Weil der Stadt in Baden-Württemberg at the foothills of the mystic Black Forest is steeped in history, science, and religion dating back some 700 years. It’s a medieval city that was home to many scientists and members of the clergy throughout the years and the birthplace to two men who were essential to what is now modern science and religious reform.
Weil der Stadt was the birthplace of famous 17th century astronomer, Johannes Kepler in 1571. Kepler’s calculations of the planets, somehow was the basis for future space travel, some 500 years later. There’s a memorial dedicated to Kepler in town and for all you amateur astronomers take a trip over to the Kepler Observatory. The Kepler Museum in his house of birth tells of his life.
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There’s so much respect for Kepler that the town was spared much artillery damage during WWII, just because it was his hometown.
Religion played a vital role in Weil der Stadt’s medieval life and one of the most influential of the time was Martin Luther. Johannes Brenz, the theologian, was born here in Weil der Stadt in 1499 and one of Luther’s important students and responsible for bring the Reformation to Württemberg. So important was Johannes Brenz that when a new church in the town was built in 1889, it was named after him.
There are so many old buildings to see and visit here. Let me cover some of the most popular attractions…
In the Old Town is the City Church of St. Peter and Paul from the 15th century and built on a 6th century Roman Church. The Hospital dating from the 14th century was used as a nursing and old person’s home for 600 years. The Spitalkapelle (Hospital Chapel) also dates back to the 14th century with carved alter from around 1500.
The City Museum gives a great account of the city’s history and findings in the area, while the Fool’s Museum is dedicated to figures from the Weil der Stadt Carnival. Carnival is still celebrated in Weil der Stadt, but usually more quiet than some larger cities.
No matter, anytime is a great time to see Weil der Stadt. ;-)