We haven’t been to any German towns this year yet, but if I’m going to complete my 30 German Towns Before 30 challenge I need to get on with it, so today I shall go back in time…
Jan and I visited Weil der Stadt on 22 November 2011 – never the best time to visit a new place (cold and grey springs to mind!) but the ideal conditions for day trips only exist for about 4 months of the year so occasionally you just have to bite the bullet* and go anyway.
The town is called Weil der Stadt to distinguish it from other Weils (such as Weil am Rhein). The word “weil” is actually German for “because”, but the town name has nothing to do with that (it was originally spelled “Wile”, as we discovered in the town museum). Shame 😉
Weil der Stadt is mostly famous for being the birth place of the astronomer Joannes Kepler, or at least it is to those who have ever heard of Kepler, which I hadn’t. (Jan had but didn’t know where he was born).
Here he is:
Kepler’s birth place is now a museum, and because Jan is interested in all things sciencey we went in. I seem to remember finding it interesting at the time, although I now no longer remember anything I read there. In this photo, the Kepler birth house is the white building on the corner:
Here’s a better photo. Shame about the dull, cloudy November sky!
After checking out the museum, we went for a walk around town. Our route first took us down the street next to the museum in the direction of the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Later, we discovered a Narrenbrunnen (Fool’s Fountain). Unlike Karlsruhe, Weil der Stadt actually does carnival (known as Fastnacht in that area of Germany, or Fasnet in the local dialect).
There are several towers dotted around the town, along the old town wall. Here is one of them.
It was once a prison. These days, you can get married in there if you wish!
Weil der Stadt doesn’t have quite the fairytale prettiness of places like Tübingen or Calw, but it is pretty enough in its own way. If you like taking photos of old buildings, towers and the remains of town walls then there’s plenty to see. The Kepler museum is interesting and worth a visit if you’re into astronomy or learning about famous scientist’s lives. There is also a town museum (I think everything was German only though) and, now, a doll’s museum! I don’t think that last one existed when we were there (I would surely have tracked it down if it did!).
* The German for this is “In den saueren Apfel beißen” – “to bite into the sour apple”. I prefer this to the English phrase!
9 thoughts on “Weil der Stadt”
I want to visit more German towns this year. But I feel there is so little to do in them. Maybe I should look for towns with special food (when we went to Bamberg it was great because their smoked beer and roasted stuffed onion is delicious!)
If you want places with special food you should go to Maulbronn. It’s supposedly where Maultaschen were invented. There’s really not much else there though, apart from the abbey.
I do struggle to find things to do in German towns if the weather is bad. When it’s sunny I don’t mind just walking around taking pictures of pretty buildings, but if it’s cold or raining I want to be inside!! We went to the Stadtmuseum in Weil der Stadt mostly to try and warm up 😀 It also depends on what you’re in to. People who don’t like museums probably won’t find much to do in any German town. We’re going to Schwetzingen on Saturday because there’s an exhibition on marionettes in the Stadtmuseum (until 27 January) and on Saturday someone is coming in to do a presentation. The website says “Die Entstehung eines Marionettenstücks von der Idee zur Geschichte über die Fertigung der Marionetten, das Einstudieren des Ablaufs der Geschichte bis hin zur Aufführung des Puppenspiels.” (Yes, mentally I am about 5 ;-))
No kidding about the weather – it’s tough to plan trips when you know that, for 3/4 of the year, you’ll likely be wandering through a cloudy city in the cold. Don’t let it stop you, though! Do you have anything planned for northern Germany?
My boyfriend is actually from Niedersachsen, so you’d think I’d have seen some of Northern Germany, but actually when we’re there we pretty much sit at one of his parents’ houses and eat/drink or play Scrabble! Or we drive down to visit his aunt in Bodenfelde. We did make it to Goslar the other year – a post on that is still to come. And I’ve been to Hamburg as well. I would like to see more of the rest of Germany, but it’s a little harder to arrange than a day trip to somewhere near us. The next further away place on the list is Berlin when we go to see Eddie Izzard.
Berlin is so much fun! As, of course, is Eddie Izzard. I think we will be in Belgium then, otherwise we would also be going to that show. Enjoy it!
I love the Narrenbrunnen!
It’s great isn’t it? 😀
Hi, I enjoyed your article here on Weil der Stadt. Just a note though, we do in fact celebrate carnival here in Karlsruhe; not only that, but also two days before actual carnival in Karlsruhe, we have a separate carnival parade in the Durlach section of Karlsruhe, which is so loud that I have to leave my home while it is taking place, since I live directly on the parade route. Thanks again for posting your article on W-der-S. It is one of my favorite places in Baden-Württemberg. (It was a fin read.)
Well, yes there’s a half-hearted attempt at a parade, but Karlsruhe doesn’t *really* celebrate carnival.