Laupheim is tucked away in Upper Swabia and is a most appealing town with more than a thousand years of history. Dating back to 778, its charter still sits in the archives of the St. Gallen Monastery, though there’s evidence that the area has been inhabited as far back as 15,000 years ago by nomadic tribes.
What also makes Laupheim different is that since the area was once two different independent states, the town lays claim to not just one, but two castles.
The castle Schloss Großlaupheim was once just a wooden structure from the 12th century. When the peasants of the town destroyed the original building in the Peasants’ War they were forced to rebuild the stone feudal castle you pretty much see today, in the 16th century.
The oldest parts of the castle date back to that time. One part of the castle complex is the Little Castle, the Kleines Schlössle as they call it so kindly, built in the 17th century as home for the widows of the rulers of Laupheim.
In the castle, the Museum of Christians and Jews, documenting 2 centuries of the town’s relationship between Christians and Jews. The town of Laupheim had the largest Jewish Community within the whole Kingdom of Württemberg. After August 19, 1942 there were no more Jews left in Laupheim and the town’s Synagogue was destroyed on Kristallnacht in 1938.
Also near Schloss Großlaupheim is the Castle Park, designed in an English style and was used to raise trout in the summer and provided ice for a local Brauerei in the winter. The park was neglected for many years and the town has undertaken the task of returning the park back to its original grandeur.
What about the other one, you ask?
The castle Schloss Kleinlaupheim was built in the 1760’s on a hill overlooking the Rottum River with a grand staircase and gables. It’s now the home to a local art gallery and the town’s police station. With an office like that, it must be just dandy to go to work everyday. :-)
The Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul dates back to the early 1600s, taking almost 40 years to build. It was built in the Baroque style of the time and is located near Schloss Großlaupheim.
Laupheim’s Planetarium and Public Observatory is a more recent addition to the town, seeing some 40,000 visitors each year.
If you’re in town the last week of June, take part in its Kinder-und Heimatfest. For five days, the town parties with parades, music, and of course, food! The Brunnenfest (Fountain Party), held on the last Sunday of the summer is a huge Block Party, with local Swabian food, music, and flea market at the Upper and Lower Market Square. What a way to party!