Esslinger Stadtmarketing & Tourismus GmbH

Marktplatz 16

73728 Esslingen am Neckar

Discover the city with the very special atmosphere

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A city with history


Esslingen was officially mentioned, for the first time, in documentation around the year 777 named Ezelinga, but there have been archeological finds of human settlements all the way back to the Neolithic.

By the year 800 the town of Esslingen had turned into a thriving market town and by 1229 Esslingen was given city rights by Emperor Frederick II. The Neckar bridge, that can still be seen today, was build around the same time making Esslingen one of the main stops on trade routes between Italy, Switzerland and Northern Germany.

The city lived through a lot of turmoil between the 13th and 16th century, when the Counts of Wuertemberg and the Imperial city of Esslingen faced many conflicts. Esslingen took major losses during the 30 year war, when almost half of the city perished from disease or starvation. Esslingen lost its imperial city status when it was absorbed by the Duchy of Wuertemberg around the beginning of the 18th century.

By the time the 19th century came around the corner, Esslingen became largely industrialized, with clothing manufacturing, metal and food production. Thankfully the city was almost entirely spared by the extensive bombings during World War 2. After WW2 American soldiers, refugees and a lot of displaced people from eastern Germany settled in the city.
Today Esslingen is a large city with over 90000 citizens and part of the Stuttgart region in Baden Wuertemberg.

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The unique thing about Esslingen are the narrow alleyways, the many historic buildings, city squares and short distances that invite to slow your pace and enjoy the atmosphere.

Esslingen is well worth a visit during every season. With its many fests and tourist attractions, Esslingen presents its visitors many interesting sights. The spring fest, the strawberry fest in June, the onion fest in August, the open-air cinema at the castle during the summer, the medieval market and of course the Christmas market during the holiday season attract many visitors every year.

Alte Zimmerei (Old carpentry)

Built in 1939, the history of the old carpentry building, is much more then the stunning half timbered house you see today. The carpentry was founded in 1857 by August Weißinger, when he build a wooden structure where the main house is sitting today. Today the “Alte Zimmerei” is a restaurant, set up In the style of an indoor market, famously known for its fresh and authentic dishes.

Astronomische Uhr (astronomical clock)

Located at the top of the old town hall is the astronomical clock, built in 1589, by Marx Schwarz and Jacob Diem. The lower clock face shows the time, although the hands of the clock are backwards, like they used to me during medieval times, the large hand shows the hour and the small hand the minutes. The sun and moon hand show the zodiac signs the sun and moon are in at the moment. The dragon hand needs 18 years, 7 months and 16 days to travel one complete turn. If it lines up with the sun or moon hand, a sun or moon eclipse is happening. Enjoy its ever-changing glockenspiel that chimes 5 times a day.

Altes Rathaus (old town hall)

Built as Tax and shopping house in 1422/23 the old town hall is still a stunning sight to see. With its red exterior walls and the exquisite astronomical clock at the steeple its probably one of the most recognizable buildings in the city.

Pliensauturm (Pliensau tower)

The Pliensau tower is sitting on the Pliensau bridge. Originally the bridge was built between 1213 and 1259 and had 3 towers. The bridge and its towers where built copying the Stone bridge in Regensburg. 1819 the middle tower was removed and the outer tower was removed in 1837. The remaining tower was remodeled and used as apartments until the 1980s. Today there are only 5 remaining arches on the bridge and one of the 3 towers. Again, adorned with the typical half timbered frames and the heavy brick , the bridge with its remaining tower makes for a great photo op.

Esslinger Burg (Esslingen castle)

The burg with its over 700 years of age has been looming over the city of Esslingen for a long time. While it was never used as home from the royal family. It was used as fortification and to protect the citizens of Esslingen, during medieval times.


After 200 years of construction, the Frauenkirche was finally finished in 1516. In the inside of the church, by the choir, you can still see the original medieval stained-glass windows. The Church was. Once it was finally finished one of the first gothic churches in southwestern Germany.


The oldest tower of the city wall, dates back all the way to 1268, when it was known as “Obertor” upper gate. The walls facing the city are adorned with the period typical half-timbered frames, while the outside of the tower is brick. The tower gate is decorated with the Staufen Lion.


Construction of the church stared in 1270, the stunning glass paintings located in the choir of the church were added in 1320. Originally built as Abby the citizens called the church “Abby within the town”. In 1668 the city demolished several of the Abby buildings and in 1840 part of the church was torn down. Today you can still admire the modified West wing and the choir of the church.


The Hafenmarkt is the oldest is the oldest known house row in Germany. The houses in the street numbered 4 to 10 date back all the way to 1328.