Welcome to Plochingen
Located in the Neckar Valley at the junction of the Rivers Fils and Neckar and at the foot of the Schurwald Forest, Plochingen is the eastern gateway to the region of Stuttgart. It is also within easy reach of the Swabian Alb hills. Plochingen has a population of about 14,200 and has good links by rail and road to Baden-Württemberg´s state capital Stuttgart. The Manfred-Rommel-Airport and the "Fildermesse" exhibition centre in Stuttgart are easily accessible by motorway. Plochingen lies within the Stuttgart commuter belt and is also on a mainline railway intersection. In 1968 the River Neckar navigation was extended to Plochingen and its Neckar harbour, being the final point of navigation, became a hugely successful commercial hub. There are plenty of leisure activities. A very well signposted network of walking trails and cycle paths allows hikers and cyclists to explore the Neckar Valley and the Schurwald Forest whereas the landscaped park "Bruckenwasen" offers recreation closer to the town centre. Plochingen has a thriving cultural landscape and there are many small shops offering a relaxed shopping experience. From a rustic Swabian wine tavern to fine dining, there is a wide range of cafés and restaurants serving local and international food and catering for every taste. Welcome to Plochingen, enjoy your stay!
Places of Interest in Plochingen
You are invited to discover Plochingen on a short walking tour that takes you to the most interesting places. The suggested route marked on the map takes about one hour.
To see a large map, click on the above image.
1 Kirchberg (Church Hill)
Plochingen`s most prominent landmark is St Blasius´ Church, a late Gothic fortified church dating from 1488. The most interesting details inside are a Romanesque font already used in an earlier church, a significant pulpit stem dating from 1520 and a gallery with a painted balustrade. The stained glass windows were created by the artist Hans Gottfried von Stockhausen in 1999. The neighbouring rectory with Renaissance portals (1611), the adjoining ancient barn and another former rectory called "Jägerhaus" are all listed buildings dating back to the 16th century.
2 Schulstraße (School Street)
At the top end of the pedestrian precinct, in Schulstraße, there is Gablenberg House, a typical example of a winegrower´s dwelling dating from 1799. The large building opposite is the Town Hall which was built in 1900 and contains local government offices. The small square in front of it is livened up by a group of bronze figures by the artist Andreas Theurer installed in 1988. A few steps further on, in Wiesbrunnenstraße, you can spot an old well-preserved vineyard tower, dating back to the heyday of wine growing in Plochingen. It was used as a watch tower for the armed guard who protected the vineyards in autumn.
3 Marktplatz (Market Place)
Surrounded by timber-framed houses, the Market Place is Plochingen´s historical centre. The Old Town Hall which was built in 1530 is an outstanding Alemannic half-timbered building and was originally located further down the street. It was dismantled and relocated to its present site in 1977. Inside you can see the painting "Allegory of the Good Government" by Michael Triegel, an artist from Leipzig. The neighbouring house with the elaborate Renaissance timber framework dating from 1594 is called the "Frühmesserhaus" and houses the public library as well as the adult education centre. At the top end of the Market Place, the Graf House (1604) features a precious timber framework by the renowned master carpenter Hans Peltin and has a beautiful Renaissance sandstone portal. The carillon with 15 bronze bells at the front of the "Grüner Baum" building was installed in 1989. Every day at 11:05, 15:05 and 17:05, it plays some traditional tunes. The early Gothic Ottilienkapelle (St Ottilie´s Chapel) at the bottom end of the Market Place is Plochingen´s oldest building, dating back to 1328. Inside you can still see some of the original medieval tiled floor and the walls are decorated with six replicas of 14th century frescoes. The bell-tower contains Plochingen`s oldest bells (1657 and 1668) which ring out every hour. An accurate sundial at the west facade shows the exact time. In front of the chapel, on the wall under the willow tree, there is a small fountain, the so called "Ottilienbrünnele" (Ottilie`s spring). The bronze relief by Karl-Ulrich Nuß dating from 1978 shows St Ottilie, the chapel´s patron saint. The water comes from a saline mineral spring 90 metres below ground. Behind the chapel, in Schorndorfer Straße, you can spot a rather special building: "Les Toilettes", a colourful public toilet created in 2007 by the famous Alsatian artist and satirist, Tomi Ungerer.
4 Marktstraße (Market Street) and 5 Fischbrunnenplatz (Fish Fountain Place)
In Marktstraße you will find some more beautiful medieval half-timbered houses. The building with the distinctive stepped gable is a replica of the ancient "Zehntscheuer" (tithe barn). Next to it, there is a plinth with a female statue by a Plochingen based artist, Wolfgang Thiel. In total, there are seven of these artistic signposts in Plochingen, linking art with signposting. In Fischbrunnenplatz (Fish Fountain Place) there is the "Fischbrunnen" (Fish Fountain) by Franz Otto Lipp, created in 1982. The female bronze figure symbolizes a peasant woman taking water with a bucket. In a small niche in the wall of the "Volksbank" building, facing the Urbanstraße, you can spot a bronze statue depicting St Urban, the winegrowers´ patron saint – widely venerated in the olden days as Plochingen was a winegrowers´ village. The figure was made by Franz Otto Lipp in 1982. The beautiful half-timbered house opposite called "Köblinhaus" dates back to 1488 and is one of the oldest existing residential and commercial buildings in town. In the "Kreissparkasse" there is a permanent exhibition of woodcuts created by HAP Grieshaber, most notably the huge 12 metres wide depiction of the Flood.
6 Hundertwasser-Wohnhaus (Hundertwasser Building)
The distinctive residential and commercial building at the lower end of the pedestrian precinct was built between 1992 and 1994. The facade of the inner courtyard was created by the renowned Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.The iconic "Regenturm" (Rain Tower) dominating the building is 33 metres tall and crowned with four gold-plated spheres.Colourful ceramic lines symbolize rainwater running down the walls, ceramic columns in bright colours support the balconies, trees grow from alcoves. The infinite variety of fanciful shapes and vibrant colours are the famous artist´s signature.
Places of interest off the main route
7 St. Konrad (St Konrad´s Church)
8 Bahnhof (Railway Station)
9 Dettinger Park
In 1992 the premises of the former mill stone factory, Dettinger, were converted into a cultural park. The workshops dating from the late 19th century still house some of the old industrial facilities and machines thus preserving for future generations the working environment of that time. As a culturally important site, the park, including the former workshops, a landscaped garden and an Art Nouveau villa, is a conservation area. In some of the buildings artists´ workshops and studios have been set up, others provide space for cultural events. The landscaped garden with its old trees, the lovely children´s playground and the boule lane is the park´s centrepiece and a popular meeting place in the heart of the town.
10 Landschaftspark "Bruckenwasen" (Bruckenwasen Landscaped Park)
In 1998 the local recreation area "Bruckenwasen" was created along the Neckar water meadows as part of the 16th National Horticultural Show of Baden-Württemberg. Thanks to the Show, this stretch of natural landscape has been sustainably conserved after many years of neglect. The banks of the Rivers Neckar and Fils have since been reconnected with the town centre. Today this park is a green gateway to the densely populated Stuttgart region and offers plenty of opportunities for walking, cycling and relaxing. In "Bruckenwasen" the Neckar Valley and Fils Valley cycle paths meet and there are delightful walking trails along the River Neckar to explore the unspoilt water meadows. The Neckar-Fils’ environment protection centre provides information about Swabian river landscapes. Children can enjoy two exciting play areas and the miniature steam train, teenagers can try the skate park and the climbing boulder, and for adults there is a beer garden and a boule lane.
11 Aussichtsturm (lookout tower)
Overlooking Plochingen and the Neckar Valley, this iconic tower was built in 1938 to mark the 50th anniversary of the "Schwäbische Albverein" (Swabian Alb ramblers´ society). The sandstone cladding is local Angulaten sandstone and came from a quarry in Plochingen which is now closed. The tower is located in the Stumpenhof district of Plochingen and offers magnificent views of the Schurwald Forest, the Neckar Valley and the Swabian Alb.