Infobox German Location
Art = Stadt
image_photo = Heilbronn Innenstadt u Wartberg 20050918.jpg
image_caption = View of the Heilbronn centre of town toward the "Wartberg"
Wappen = Wappen Heilbronn.svg
lat_deg = 49 | lat_min = 9 | lat_sec=0
lon_deg = 9 | lon_min = 13 | lon_sec=0
Lageplan = Heilbronn map closer.gif
Lageplanbeschreibung = Area map
plansize = 270
Bundesland = Baden-Württemberg
Regierungsbezirk = Stuttgart
Landkreis = Stadtkreis
Höhe = 157
Fläche = 99.88
Einwohner = 121384
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 74072–74081
PLZ-alt = 7100
Vorwahl = 07131, 07066
Kfz = HN
Gemeindeschlüssel = 08 1 21 000
Gliederung = 10 "Stadtteile"
Adresse = Marktplatz 7
74072 Heilbronn
Website = [http://www.heilbronn.de/ www.heilbronn.de]
Bürgermeister = Helmut Himmelsbach
Bürgermeistertitel= Oberbürgermeister
Partei = parteilos

Heilbronn (IPA2|haɪlˈbʁɔn) is a city in northern Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is completely surrounded by Heilbronn County and with approximately 120,000 residents, it is the sixth-largest city in the state.

The city on the Neckar is a former Imperial Free City and current independent city ("i.e." not part of any county) and seat of Heilbronn County. Heilbronn is also the "major economic centre" of the Heilbronn-Franken region that includes almost the entire northeast of Baden-Württemberg.

Heilbronn is known for its wine industry and is nicknamed "Käthchenstadt" after Heinrich von Kleist's play "Das Käthchen von Heilbronn.


Heilbronn is located in the northern corner of the Neckar basin at the bottom of the Wartberg (308 m). It is spread out on both banks of the Neckar on a fertile terrace and the highest spot inside city limits is the Schweinsberg with a height of 372 m. Heilbronn is located adjacent to the Schwäbisch-Fränkischer Wald State Park and is famous for the vineyards that surround it.

Neckar River, in southwest Germany.

Heilbronn and its surroundings are located in the northern part of the larger Stuttgart metropolitan area. The city acts as the economic centre of the Heilbronn-Franken region and is one of 14 cities referred to in the Baden-Württemberg master plan of 2002 as major economic centers. In addition, it serves the cities and towns of Abstatt, Bad Rappenau, Bad Wimpfen, Beilstein, Brackenheim, Cleebronn, Eberstatt, Ellhofen, Eppingen, Flein, Gemmingen, Güglingen, Ilsfeld, Ittlingen, Kirchardt, Lauffen am Neckar, Lehrensteinsfeld, Leingarten, Löwenstein, Massenbachhausen, Neckarwestheim, Nordheim, Obersulm, Pfaffenhofen, Schwaigern, Siegelsbach, Talheim, Untergruppenbach, Weinsberg, Wüstenrot and Zaberfeld as an intermediate economic centre.

Neighbouring communities

Heilbronn shares a border with the following cities and towns, all part of Heilbronn County and listed here clockwise from the North: Bad Wimpfen, Neckarsulm, Erlenbach, Weinsberg, Lehrensteinsfeld, Untergruppenbach, Flein, Talheim, Lauffen am Neckar, Nordheim, Leingarten, Schwaigern, Massenbachhausen and Bad Rappenau.


Heilbronn is made up of ten boroughs. They are:

Representatives from Heilbronn

The city of Heilbronn together with the northern municipalities of Heilbronn County makes up the electoral District 268 for national elections of representatives to the Bundestag.

For State elections to the Landtag of Baden-Württemberg Heilbronn makes up an electoral district (District 18) together with Erlenbach. Before the 2006 elections, it was an electoral district all by itself.

Coat of arms

Heilbronn's coat of arms features a black eagle with red tongue and claws on golden background. The eagle is protected by a red, silver and blue shield. The city flag is red, white and blue.

The oldest seal of the city dates back to 1265. The eagle is the symbol for the imperial freedom enjoyed by Heilbronn until it was annexed by the Grand Duchy (and later Kingdom) of Württemberg. While it is established that it appeared for the first time with shield in 1556 to distinguish it from other versions of eagles, the origin of the colors of the shield has yet to be determined. The colors also appeared in reverse order in 1556, 1581 and 1681 and there have been other variations of colour as well, such as white rather than golden background.

Interesting is the fact that Heilbronn sports three colours in its flag. Newly dedicated municipal flags in Baden-Württemberg only use two colours. According to State municipal laws, Heilbronn's flag was grandfathered as it had been in use prior to 1935.

People, culture and architecture

Heilbronn is located near the border between the Swabian-Alemannic and the Franconian dialects of the German language.

Theater and music

* "Stadttheater Heilbronn", built in 1982, mixed repertoire
* "Theaterschiff Heilbronn", mixed repertoire
* "Württembergisches Kammerorchester e.V. Heilbronn" — the chamber orchestra, founded in 1961, plays mostly baroque and classical music.
* In a shut-down part of the Steam power plant "Block-E" has put on events since 1998.



In February the citizens of Heilbronn and the surrounding area have an opportunity to enjoy themselves at the Pferdemarkt. In May the Trollinger marathon takes place. July brings the "Gaffenberg Festival" and the "Unterländer Volksfest" takes the city from July into August. It is the largest festival of its kind in Heilbronn and takes place on the "Theresienwiese". Each year it begins on the last Friday in July and ends on the second Monday in August. In September, patrons enjoy themselves at the "Heilbronner Weindorf", in October at the "Hafenmarkt" and in November and December at the "Weihnachtsmarkt" by the "Kilianskirche". Every other year the "Neckarfest" and "Traubenblütenfest" are added to this already full schedule.


FC Heilbronn is a football club based in Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg formed only recently – in 2003 – out of a merger between two former clubs with the elder dating back to 1896 and playing a five year stint in the Regionalliga Süd (II) / 2nd Bundesliga Süd from 1969 to 1975.

Economy and infrastructure

Viticulture has a long tradition in Heilbronn and is an important part of its economy to this day. Its 514 ha, two thirds of it growing red grapes, is the third largest vineyard in Württemberg's vine-growing region after Brackenheim and Lauffen am Neckar. In 1888 the vintners of the Heilbronn area combined and formed the "Weingärtnergesellschaft Heilbronn ", a cooperative. In 1933 that cooperative then combined with the competing cooperative "Winzergenossenschaft Heilbronn" that had formed in 1919 and that cooperative again merged with the Vintner cooperatives of Erlenbach and Weinsberg to form the "Genossenschaftskellerei Heilbronn-Erlenbach-Weinsberg" with seat just outside the city limits in Erlenbach. In addition to the cooperative, numerous independent vintners are also located here.

South of the steam power plant is located the conveyor tower of the "Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG" (SWS). The SWS runs a salt mine in the Heilbronn area. That mine was connected through an underground tunnel with the now shut-down (since 1994) salt mine "Kochendorf" in Bad Friedrichshall. Extraction had extended the Heilbronn mine far to the west so that in 2004 a new shaft, "Konradsberg", was added — probably the last mining shaft that was constructed in all of Germany.


The city of Heilbronn is readily accessible by car or truck courtesy of the Weinsberg Intersection just to the northeast of the city, the intersection of the Autobahn A 81 from Würzburg to Gottmadingen and the A 6 from Saarbrücken to Waidhaus. In addition to the Autobahns the city is connected via the Bundesstraßen B 27 from Blankenburg to Schaffhausen, B 39 from Frankenstein (Palatine) to Mainhardt and B 293 from Karlsruhe to Heilbronn that both run through the city itself.

Heilbronn is also a forerunner of right-turn-on-red in Germany and 65 "Green arrow" signs have been installed at appropriate intersections since 1996.

Although Heilbronn does not benefit from the Deutsche Bahn long-distance service the city is well connected by train. The "Frankenbahn" connects Stuttgart and Würzburg, the "Neckarbahn" and "Elsenztalbahn" run from Heilbronn to Heidelberg and Mannheim, and the "Hohenlohebahn" accommodates travel to Schwäbisch Hall via Öhringen.

The S-Bahn provides a connection all the way to Karlsruhe on the "Kraichgaubahn"'s tracks. At this time the S 4 takes travelers from Karlsruhe through the central train station past the centre of town all the way to the Öhringen borough of Cappel (since December 11, 2005). Because of massive delays in the construction of the S-Bahn tracks through Heilbronn's city limits and with the modernization. As well a these new lines, additional stops will also be built in the inner city of Heilbronn.

While the original "Straßenbahn" of Heilbronn, nicknamed the "Spatzenschaukel" (German for "sparrows' swing"), was discontinued on April 1, 1955, the city used electrically powered trolley buses until 1960. Today, public transportation is provided by the S-Bahn that runs through Heilbronn similar to the Karlsruhe model and this is complemented by buses run by the "Stadtwerke Heilbronn (Verkehrsbetriebe)" and several other enterprises. All now belong to the "Heilbronner Verkehrsverbund".

The canal port on the Neckar is one of the ten largest German interior ports.

team power plant

In the industrial part of Heilbronn the EnBW AG runs a large powerplant that is powered with coal. Its two chimneys (250 m tall) and cooling tower (140 m tall) are visible from afar, see Heilbronn Power Station


Heilbronn is home to one of the studios of the Südwestrundfunk (SWR). From here regional programmes like the "Frankenradio" are broadcast on SWR4 Baden-Württemberg. The "Heilbronner Stimme" is a daily newspaper published in the city and the advertisers "Neckar Express", "echo am Mittwoch" and "echo am Sonntag" are available weekly free of charge. Heilbronners also peruse the monthly city magazines "Freizeit Journal" and "Moritz".

Public service

As major economic centre most major branches of government operate offices in Heilbronn. Examples are the Department of Labour, the Department of Finance and German Customs. It also is the seat of the regional chamber of commerce and several regional professional boards.

Several courts are located in Heilbronn, two belonging to the Stuttgart court district, a specialty court hearing labour issues, and a family court who's district includes the city of Heilbronn and the counties of Heilbronn, Ludwigsburg, Schwäbisch Hall, Hohenlohe and Main-Tauber.

The City is also the seat of the Prelature of Heilbronn and of the church district of Heilbronn (of the Protestant State Church as well as of the Heilbronn Deacony of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart).


Heilbronn is the seat of the main campus of the "Hochschule Heilbronn", founded in 1962 as a public engineering school. Since 1972 the school was known as the "Fachhochschule Heilbronn" (Heilbronn University) and has operated a secondary campus in Künzelsau since 1988. Starting with the fall semester on September 1, 2005 the Fachhochschule was awarded the status of a Hochschule.

The private "Heilbronn Business School" opened at the "Neckarturm" in January 2005.

As far as general education is concerned, Heilbronn operates five college-track highschools or gymnasiums ("Elly-Heuss-Knapp-Gymnasium", "Justinus-Kerner-Gymnasium", "Mönchsee-Gymnasium", "Robert-Mayer-Gymnasium" and "Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium"), four non-college-track highschools or "Realschulen" ("Dammrealschule", "Helene-Lange-Realschule", "Heinrich-von-Kleist-Realschule" in Böckingen and "Mörike-Realschule"). There are also six special-education schools run by the city ("Wilhelm-Hofmann-Förderschule", "Pestalozzi-Förderschule", and "Paul-Meyle-Schule" for the mentally and physically impaired, two special-education schools run by Heilbronn County ("Gebrüder-Grimm-Schule" for the speech impaired and "Hermann-Herzog-Schule" for the seeing impaired), and the "Lindenparkschule", which is run by the state of Baden-Württemberg for the hearing and speech impaired. The latter also includes a boarding school and consultation centre.

City grammar schools are the "Damm-Grundschule", "Deutschorden-Grundschule Kirchhausen", "Grundschule Horkheim", "Grundschule Klingenberg", "Grünewaldschule Grundschule Böckingen", "Reinöhlschule Grundschule Böckingen", "Silcherschule Grundschule" and "Uhlandschule Grundschule Sontheim". Grammar and middle schools (some include vocational training programs) are "Albrecht-Dürer-Schule Neckargartach", "Elly-Heuss-Knapp-Schule Böckingen", "Fritz-Ulrich-Schule Böckingen", "Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule", "Grund- und Hauptschule mit Werkrealschule Biberach", "Grund- und Hauptschule mit Werkrealschule Frankenbach", "Ludwig-Pfau-Schule", "Rosenauschule", "Staufenbergschule Sontheim", "Wartbergschule" and "Wilhelm-Hauff-Schule".

The "Gustav-von-Schmoller-Schule" and the "Technische Schulzentrum Heilbronn" consisting of the "Johann-Jakob-Widmann-Schule" and the "Wilhelm-Maybach-Schule" are professional training schools run by the city. The county runs the "Andreas-Schneider-Schule" and "Christiane-Herzog-Schule", and in the fall of 2005 the "Peter-Bruckmann-Schule" was added to the already operating professional training schools.

Finally, the following private schools round out the education options offered in Heilbronn:
* The "Abendrealschule Heilbronn e.V." allows students with middle school diplomas to achieve the first in a series of steps to gain college entrance prerequisites on a part-time basis after work. It is part of a structured program commonly referred to as the Alternate Path to Higher Education.
* "Alice-Salomon-Schule"
* "Berufskolleg für Grafik Heilbronn"
* "Altenpflegeschule Heilbronn"
* "Freie Waldorfschule Heilbronn"
* "Internationaler Bund e. V. Bildungszentrum Heilbronn"
* "Catholische Freie Schule Heilbronn" with grammar, middle, and college-track as well as non-college-track highschools
* "Kolping-Bildungszentrum Heilbronn"
* Academy for Communication sciences

Famous people

A list of Honorary citizens of Heilbronn, Sons and daughters and other notable individuals with connection to the city are listed at List of Heilbronn Notable People.

ister cities

Heilbronn is sister city to the following six cities in five countries:

* Béziers, France, since 1965
* Neath Port Talbot, United Kingdom, since 1966
* Solothurn, Switzerland, since 1981
* Stockport, united Kingdom, since 1982
* Frankfurt on the Oder, Germany, since 1988
* Słubice, Poland, since 1998


* (Publications from the archives of the city of Heilbronn; 36)
* Published so far are Vols. I–VII (741 to 1957) and X (1970 to 1974)
* Keyser, Erich (ed.) (1962). "Württembergisches Städtebuch". In: "Deutsches Städtebuch. Handbuch städtischer Geschichte". Vol. 4,2. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

External links

* [http://www.heilbronn.de/ Official website]
* [http://www.heilbronn.de/index.php?&d=/info/english/&f=main.htm Official website]
* [http://www.heilbronn.de/cgi-local/cityguide.pl?action=show&size=8660&group=2&object=57&mapper=1 City map] (Java-applet)
* [http://www.hs-heilbronn.de/ Hochschule Heilbronn (Heilbronn University)]
* [http://www.Neckar-Tourismus.de/ Tourism Information of Heilbronn and the river Neckar]

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