The town of Aidlingen in Baden Württemberg is known as Die Perle des Heckengäu, which means the Pearl of the Heckengäu.
Whether you call it pearl, diamond, or ruby; Aidlingen is a town with festivals, museums, outdoor activities, and medieval sites.
Well, before you head off to climb the Venusberg for a day of hiking, walking, and for the really ambitious — cycling; you can visit Aidlingen’s museums. The guided winter hike is a good idea, especially if you like the colder weather!
The Museum Dachtal, housed in the 19th century Town Hall, houses many agricultural and craftsman’s tools; as well as a glimpse into a rural farm kitchen (oh, I think I can smell something delicious cooking!) and sleeping arrangements. There’s an exhibit on school life (including books & such). Though I’d bet the kids won’t appreciate that one. ;-)
The Baudenkmal Hopfenhaus is another “museum” filled with farming equipment, on top of looking into German feudal life, and the industry of blacksmithing, shoemaking, and basket making on its three floors.
For another look into feudal life in Germany, look no further than the 14th century Schloss Deufringen. The “castle” you see today though wasn’t built until 1592 and is now used as the town’s community center. Oh, and it’s reportedly haunted by some poor guy stabbed to death by his own friend. How creepy!
A century after the schloss was built (1470, actually) residents of Aidlingen built the Nikolai Church. Old churches are always a great stop for fantastic artwork and architecture.
After you’ve done it all in Aidlingen, how about some shopping. There’s the weekly market held Saturdays 8am-noon and the Christmas Market on the Saturday before 2nd Advent.
And between all the sightseeing, shopping, and everything else are the jazz concerts and the Carnival Parade with all sorts of celebrations held at the Sonnenberghalle.
In my opinion, Aidlingen is more than just the pearl of the Heckengäu — it’s the whole diamond mine of the Heckengäu!