Gailingen am Hochrhein

Gailingen am Hochrhein (Low Alemannic: Gailinge am Hochrhi) is a village in the district of Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg, in southern Germany.

Gailingen am Hochrhein
Rhine at Gailingen
Rhine at Gailingen
Coat of arms of Gailingen am Hochrhein
Location of Gailingen am Hochrhein within Konstanz district
Lake ConstanceBodenseekreisWaldshut (district)Schwarzwald-Baar-KreisTuttlingen (district)Sigmaringen (district)AachAllensbachBodman-LudwigshafenBüsingen am HochrheinStockachEigeltingenEngenGaienhofenGailingen am HochrheinGottmadingenHilzingenHohenfelsKonstanzMainauMoosMühlhausen-EhingenMühlingenÖhningenOrsingen-NenzingenRadolfzellReichenauReichenauReichenauReichenauRielasingen-WorblingenSingenSteißlingenStockachTengenVolkertshausenSwitzerlandGailingen am Hochrhein in KN.svg
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Gailingen am Hochrhein is located in Germany
Gailingen am Hochrhein
Gailingen am Hochrhein
Gailingen am Hochrhein is located in Baden-Württemberg
Gailingen am Hochrhein
Gailingen am Hochrhein
Coordinates: 47°41′49″N 8°45′18″E / 47.69694°N 8.75500°E / 47.69694; 8.75500
Admin. regionFreiburg
 • Mayor (2018–26) Thomas Auer[1]
 • Total13.17 km2 (5.08 sq mi)
469 m (1,539 ft)
 • Total2,887
 • Density220/km2 (570/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes07734
Vehicle registrationKN

It is situated in a southernmost part of the region called Hegau in a unique location on the northern bank of the High Rhine just across the border from Switzerland and close to Lake Constance. The population currently numbers 3,070.


Founded over 1,000 years ago, Gailingen was first mentioned in a document in 965. However the village probably dates back to the 5th century when the Alamanni settled in the area. The name “Gailingen” literally refers to “the people of Geilo,” one of the Alamanni leaders.

In the 11th century, a family of noblemen owned the area and probably erected a castle on the Rauhenberg mountain. This castle is long gone but left its name on that part of the mountain. In the 14th century, ownership was transferred to the former noble family of Randegg, which left its sign of a lion's head in the village's shield.

Jewish cemetery in Gailingen

The village changed hands numerous times in the course of the following centuries. In 1540, the neighbouring city of Schaffhausen (in Switzerland) purchased one third of the domain; the other parts were owned by several families, with the Liebenfels family being responsible for the construction of a small castle called “Liebenfelsisches Schloesschen” in 1750.

Door knocker from the Gailingen synagogue, 1836, in the Jewish Museum of Switzerland’s collection.  

Following the Thirty Year's War, Jews began to settle in Gailingen and the upper Rhine region. The letter of protection from 1657 testifies to six Jewish men and their families living in Gailingen. Later letters of protection show a continuation and growth of the small community.[3] The first document referring to the Jewish cemetery in Gailingen dates back to 1653.[4] A synagogue was built in 1836 and eventually, the community also had a school and community centre, its own hospital and an old people's home.[5]

By 1820, the community had grown to 140 families, making up about half of the population of Gailingen. Despite having no political rights, Jews strongly shaped and influenced Gailingen both culturally and economically. In the mid nineteenth century, they outnumbered the Christian citizens for a short time, after which there was a steady decline in the number of Jews living in Gailingen. This was caused by the introduction of freedom of movement and settlement in Baden in 1862, which led to more Jewish families moving to larger cities in search of better professional and financial opportunities.[5] [6]

In 1870, the village elected its first Jewish mayor. Seven years later both Jewish and non-Jewish children were attending the same school. Members of both faiths were living together peacefully until Hitler's rise to power. In October 1940, the remaining members of the community were deported to the concentration camp in Gurs, thus marking a violent and final end to the Jewish community of Gailingen.[5] Due to the close relationship with neighbouring Switzerland, judaica and other remnants of this community found their way to the Jewish Museum of Switzerland, where some of these objects are on display.[7]  


In 1950, Gailingen am Hochrhein became the seat for a rehabilitation clinic and in 1972, a second one specifically addressing young people followed. A new church and a new school were built as well. What used to be a largely agricultural village is now a modern one, catering for tourists from all over the world. Due to its location, clean air and peaceful surroundings, Gailingen was awarded the title “national health resort” in 1977.

Südbadenbus serves the village with a bus connection to Büsingen am Hochrhein which is a small exclave belonging to Germany. The bus passes through Swiss territory to reach the main village of Büsingen as well as the small outlying settlement Stemmer.

Twin townsEdit

Gailingen am Hochrhein is twinned with:


  1. ^ Aktuelle Wahlergebnisse, Staatsanzeiger, accessed 13 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2021" [Population by nationality and sex as of December 31, 2021] (CSV) (in German). Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg. June 2022.
  3. ^ Girres, Detlef (1990). Auf den Spuren des jüdischen Gailingen, in: Alfred G. Frei, Jens Runge (Hrsg.): Erinnern – Bedenken – Lernen. Sigmaringen. pp. 107–123.
  4. ^ Bar-Giora Bamberger, Naftali (1994). Der Jüdische Friedhof in Gailingen. Memor Buch. Tübingen.
  5. ^ a b c Friedrich, Schmieder, Eckhardt, Dagmar (2010). Die Gailinger Juden. Konstanz.
  6. ^ Götz, Franz (2004). Gailingen – Geschichte einer Hochrhein-Gemeinde. Hegau-Bibliothek, Bd. 98. Gailingen/Tübingen.
  7. ^ Battegay, Lubrich, Caspar, Naomi (2018). Jewish Switzerland: 50 Objects Tell their Stories (in English and German). Christoph Merian. ISBN 978-3-85616-847-6.