Beilstein, Württemberg

Beilstein, Württemberg

Infobox German Location
Name = Beilstein
Art = Stadt
image_photo = Castle-Beilstein.jpg
image_caption = Hohenbeistein castle
Wappen = Wappen Beilstein Wuerttemberg.pnglat_deg = 49 | lat_min = 2
lon_deg = 9 | lon_min = 19
Lageplan = Beilstein in HN.pngLageplanbeschreibung =
Bundesland = Baden-Württemberg
Regierungsbezirk = Stuttgart
Landkreis = Heilbronn
Gemeindeverwaltungsverband = Schozach-Bottwartal
Höhe = 257
Fläche = 25.25
Einwohner = 6140
Stand = 2006-09-30
PLZ = 71717, 71543
Vorwahl = 07062
Kfz = HN
Gemeindeschlüssel = 08 1 25 008
Gliederung = 12 quarters
Straße = Hauptstraße 19
Adresse = Hauptstraße 19
71717 Beilstein
Website = []
Bürgermeister = Günther Henzler

Beilstein is a town in the district of Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. It is situated 14 km southeast of Heilbronn. Beilstein is on the Wuerrtemberg wine route ("Württemberger Weinstraße").


Beilstein is situated in the south of the district of Heilbronn. The town gets crossed by the Söhlbach, a tributary of the Bottwar. The communal land of Beilstein includes big parts of the Löwenstein Mountains.

Neighbouring municipalities

Neighbouring towns and municipalities of Beilstein are (clockwise from the south): Oberstenfeld, Großbottwar (both in the district of Ludwigsburg), Ilsfeld, Abstatt, Lauffen am Neckar (exclave Etzlenswenden), Löwenstein (all in the district of Heilbronn) and Spiegelberg (Rems-Murr-Kreis). The village Farnersberg is an exclave between Untergruppenbach in the north and Lauffen's exclave "Stadtwald Etzlenswenden" in the south. Beilstein has combined with Abstatt, Ilsfeld and Untergruppenbach to form a joint association of administrations called "Schozach-Bottwartal".

Town structure

Apart from the town itself Beilstein contains of the villages "Hohenbeilstein" and "Schmidhausen". The hamlets "Etzlenswenden", "Farnersberg" and "Stocksberg" also belong to Beilstein. The neighbouring hill "Stocksberg" is the highest one of the "Löwenstein Mountains", however, it doesn't belong to the communal land of Beilstein. There are also the hamlets "Söhlbach", "Obere Öhlmühle", "Steinberg" and "Untere Ölmühle". The hamlets "Billensbach", "Gagernberg", "Jettenbach", "Kaisersbach", "Klingen" and "Maad" belong to Schmidhausen. ["Das Land Baden-Württemberg. Amtliche Beschreibung nach Kreisen und Gemeinden. Volume IV: Regierungsbezirk Stuttgart, Regionalverbände Franken und Ostwürttemberg." Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-17-005708-1. p. 95–97 with supplement in vol. VIII, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-17-008113-6, p. 661]


Foundation in Middle Ages

According to several documents it's presumed that Beilstein developed in Middle Ages underneath Hohenbeilstein Castle. The castle has been built around 1080 and received castle walls around 1200. Around 1150 a Dietherich von Bilstein has been first mentioned. The owners presumably were natives of the Lords of Vaihingen and Löwenstein. Their possession changed to the Margraves of Baden in 1234. The town has been first mentioned documentary in 1245 and got arised to town between 1250 and 1288. It was first mentioned documentary as a town in 1304 and changed its owners several times. Ulrich IV and Eberhard II gave the town to emperor Charles IV who returned it as a feoff. After any assumption of office the feoff was given to the next emperor or count until the 18th century. In the 14th century a city wall has been built. Beilstein also was an office and residential town of the Vogt.

The Reformation came to the town around 1534/35, in 1540 a Latin school has been founded.

Thirty Years' War

Thirty Years' War held between Catholics and Protestants forced many victims by war actings, epidemics and famines. In 1622, decisive actings came near Beilstein by the Battle of Wimpfen.

First complaints occurred when soldiers were quartered with the town in 1623. A big damage occurred by stolen horses. Besides Bavarian soldiers have occupied tradeways to Heilbronn and Schwäbisch Hall, so there was no possibility to buy grain since there was a huge crop failure. In 1628 there were further quarters by the invasion of Wallenstein's troops, demanding 65 bushels of grain in 1629. Not until the defeat of Sweden in the Battle of Nördlingen lead to big disease. Eberhard III fled to Straßburg, so Victorian imperial troops looted and burned down many towns and villages. Further rise in prices, hunger and epidemics resulted. Nursing of the sick, monthly contributions, the building of a soldier's hospital and further quarters lead to big debt. The amount of Beilstein's inhabitants has been decreased so heavy that there were just 39 houses being habitable in 1641.

Finally the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 ended the big suffer running more than two decades. People were able to rebuild their villages, fields and vineyards. The amount of houses being habitable increased from 39 in 1641 to 117 in 1655.

Nine Years' War

During Nine Years' War there were several invasions by French troops since 1688. Once the French were able to advance till Lauffen, where Württemberg's troops beat them and forced them back. During the second invasion the French destroyed Marbach and advanced to Großbottwar, Oberstenfeld, Beilstein and Auenstein. Beilstein has burned down almost completely, 105 houses, 30 barns and the office hall got destroyed. During the next three decades the town got rebuilt by planes of architect Matthias Weiß of 1693.

Beilstein in the 19th century

According to a reorder of Württemberg's departments Beilstein got seat of "Oberamt Beilstein" between 1803 and 1806. However, four years later it got fusioned with the "Oberamt Marbach". This one changed into the district of Heilbronn in 1938. Around 1840 the town began to knock down its town gates and to expand. Further poverty lead to a decrease of population. Many people moved to bigger towns or emigrated. Between 1851 and 1860 67 people emigrated as verified.

The "Bottwartalbahn" opened gradually between 1894 and 1900 and lead to a certain upswing to villages along the rail road. However, settlement of industry stayed backward. In 1907/08 a public water supply has been installed. In 1911 a connection to the power station of Pleidelsheim and Beihingen took place.

Time of national socialism

As everywhere the "Gleichschaltung" took place in Beilstein 1933. Since no Jews have lived in the town, no antisemitic actions occurred. From 1933 to 1937 different parts of the "Wehrmacht" got inquartered. On July 12th, 1935, the first medical examination for military service took place. Since August 1934 there was a decree to build air-raid shelters. After outbreak of war in 1939 several prisoners of war got inquartered in Beilstein.

Until 1944 Beilstein stayed nearly undamaged. There were just three attacks of fighter-bombers causing little damage of property. From February 1944 to April 1945 there were further six attacks causing three casualties and four damaged houses.

In March of 1945 the front line came nearer and several inquarters of troops happened. After installing defensive troops in Beilstein, the town got a target of a heavy air-raid in the afternoon of April 16th, 1945. By this attack nearly 40% of the whole town got destroyed, so it was one of the most affected places of the region. The next night it was very difficult to extinguish all the fires. All the civil population just cared about their own houses and didn't really help the fire brigade.

On April 16th there was still heavy resistance of the Germans. The Americans changed their plans and tried to take the town by encircling it. There were several casualties by these actings. The Germans were advanced since they knew the area. In the morning of April 19th, 1945, the first American tanks invaded to Beilstein despite of tank traps. The Battle of Beilstein took the whole day, military actings ended not until 11 p.m.


After removing war damages of World War II until 1955 a new growth started in Beilstein. Between 1956 and 1971 new building sites containing around 280 houses have been created. On July 1, 1971, the municipalitiy Schmidhausen got incorporated into Beilstein.

After 1970 the population increased heavily since Beilstein developed attractive to commuters driving to Heilbronn, Ludwigsburg and Stuttgart. By a state program of redevelopment decisive resolutions occurred in 1982 to change the town's image.


District council

Following the municipal election of 13 June 2004, the district council of Beilstein has 19 seats. The election result is as follows:

The mayor is also a member of the district council and its chairman.

Arms and flag

Blazon: In red a hexagonal silver stone with three silver hatchets all around. The town colours are white and red.

Until the 17th century the seals of Beilstein showed just one hatchet being the "Fleckenzeichen" simultaneously. From 1579 to 1641 the empty surface around the hatchet was filled with roses. Since 1583 the today's canting arms carried through while the colours changed several times. The district council of Beilstein confirmed the today's form of arms on February 5th, 1930. [Heinz Bardua: "Die Kreis- und Gemeindewappen im Regierungsbezirk Stuttgart". Theiss, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-8062-0801-8 (Kreis- und Gemeindewappen in Baden-Württemberg, 1). p. 43
Eberhard Gönner: "Wappenbuch des Stadt- und des Landkreises Heilbronn mit einer Territorialgeschichte dieses Raumes". archive direction Stuttgart, Stuttgart 1965 (Publications of the archive administration of Baden-Württemberg, 9). p. 57f.

Twin town

Since 1984 there's a relationship with Pontault-Combault in the French Département Seine-et-Marne.

Culture and sights

Notable buildings

Above Beilstein there's Hohenbeilstein Castle built in the 11th century but fell into ruin five centuries later. It was rebuilt in the 19th century and contains both a restaurant and a falconry today.

At half height between castle and town there's the "Unteres Schloss" (Lower Castle). It was built in 1907 by Robert Vollmoeller. The "Unteres Schloss" is the conference place of the Evangelical Church in Württemberg since 1960.

The "Magdalenenkirche" was built in time of the Romanic. In 1805 its use as a church has ended and served as a military hospital, ammunition dump and a gym. Later it decayed. In 1850 the choir got teared down. In 1955 there was a rebuilding to a youth hostel.

The town hall is a baroque timber building. After its destruction in 1693 it got rebuilt from 1703 to 1710. Even other timber buildings show the reconstruction of the town, e. g. the neighbouring "Alte Schmiede" (old smithy). Also a new "Alte Kelter" (old wine-press) was built in 1698 instead of an older one.

The "Sankt-Anna-Kirche" was presumably built in 1470 instead of an older church, being Beilstein's municipal church since 1800. It has been redeveloped from 1988 to 1990 completely.

Since 2004 a historical round tour invites to discover Beilstein and its environs. Within the other villages and hamlets there are further notable buildings.

Sports and leisure

The DLRG "Oberes Bottwartal" offers education in swimming and rescuing inside the mineral pool bath "Oberes Bottwartal". The sports club "TGV Eintracht Beilstein" offers handball, football, swimming and other sports.

Regular events

In the "Weinbergfest" underneath Hohenbeilstein Castle taking place every last weekend in July there are shown Beilstein's sparklings and wines. Further celebrations are the "Stadtfest" and the "Andreasmarkt". Besides the "Bottwartal-Marathon" passes Beilstein.

Economy and infrastructure


Beilstein is known nationwide by its wine. Especially Riesling, Trollinger and Lemberger grow here. By the "Rebflurbereinigung" all wine-yards have been ordered new from 1966 to 1980. The yards belong to the wine region of Württemberg. Until the youngest past wine-growing has been the main purchase source.


Beilstein is a station of the Bottwartalbahn running from Marbach am Neckar to Heilbronn. This rail road has been laid up in 1968. Today public transport is ensured by buses of VVS and H3NV.


About happenings in Beilstein informs the daily newspaper "Heilbronner Stimme". Besides there's a paper called "Marbacher Zeitung/Bottwartalbote" (part of the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten"). Every friday appears the town's office paper.

Public institutions

* The spa of Beilstein contains a 25m pool, children's area and sauna. It's open from September until May.
* The spa "Oberes Bottwartal" runs in cooperation with Oberstenfeld and is open from May until September. There are more than 1,000 parking lots at its disposal.


There are local schools like a primary school and "Hauptschule" including "Werkrealschule" called "Langhansschule" named after the "Bergfried" of Hohenbeilstein Castle. [Wolfgang Seybold: "Die Beilsteiner haben jetzt eine Langhansschule". In: "Marbacher Zeitung" of June 21st, 2007, p. III] There's also the "Herzog-Christoph-Gymnasium". Besides Beilstein has an own folk high school.


Sons of the town

* Valentin Vannus (* 1495 in Beilstein als Valentin Wannenmacher; † 1567), Protestant reformer.
* Matthäus Braun (* December 3rd, 1737; † April 10th, 1819 in Brackenheim), poet.
* Immanuel Niethammer (* March 26th, 1766; † July 11th, 1805) theologian and philosopher.
* Franz Joseph Damian Junghanns (* November 29th, 1800 in Stocksberg; † 1870 in Bühl), politician
* Julius Krais (* November 29th, 1807; † November 30th, 1878 in Tübingen), prayer and poet

Further resident personalities

* Hans Purrmann (1880–1966), painter, lived in Beilstein from 1914 to 1916 and had made several paintings of the town and its region
* Peter Jakob Schober (1897–1983), painter, lived in Billensbach for 40 years
* Rudolf Yelin Jun. (1902–1991), painter, lived in Billensbach

Literature and sources

* Otto Rohn und Dietmar Rupp (Hrsg.): "Beilstein in Geschichte und Gegenwart". Stadt Beilstein, Beilstein 1983

External links

[] official website (in German)

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