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Visiting Herrenberg, Germany: A Charming 13th-Century Town

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Beautiful Herrenberg, Germany

Beautiful Herrenberg, Germany

Memories of Herrenberg, Germany

In this article, my goal is to show you parts of the quaint and historic town of Herrenberg. It is the home of a longtime and dear friend of mine. One year I spent some vacation time visiting her in her home country.

Herrenberg is located in the gorgeous southwestern portion of Germany, which includes scenic areas such as the Black Forest.

We spent some nights in her condo when I first arrived. We also took several trips going out in various directions to see some of the fascinating places in her home country, as well as our prearranged trip into Switzerland.

When we were back in Herrenberg, we got to see more of this 13th-century town center with the historic church and famous bell museum. It was so pleasurable with my friend interpreting the language and showing me her town and surrounding areas through her eyes and sharing her experiences. It made for a very memorable experience.

Bird's-Eye View

Arriving in Stuttgart, Germany, which is a little over 18 miles (30 km) north of Herrenberg, my friend drove her car to pick me up at the airport.

When flying and looking down on this part of Germany, I saw vivid yellow swatches of color in the fields. I wondered what kind of a crop it was?

Upon arriving and unloading my suitcases, the first thing we did was to take a walk through the fragrant fields of barley and rape. Those were the bright yellow fields of rape I had seen from the air.

It turned out to be an excellent place for walking, bicycling, and horseback riding. While we were doing the former, we saw several people riding horses in this beautiful area.

My friend's "little bit of paradise" is on the edge of a forest called the Schönbuch, which has many beechnuts, oaks, and pine trees. The air was sweet with fragrance, and this was a great way to unwind after being cramped up in airline seats for that transatlantic flight.

Value of the Rape Plant

The rape seeds contain oil, which helps to lubricate machinery. Hybridized forms of it are made into canola oil, which is used for cooking with a side benefit of helping to reduce bad cholesterol. Some of the oil is made into soap.

The plants return nitrogen to the soil, and the plants are also a high protein source of animal feed. Thus, this pretty yellow blooming rape plant related to the mustard family is a very beneficial type of crop for many reasons.

Aerial View of Herrenberg (Luftportrait der Stadt Herrenberg)

13th-Century Town

The older parts of Herrenberg date back to the 13th century. Like so many towns in those ages, a city wall surrounds it for protection against marauding forces. Parts of the city walls still exist today.

We had lunch at the Hotel Gasthof Hasen and dined alfresco. The weather was crisp and sunny. It was a perfect day to explore more of this medieval city on foot after our lunch.

At the time of my visit in 1997, I learned that Herrenberg consisted of about 12,000 people. With the surrounding areas, that number expands to around 26,000. Over the years, many little villages were incorporated into Herrenberg, such as Gültstein, where my friend lives.

Historical Cross-Timbered Houses

Also known as half-timbered houses, there are many of these beautiful houses and buildings in Herrenberg. In fact, there are so many that this town is one of 100 cities and towns—from north to south in Germany—that it is a part of the German Timber-Frame Road.

Those that survived the bombing in both world wars are truly beautiful to see.

Cobblestoned streets in Herrenberg that my friend grew up walking upon are now replaced with bricks. As so often happens in older cities where buildings have survived the centuries, they serve multiple uses over the years. Where my friend and her siblings once attended elementary school, it is now a goldsmith shop. It had at one time been a former prison.

Historic Church and Bell Museum

This historic church, which originated in the 13th century, is called the Collegiate Church. It is a dominant feature in this small town and towers over much of Herrenberg.

Located behind and above the town hall (rathaus) in the town center, it houses a bell museum known as the Glockenmuseum. During World War II, bells were removed from many churches to be melted down to make ammunition. Fortunately for historical purposes and otherwise many were unused.

In the church tower is the most extensive bell collection in all of southern Germany. The church and bell collection, as well as the half-timbered houses, have become quite a tourist attraction. The church is the one my friend attends, and according to her, restoration has taken place about every hundred years.

Granite steps lead up to the Gothic-styled church. From the church's tower, one can see the entire town of Herrenberg, including Gültstein, which along with six other surrounding smaller cities, was incorporated into Herrenberg some time ago.

On one visit to the United States, my friend brought artistic pieces of the copper roof from her church. With parts of the old removed roof, an artist created things such as wind chimes or garden décor which, when sold, helped raise funding for the new roof. What an innovative use for the old copper! As you can see from my photo, I still admire my copper chicken in our garden!

Gloriosa Herrenberg features the bells ringing in the church tower.

Ecumenical Church Service

There was an ecumenical service being held on Pentecostal Monday in the park high above the town and represented by Methodist and Reformed Lutheran ministers and a Catholic priest as well as laypeople. When my friend inquired if I would be interested in attending the service, I said yes. Even though nothing but German was spoken, I thought that it would be something interesting to experience.

Walking through a beautiful forested area above Herrenberg known as the Alten Rain, the views were breathtaking.

As we approached the building in the park where the church service was to be held, people were bringing bouquets from their gardens. These were being combined with others to make altar decorations. Already strung from the walls and ceilings above the standing and seated people were all kinds of torn and knotted together colorful scraps of fabric.

My friend explained to me the symbolism of those fabric pieces—despite people coming from different backgrounds and religious faiths, we are all more similar than the differences which separate us.

Forest Cemetery

After the ecumenical church service, we visited one of the prettiest cemeteries that I had ever seen. It was not because the monuments were the most spectacular. It was the setting! It was called Wald - Friedhof, which meant the forest cemetery, and it was where my friend's aunt was buried and where she will also reside when she enters the next life.

An interesting thing I learned about German cemeteries from my friend: People are only allowed to be buried for 25 years, after which space is reused for another occupant or purpose. It is the last space filled in the cemetery when the countdown begins. So the first people buried in a particular cemetery can stay there for many years longer, on average.

Another way of reusing cemetery spaces is to remove the headstones and make the space into a park. We visited one such park in Herrenberg, where my friend's grandparents reside. She associates the area of their burial with a particular tree that grew near their graves. It is a beautiful and serene setting.

In reading further, every part of Germany has its own rules with regard to cemeteries.

Forest cemetery (Wald - Friedhof) in Herrenberg, Germany

Forest cemetery (Wald - Friedhof) in Herrenberg, Germany

An old Super 8 filming of (Herrenberg 1976) with a little bit of German language but mostly music.

Location of Herrenberg in Germany

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2020:

Hello Corena,

I used Google Translate to understand what you wrote. Here it is for others who do not read or speak German: "My husband and I love Herrenberg! We prefer to rent electric bikes at the train station and cycle on the asphalt paths through the farm fields to other villages."

Your way of enjoying Herrenberg and the surrounding villages sounds lovely! Thanks for your comment.

Corena Scafe on May 20, 2020:

Mein Mann und ich lieben Herrenberg! Am liebsten mieten wir am Bahnhof Elektrofahrräder und radeln auf den asphaltierten Wegen durch die Bauernfelder in andere Dörfer.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 25, 2019:

Hi Rajan,

Herrenberg is truly a beautiful town and I am happy to be able to share these photos with you and others.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 25, 2019:

I would love to visit this lovely town of Herrenberg with its beautiful houses. Thank you for sharing these superb photos.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 08, 2018:

Greetings Edward Franklin Vowell Sr.,

What a shame that you did not know about your great-great-grandfather's ties to Herrenberg when you were stationed in Stuttgart. It would have been an easy drive to get to see it. At least you now know about it. Happy to be able to share this information with you via the Internet.

Edward Franklin VowellSr. on February 07, 2018:

This web sigh is of great interest to me. My Great-great-grandfather was of German decent. His name was Leonard Herren. I was in the US Army stationed in Stuttgart and I did not know of the historical and family ties that my GGG grandfather had to Herrenburg.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 21, 2017:

Hi Louise,

I hope your dream of visiting Germany some day is turned into reality. What I got to see of southern Germany is absolutely beautiful.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on August 21, 2017:

Herrenberg looks a beautiful place to visit. I've always wanted to visit Germany. I love the houses, they are so pretty.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 05, 2015:

Hi SweetiePie,

The cross timbered houses certainly do have a distinctive look to them. There is a town in the State of Washington by the name of Leavenworth that has also replicated that look. Glad you enjoyed looking at the town of Herrenberg in Germany. I certainly enjoyed myself while there!

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on November 04, 2015:

I grew up in Lake Arrowhead, and the local village was obsessed with the look of the crossed timbered buildings. They have replicated that look for many of the shops, actually. I enjoyed all the pictures from this trip to Herrenberg, Germany, and I shared our hub on Pinterest.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 01, 2014:

Hello Je Go,

I love all types of good architecture. Glad you liked this look at the cross timbered houses in Herrenberg, Germany. Appreciate your comment.

Je Go on May 31, 2014:

I am always in awe of how remarkable European architecture stands out! Gotta love this one Peggy W!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 31, 2014:

Hello Cyndi10,

So happy to know that you enjoyed this virtual tour of this very beautiful town in southern Germany. It was my pleasure to be able to show it to you and others.

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on May 31, 2014:

What a wonderful visit you provided for us. The pictures were wonder and the description made this reader think she was there. I've never been, but you made me feel the trip would be well worth it. Voted up and pinning.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 31, 2014:

Hi Mary,

Stuttgart is also a beautiful place. It is no wonder your daughter enjoyed her time spent there. So glad you enjoyed this virtual tour of Herrenberg. Thanks for the votes and shares!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 31, 2014:

One of my daughters was stationed in Stuttgart when she was in the Army. She has always raved about the country, the people, etc.

Thanks for the virtual tour of Herrenberg today. Your photos are outstanding!

Voted UP, etc. shared, Pinned on my travel board, and it's now on Google+.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 22, 2014:

Hi tracykarl99,

It surely was a memorable trip and one that I will never forget. So glad you enjoyed reading this. :)

Tracy from San Francisco on May 18, 2014:

What a memorable trip you had to Herrenberg. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures and your memories. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 04, 2013:

Hi Suzanne,

Germany is indeed a beautiful country from what I have seen which is the southern part. Interesting that you had German babysitters when you were young. Thanks for the votes and shares.

justmesuzanne from Texas on June 04, 2013:

Germany is lovely and seems very familiar to me. I had German babysitters when I was a young child, and I love the language. Some of my very favorite movies are German movies.

Great photos and videos! Voted up, awesome, tweeted, Pinned and FB'd. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2013:

Hi Margaret,

Sounds like you had a wonderful time while visiting your son in Stuttgart. Getting to also see Paris and Normandy as well as getting to camp in the Jura Mountains...how lovely! I had a great time with my friend seeing parts of Germany and some of Switzerland. The only other time I went to Europe was with my husband and we got to see some of Spain. He has been on several business related trips to Italy and is in love with that country. Isn't traveling fun!!! Thanks for your votes and the share.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2013:

Hello Vellur,

Nice to know that you enjoyed your virtual trip to Herrenberg, Germany via this hub. I enjoyed taking the photos. Glad that you liked them. Thanks for your comment and vote.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2013:

Hi Rajan,

Since you love cross timbered houses...visiting Herrenberg, Germany would be a real treat for you! Appreciate your voting and sharing of this hub + the 5 star rating. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

I think that you would love visiting the quaint and charming little village of Herrenberg in Germany. Getting to visit it with my friend who lives there made it even more special for me. Thanks for your comment and the pin.

Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on April 25, 2013:

We seem to travel in so many of the same places. I went to Stuttgart in 2008 to visit my son (he was stationed there while in the Marine Corps). This was the only time I've been to Europe - got to see Paris and Normandy as well while there for three weeks. We went camping in the Jura mountains, which was such fun. I loved Germany, and really enjoyed reading about your visit - voted up, interesting and useful - and sharing!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 25, 2013:

Thank you for the lovely trip, enjoyed it. Great hub and lovely pictures. Voted up.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 25, 2013:

Lovely pictures and I love these cross timbered houses. I really enjoyed reading this travelogue of yours to Herrenberg.

Voted up, interesting and beautiful. Shared, pinned and tweeted. Rated 5 stars as well.

moonlake from America on April 24, 2013:

This is one place I would like to visit. I think I will pin it to my travel board.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 20, 2013:

Hi Vinaya,

Perhaps someday you will get to travel to Europe and see sites like this charming town in Germany called Herrenberg. I have only been to Europe twice in my life. I truly enjoyed those visits to Germany, Spain and Switzerland. Would really like to see more someday. Thanks for your comment.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on January 20, 2013:

Never been to Europe, your text and pictures remind me what I'm missing in my life.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 26, 2012:

Hi Jasmine,

Nice hearing that you enjoyed reading and seeing photos from Herrenberg. In today's world economy, having a good job is reason enough to stay in one place as you stated. Will look forward to your discovering more about the areas in Germany where you now live. Often people do not think to write about nearby places or the places where they live but focus on vacations in other locales. I for one would like to get your impressions of Aschaffenburg and nearby Frankfurt. I have written quite a few articles about the things that can be seen in and around Houston...but can still write more. Here is to more discoveries of each others hubs!

Jasmine on September 25, 2012:

I live in Aschaffenburg (near Frankfurt). I do plan to stay in Germany for a long time because my husband works here and nowadays it's not wise to take great risks, such as leaving a great job and starting again in the dark. If we lived in Italy, I'd feel more at home (coming from Croatia which is a pretty similar country). I'm trying to build a different attitude, and all jokes aside, reading articles about Germany such as this one really helps.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 25, 2012:

Hello vox vocis,

Where was your original home? Hopefully if you are to live in Germany for a long time, you will grow to love it. As they say..."Home is where the heart is," and while it is nice to look back, looking forward can also be rather exciting and stimulating. In what part of Germany do you now live? I got to visit the southern part of it as you can probably tell from my hubs written on that subject. Glad that you liked the photos. Thanks for your comment.

Jasmine on September 25, 2012:

Cross timbered houses are typical for Germany and very nice to see. They make you feel like you're in a fairytale. When I moved to Germany three years ago, I felt horrible. I did notice the wonderful landscapes and nice cities, but knowing that I left home "for good" (never say never, I still believe and want to come back home), I kind of hated Germany. I'm getting used to it, I don't hate it, but home is home sweet home :) Loved reading your hub. It kind of softened me lol

Amazing photo gallery!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 29, 2012:

Hi Judi,

You should write about Baden Baden. It is a site in Germany that I have not visited. Would love to hear about your impressions and enjoy seeing any pictures you might have taken. Thanks for commenting on this hub about my friend's town of Herrenberg. Appreciate it.

Judio on March 29, 2012:

I LOVE Germany and have visited many times. If ever you can't find me... I'm in Baden Baden!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 21, 2012:

Hi Charlu,

Appreciate your glowing comment on this hub about Herrenberg, Germany. Glad that I passed on some information that you did not know. It was a fabulous trip!

Charlu from Florida on March 21, 2012:

Spectacular hub and photos. I am in awe about them bringing the flowers to create the arrangements, the fabric and what it symbolizes and the 25 yrs is kind of different, especially the last one in deal. Absolutely loved it felt like I was walking on the cobblestone streets. All the Ups and standing ovation!!!!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 13, 2012:

Hi CASE1WORKER,

I would agree with you. The parts of Germany that I got to see were extremely clean and well kept. Glad that you liked these photos of Herrenberg and thanks for your comment.

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on March 13, 2012:

I always love your photos. I have been to Germany and what struck me was the cleanliness of the streets and shopping areas.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 12, 2012:

Hi Cheryl,

It truly was wonderful seeing Herrenberg with my friend who could lead me to her favorite spots and explain and interpret things for me. I have wonderful memories of that time we got to spend together! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 12, 2012:

Hi Simone,

Hope that you do get to see Herrenberg in Germany someday. It is truly beautiful. Swooning is OK...just try to behave yourself on the exploding stuff. Haha! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 12, 2012:

Hello moneycop,

Glad that all of these photos of Herrenberg, Germany made you feel as though you were there. Thanks for your comment.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on March 12, 2012:

What a beautiful and colorful town with gorgeous houses and cobblestone streets. You have great information on the history of Herrenberg, including the historic churches and the famous bell museum. Very interesting cemetery and gardens. Love your photos and videos. Another fond memory of a beautiful vacation spot. A very good hub.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on March 12, 2012:

Oh, swoon! What a gorgeous place! I would love to see Herrenberg for myself someday. Between the natural environment, cool people, and lovely architecture, I don't know what I'd do with myself! I'd probably explode on the spot.

moneycop from JABALPUR on March 12, 2012:

infomatic and nice pictures,

really it was a real visit i am feeling with so many real pics and elaboration..

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2012:

Hi alocsin,

You would be pleased to see all of these examples of the cross-timbered (half-timbered) houses in Herrenberg, Germany. That, and the church with the large collection of bells as well as the surrounding beautiful scenery makes Herrenberg a beautiful destination point of interest. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2012:

Hello teacherjoe52,

So nice to know that you liked this hub and photos about Herrenberg, Germany. Thanks for your comment.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on March 11, 2012:

What an amazing town. This is going on my visit list. I love the half-timbered homes. Voting this Up and Interesting.

teacherjoe52 on March 11, 2012:

Very good article.

I loved your photos and it is very informative.

God bless you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2012:

Hi Darlene,

Thanks for your complimentary comment about Herrenberg, Germany. Hope you get to see it for yourself someday.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2012:

Hi Prasetio,

So glad to know that you enjoyed this hub about Herrenberg, Germany. It is such a pretty town in so many ways. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2012:

Hi gogogo,

Which parts of Germany have you visited? Is it anywhere near Herrenberg and the Black Forest area? Thanks for your comment.

Darlene on March 11, 2012:

Beautiful photography. I'd love to visit Herrenberg.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 11, 2012:

Awesome hub about Herrenberg. Very well written and you gave us complete information about the historic town. I really enjoy this virtual tour. You fly my imagination to beautiful place at Herrenberg. Thank you very much for writing and share with us. Good job, Peggy. My vote always for you and press all buttons here, expect funny. Cheers..

Prasetio

gogogo on March 11, 2012:

Excellent hub, I have visited Germany many timrs, but not here.