It’s easy to throw around titles like the Pearl of the Ore Mountains (like the town of Burkhardtsdorf), and the Jewel of the Swabian Alb like the town of Trochtelfingen in Baden Württemberg.
The name is appropriate, btw. This truly is a jewel in the crown of this region.
Located within what used to be the Hohenzollern Province, Trochtelfingen transports you back to the days of an Old World Germany, right down to its medieval Stadtmauer — for which parts of this old defense wall are found all over town.
And as with any proper town of the Middle Ages, it has a 15th century castle. Once owned by the Princes of Fürstenberg, and used as Trochtelfingen’s Rathaus, it is now a local school.
Of course, the Schlossgarten (Castle Garden) is another must-see. It’s a peaceful and quiet place that can be enjoyed by everyone.
As you make your way around, look for Trochtelfingen’s landmark, the greyish, 28 meters high Hohe Turm (High Tower). Digging under it won’t be so easy — its walls are over 2 1/2 meters thick!
The nearby Pulverturm is another one of the town’s towers. This one looks pretty from the outside, and its interior is now used by one of the town’s local clubs.
But it’s the Augstbergturm observation tower in the Steinhilben district that will provide you with the greatest vistas of the town and surrounding countryside.
A nice stroll to take in Trochtelfingen is along its Pfarrgasse, framed by some half-timbered houses along a cobblestone street. Didn’t I say it had an Old World charm?
Although not a framework house, the Zehntscheuer, now a bank, was once a tithe barn.
Along the Kirchplatz there was once a footbridge that lead to one of Trochtelfingen’s churches. This one is known for its Garden of Gesthemane artwork from the 15th century. The St. Martin Church’s oldest part is its tower, dating back to the year 1320.
Trochtelfingen was once famous for its five breweries that were once located here. Today the Albquell is all that’s left of its brewing history with a brewery guesthouse and the Bierkrug- und Bierdeckelmuseum (Beer Mug & Beer Coaster Museum).
You can learn more about Trochtelfingen’s history of beer and more at its Local History Museum (Heimatmuseum, Am Hohen Turm 5).
See, Trochtelfingen isn’t a one-museum town. ;-)
What else can I say, except that Trochtelfingen truly has proven itself as a Jewel of the Swabian Alb. The only thing that would make this even better is to find the most comfortable shoes you can, and hike ’til you can’t hike no more in the Alb.
Oh, except maybe to stop at the 14th century Erhardkapelle first. Or, the Alb-Gold Kundenzentrum — known for glass production and other diddies.
Jewel of the Alb? I’m inclined to say it’s the Crown Jewel of the Alb.