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Historical Overview

8th century
Franconian royal court probably serves as the nucleus of the settlement.

10th century
Hill fortress erected at the intersection of two trade routes to protect a ford across the Wörnitz.

First mentioned as ‘burgus Tinkelspuhel’ in official documents.

13th century
Town repeatedly mortgaged, with the citizens paying vast sums to acquire their freedom. In exchange, Dinkelsbühl receives important privileges and becomes an Imperial Town.

German king Ludwig IV. grants Dinkelsbühl the privilege to use its own cloth measure in all trading places. The town prospers as a result of the distinctive woollen cloth manufactured there.

The guilds force through equality with patricians sitting on the town council.

Most of the town’s citizens embraced the protestant faith. In 1546 Emperor Charles V conquers the Schmalkaldischer Bund, the town is ruled by a Catholic council and St. George’s Minister is ceded to the Catholic minority

The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) takes its toll and brings the town to the verge of economic ruin. Following its conquest by the Swedes in 1632, Dinkelsbühl is spared from further plundering and destruction. It is here that the origins of the historic festival play “Die Kinderzeche” lie.

Despite a parity agreement guaranteeing religious equality, the town experiences a period of civil unrest which continues into the 18th century.

End of imperial immediacy. In 1806 Dinkelsbühl finally becomes part of Bavaria.

Bavarian king Ludwig I. issues a decree prohibiting the destruction of the town walls and towers, thereby contributing to the preservation of the historic old town.

Artists from Munich and Berlin discover the idyllic little town which has maintained its close ties with romanticism ever since.

Dinkelsbühl survives the two world wars without damage. The perfectly preserved, historic old town is one of Europe’s most important cultural monument. The town has been home to the head office of the “Romantic Road” since 1985. Dinkelsbühl became a “Grosse Kreisstadt” [district capital] in 1998.