Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Schwäbisch Hall

Schwäbisch Hall (or Hall for short) is a city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg; it is the capital of the district Schwäbisch Hall.

Literally translated, the name means Swabian fountain of salt, referring to a place where salty water was distilled to produce salt.

The town is placed in the valley of the river Kocher in the north-eastern part of Baden-Württemberg. Today, about 36,000 people live in Hall.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Industry
3 Twin towns
4 External link


Downtown houses, next to river Kocher

Salt was distilled by the Celts at the site of Schwäbisch Hall as early as the fifth century BC. In the Middle Ages, because of its salt, the village flourished. The first time it was mentioned in a treaty was in 1156, in connection with the establishment of St. Michaels Church in Hall. Hall grew quickly and became influential.

In 1280, Hall was declared an Imperial Free City (Reichsstadt) of the Holy Roman Empire. Hall minted its own currency, the Heller, and sold salt to many places in the empire.

In the 15th and 16th century Hall increased its influence, and the land around the town was incorporated. From this time, many gothic buildings can be seen still today, especially the newly built St. Michaels Church.

From 1510 onwards, as rich citizens received seats in the city council, the city's nobility lost influence. Also in the 16th century, Hall was reformed in the Lutheran sense by Johannes Brenz.

In 1680 and in 1728 fire destroyed much of the old city, which lead to baroque new buildings, such as the city hall.

Hall lost its Imperial Free City status in 1802, becoming an Oberamtsstadt in Württemberg. Ownership of the salty fountains was handed over to the state.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Hall developed many festivities. Especially well known are the theatre productions which are performed every year in the centre of the city on the steps of St. Michael.

In 1934, Hall was officially named Schwäbisch Hall.

During the Third Reich, in 1944 a concentration camp was established next to the train station Hall-Hessental.


With the dwindling importance of salt, Hall was looking for new industries. Today it is known for the Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall AG, a housing credit company, founded 1944, as well as a local center for service industries.

In the 1970s, Hall was enlarged by some agricultural villages which then became part of the municipality.

Twin towns

External link