • 1931: Eugen Bolz (1881–1945 (executed in Berlin-Plötzensee)), politician and member of the resistance
  • 1947: Johannes Baptista Sproll, Bishop of Rottenburg
  • 1947: Max Kottmann, vicar general
  • 1949: Josef Schneider, Mayor of Rottenburg and Kanzleidirektor (retired)
  • 1958: Franz Anton Buhl, schoolmaster and local historian
  • 1961: Josef Eberle, poet and publisher
  • 1967: Alfred Planck, fabrikant
  • 1968: Carl Joseph Leiprecht, Bishop of Rottenburg
  • 2003: Winfried Löffler, Lord Mayor of Rottenburg (retired)
  • 2008: Walter Cardinal Kasper, former Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and present Cardinal of the Roman Curia

Bad Niedernaumarker

  • 1919: Hieronymus Baur, Mayor of Ergenzingen (retired)
  • 1961: Alfons Leykauf, parish priest
  • 1965: Maximilian Schier, schoolmaster

  • ?: Rudolf Franziskus de Paula Joseph Fidel Freiherr von Wagner, Warminister of Württemberg
  • 1908: Ludwig Franz Freiherr von Wagner, Lieutenant General

  • 1938: Karl Franz Ferdinand Viktor Osterwald, factory manager of the power station

  • ?: Ignaz Kleiner, parish priest
  • 1947: Otto Heine, parish priest

  • 1905: Sebastian Bauer, dean
  • 1953: Franz Josef Fischer, auxiliary bishop
  • 1968: Stefan Kruschina, parish priest

Sons and daughters of the town

Prominent persons that were born in Rottenburg:


   Railway station in Rottenburg Eckenweiler water tower Gothic fountain Episcopal Palace at the Eugen-Bolz-Square

External links


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