Rottenburg am Neckar

About this soundRottenburg am Neckar  (until 10 July 1964 only Rottenburg; Swabian: Raodeburg) is a medium-sized town in the administrative district (Landkreis) of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It lies about 50 kilometres (31 miles) southwest of the provincial capital Stuttgart and about 12 km (7 mi) southwest of the district town Tübingen. Rottenburg is the second-largest city of the district after Tübingen and makes up a secondary centre for the surrounding community. Since 1 May 1972, Rottenburg am Neckar has been a district town (Große Kreisstadt). Rottenburg agreed to an administrative collective with the municipalities of Hirrlingen, Neustetten and Starzach.

Rottenburg am Neckar
River Neckar in Rottenburg
River Neckar in Rottenburg
Coat of arms of Rottenburg am Neckar
Coat of arms
Location of Rottenburg am Neckar
Rottenburg am Neckar is located in Germany
Rottenburg am Neckar
Rottenburg am Neckar
Rottenburg am Neckar is located in Baden-Württemberg
Rottenburg am Neckar
Rottenburg am Neckar
Coordinates: 48°28′38″N 08°56′04″E / 48.47722°N 8.93444°E / 48.47722; 8.93444Coordinates: 48°28′38″N 08°56′04″E / 48.47722°N 8.93444°E / 48.47722; 8.93444
Admin. regionTübingen
 • Lord MayorStephan Neher (CDU)
 • Total142.26 km2 (54.93 sq mi)
349 m (1,145 ft)
 • Total43,723
 • Density310/km2 (800/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes07472, 07478, 07457, 07073
Vehicle registration

Rottenburg is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop, being the official centre of the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. Moreover, it has a college of church music and a university of applied sciences (German Fachhochschule), specialising in forestry.


Rottenburg is divided into a city core and seventeen (suburban) districts.

Suburban districts of Rottenburg: Bad Niedernau, Baisingen, Bieringen, Dettingen, Eckenweiler, Ergenzingen, Frommenhausen, Hailfingen, Hemmendorf, Kiebingen, Obernau, Oberndorf, Schwalldorf, Seebronn, Weiler, Wendelsheim and Wurmlingen.


Rottenburg was founded as a Roman town, Sumelocenna, probably around the year AD98, and was one of the most important Roman towns in the southwest of Germany. It had a line of walls built to defend it from the attacks of the Alamanni, who nevertheless destroyed it in 259-260.

The name Rottenburg is thought to derive from a Germanic root that is also present in the English word "rotten", in an older meaning of "destroyed". According to this hypothesis, the town would have received its name when, in the early Middle Ages, Alemannic people founded their settlement in the vicinity of the ruins of Roman Sumelocenna. An alternative etymology of Rottenburg as "red borough" is also considered possible, however.

In the Middle Ages, the town was first governed by the counts of Hohenberg, who, however, were forced to sell it to the Habsburg dynasty in 1381. Rottenburg remained a part of Further Austria until 1805, when it was assigned to Württemberg in the Peace of Pressburg.

Rottenburg became the seat of a Catholic bishop as late as 1821–1828, when, after the secularisation and the Napoleonic Wars, a reorganisation of Catholic life in southwest Germany had become necessary.[2] It was then decided not to choose the more important nearby places of Stuttgart or Tübingen as a diocesan town, as these were firmly Protestant.

Rottenburg is known among Anabaptists as the place of death for Michael Sattler, a former monk who was involved in missionary activities in the Rottenburg and Horb am Neckar region. Sattler was burned at the stake on "Gallows Hill" on 20 May 1527.

Main sightsEdit

Dom St. Martin has been the city's cathedral since 1821. Its tower, dating from 1486, is its most prominent feature.

The Four Evangelists (15th century) on the choir ceiling of Stiftskirche St. Moriz.

Spanning various architectural periods, the Stiftskirche St. Moriz incorporates a Gothic core with elements from an earlier church and a later Baroque hall church. The Gothic feel is what persists, from 14th- and 15th-century frescoes on the pillars to the 15th-century painting of the Four Evangelists on the ceiling in the choir. In the north aisle stands an ornamented column depicting various princes, donated in 1470 by Archduchess Mechthild, the wife of Ludwig I and mother of Eberhard the Bearded. A copy also stands in the city's Marktplatz.

There are two museums in town, the Sülchgau Museum, specialising in pre- and early history and Roman influences on the area, and the diocesan museum, focusing on ecclesiastical art, painting and sculpture.

In nearby Weggental is the pilgrimage church of Wallfahrtskirche St. Maria, rebuilt in 1682–1695 in Baroque style, but containing a medieval pietà and a very fine rendition of the Virgin swooning during the Deposition of Christ from the cross.

A more modern landmark is the Eckenweiler Water Tower. Built of reinforced concrete in the 1970s, its unusual design, a cube supported by a rectangular column, is notable.

Sister cityEdit

Since 1979 Rottenburg's sister city is Saint Claude in France.


Honorary citizensEdit

The Town of Rottenburg am Neckar and respectively the former municipalities, which have been incorporated, have awarded the honorary citizenship to the following persons:

  • 1901: Hermann Friedrich Wittich, Regierungsrat
  • 1904: Gustav Holzherr, independent gentleman
  • 1909: Karl Bitzenauer, parish priest of the town
  • 1924: Paul Wilhelm von Keppler, Bishop of Rottenburg
  • 1930: Karl Landsee, merchant
  • 1931: Alois Kremmler, Oberstudiendirektor (principal)
Eugen Bolz 1944
  • 1931: Eugen Bolz (1881–1945 (executed in Berlin-Plötzensee), politician and member of the resistance
  • 1947: Joannes Baptista Sproll, Bishop of Rottenburg
  • 1947: Max Kottmann, vicar general
  • 1949: Josef Schneider, Mayor of Rottenburg and Kanzleidirektor (retired)
  • 1958: Franz Anton Buhl, schoolmaster and local historian
  • 1961: Josef Eberle, poet and publisher
  • 1967: Alfred Planck, entrepreneur
  • 1968: Carl Joseph Leiprecht, Bishop of Rottenburg
  • 2003: Winfried Löffler, Lord Mayor of Rottenburg (retired)
  • 2008: Walter Cardinal Kasper, former Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and present Cardinal of the Roman Curia
Bad Niedernau
  • 1919: Hieronymus Baur, Mayor of Ergenzingen (retired)
  • 1961: Alfons Leykauf, parish priest
  • 1965: Maximilian Schier, schoolmaster
  • ?: Rudolf Franziskus de Paula Joseph Fidel Freiherr von Wagner, Warminister of Württemberg
  • 1908: Ludwig Franz Freiherr von Wagner, Lieutenant General
  • 1938: Karl Franz Ferdinand Viktor Osterwald, factory manager of the power station
  • ?: Ignaz Kleiner, parish priest
  • 1947: Otto Heine, parish priest
  • 1905: Sebastian Bauer, dean
  • 1953: Franz Josef Fischer, auxiliary bishop
  • 1968: Stefan Kruschina, parish priest

Sons and daughters of the townEdit

Prominent natives of Rottenburg:

Franz Anton Hoffmeister 1804
  • Ottilie Wildermuth (1817–1877), author
  • Theodor Schnell der Ältere (1836–1909), sculptor and church outfitter
  • Eugen Bolz (1881–1945), politician (Zentrum) see: honorary citizens
  • Josef Eberle (also known as Sebastian Blau, 1901–1986), publicist, poet and newspaper publisher (Stuttgarter Zeitung) see: honorary citizens
  • Walter Bader (1901–1986), archaeologist and preservationist
  • Ewald Bucher (1914–1991), politician (FDP/DVP), Member of the West German Parliament, West German Minister of Justice, West German Minister for regional planning, construction and urban development
  • Dieter Planck (born 1944), president of the state office for preservation of historical monuments in Baden-Württemberg
  • Winfried Hermann (born 1952), politician (Greens), since 2011 Minister for Transportation in Baden-Württemberg
  • Knut Kircher (born 1969), former football referee
Rottenburg am Neckar on Neckar River



  1. ^ "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2018". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). July 2019.
  2. ^ "Geschichte". 2008-08-19. Archived from the original on 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2009-05-06.

External linksEdit