Ettlingen’s Old Town
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Ettlingen has preserved the charm of its historical centre in spite of rehabilitation measures in the 1970s that have destroyed quite a number of old buildings. What is left, however, is well taken care of. The major monuments and preserved houses are mostly baroque. Stroll round the town center - Etllingen is small, so everything can easily be reached on foot -, discover romantic spots in the narrow lanes, along the river and in the squares, and rest in one of the many outdoor cafes.
The old town extends on both banks of Alb river. The town hall occupies the central point by the river and the main bridge, overlooking the wide market square. The western part extends to the palace and its gardens. The tram line now cuts off the newer quarters further west from the centre.
Schlossgartenhalle, located next to the palace, is a modern hall for concerts, events and conventions. The building itself is of little interest to visitors but its roof garden is worth a look. Stairways lead up on the corners. The little garden on top is at the height of the roofs of the surrounding houses. You'll have a different view of the palace, the streets, into people's windows and backyards.
If you want a rest among trees and flowers, stop next-door at Rosengarten. The little park was planted in 1998 in the grounds of the former palace gardens. In the summer season it is full of blooming roses. Benches invite to sit down and relax.
The quarter beyond the river has preserved its historical structure with small winding lanes, some dead end. The side streets are quieter here. On the northern corner of the old town (corner Schillerstraße/Pforzheimer Straße), Ettlingen’s only piece of the old town wall is preserved, together with one single tower, which is named Lauerturm.. You'll need some imagination for „romantic old-world feeling“, though, because these are major roads with heavy traffic. The eyecatcher on this side of the old town is the mighty steeple of the neogothic Herz-Jesu-Kirche, the second catholic parish church in the town centre.
A statue of St Nepomuk guards the bridge behind the town hall, as it is common in catholic areas. Ettlingen belonged to the Margraviate of Baden-Baden, the catholic part of Baden’s territory. The town owes several baroque buildings, including the town hall, the facade of the main church, and parts of the palace, to Margravine Sibylla Augusta who resided in Ettlingen during her widow years.
Discover the romantic spots along the river that runs through the town. The street next to the river's northern bank is like a promenade walk. Not very long, admittedly, but still pleasant. The bridges offer more views, especially in summer when they are ornated with blooming geraniums. Photogenic views can also be found from behind the church of St Martin.