When it became Altbach’s turn at the keyboard I’d thought to tackle it like I did most German towns. Simple, so it seemed.
Just so you know, not much is ever how it appears.
One thing about this Swabian town that you might notice right away is how teensy-tiny it is, just a tad over three square kilometers.
It’s rumored that good things come in small packages, by the way, and I’m inclined to agree.
How could you say otherwise, considering Altbach sits (very) nicely along the Schurwald near the Swabian Alb. And it has quite a long history, too.
Archaeological finds around the area date all the way back some 6500 years ago, an urnfield from 1800 B.C. was discovered, and the Alemanni once ruled over the area during the early Middle Ages. Before them came the Romans and Merovingians, after came the Hohenstaufens and the von Habsburgs.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, Germany’s many Local History Museums (known as Heimatmuseen) are great for learning all about this kinda stuff — and Altbach’s is no different.
It’ll be nice to hear how the town rebuilt itself after suffering terribly during the Thirty Years’ War, where only 140 people remained. Thankfully, Altbach has seen a steady population growth over the last four centuries.
And if you want to see what it was like in the “Olden Days,” go to the Alte Schmiede (Old Smithy) where you can see first-hand about blacksmithing and farming.
With old towns you’ll generally find an old church or two, Altbach is no different. You’d never know that the Ulrichskirche was as old as it was because it was rebuilt in 1736, but its original goes all the way back to 1514.
What else can you see in this Neckar Valley town? A festival or two, to say the least. No one should pass up a party at its Dorffest (Village Festival), or its Christmas Market that’s always held on the second Saturday in December.
And the Rathaus (Town Hall, the new one) is the cultural center of town, and you’ll find there are all sorts of cultural events taking place.
Altbach simple? Simply great, if you ask me. And what’s also great is that you’ll find the world’s first Peoplemover for rail tracks here in this town.