Nördlingen is a medieval town in the Donau-Ries district, in Bavaria, Germany. It was built in a 15 million-year-old & 25 km diameter wide impact crater—the Nördlinger Ries—of a meteorite which hit with an estimated speed of 70,000 km/h, and left the area riddled with an estimated 72,000 tons of micro-diamonds. The “official” first mention of Nördlingen comes in 898 when “Nordilinga” is used – the 1100th birthday festivities took place in 1998. This small German town combines history and the present in a wonderful way, preserving its medieval character.
Nördlingen combines history and the present in a wonderful way, preserving its medieval character
Nördlingen’s townscape is dominated by the almost circular historic old city which is surrounded by a 2.7-kilometer-long city wall with an accessible parapet walk. The historic old city is so well preserved because of its centuries-long “hibernation” as a result of the dreadful consequences of the Thirty Years’ War. The town is one of only three towns in Germany that boasts perfectly preserved medieval town walls. These walls were built in the 14th century and can still be explored today. The town’s buildings and sidewalks sparkle in the sunlight, because, when that meteor hit the earth, it deposited millions of tiny diamonds into the very rock and stone that was used to construct medieval Nördlingen.
The historic old city is so well preserved because of its centuries-long “hibernation”
One of the attractions in the town is Saint George’s Church’s 90-meter steeple, called “Daniel”, which is made of a suevite impact breccia that contains shocked quartz. Other notable buildings are the town hall, St. Salvator church and the Spital, a former medieval hospital. The Ries Crater Museum is located in the well-preserved medieval tanners’ quarter.