Aalen

From Academic Kids

Map of Germany showing Aalen
Map of Germany showing Aalen

Aalen is a town in Germany, capital of the Ostalbkreis, in the Baden-Württemberg Bundesland. Population as of July 1, 2004: 66,616. Area: 146.48 km².

Aalen is twinned with Saint-Lô, France, Christchurch, England, Tatabánya, Hungary and Antakya, Turkey.

Contents

Geography

Aalen is situated on the river Kocher, at the foot of the Swabian Alb to the south and south east and close to the hilly landscape of the Ellwanger Berge to the north. Aalen is at about 70 kilometres east of Stuttgart and 50 kilometres north of Ulm.

History

From about 150/160 AD a Roman fort housed the equestrian unit Ala II Flavia militaria at the site of present-day Aalen. The location was strategically important at the time, in the direct vicinity of the Rhaetian Limes. It has been suggested that the name of Aalen traces back to the Roman fort, but this was disproved by later research. Today's town of Aalen did not emerge until more than a millennium later.

Aalen was probably founded in the 13th century, though it is not certain whether by the Staufians or by the counts of Oettingen. It was first mentioned in written records in the 14th century when it was subject to the counts of Oettingen. Aalen was an Imperial City (often misreferred to as Imperial Free City) from 1360 to 1802, when it was annexed to Württemberg. It then became the seat of an Oberamt from which the district (Kreis) Aalen emerged in 1938. The latter merged with the district of Schwäbisch Gmünd to the newly formed Ostalbkreis in 1973, though Aalen remained the district seat.

Economy and transport

In the early 20th century the population was 10,000. Woolen and linen goods were manufactured, and there were ribbon looms and tanneries in the town, and large iron works in the neighbourhood. The economy of Aalen is today dominated by metal processing. Besides machine construction, the optical sector plays an important role, as well as the textile and paper industries. There are several micro-breweries, of which the one in Wasseralfingen is the most popular. Their beer is called Wasseralfinger.

Aalen is a health resort, with hot springs and an old mine which now offers therapy for asthma illnesses. A mine railway takes visitors deep into the Braunenberg mountain, where once ore was mined for the iron works, but now is in use for the above-mentioned asthma therapy.

Aalen has several sports teams; its wrestling team is one of the top clubs in all of Germany.

Aalen is located directly on the Autobahn A7 and is also well connected to the network of federal roads (Bundesstraßen). It is a regional railway hub, with frequent service to Stuttgart Hbf, Nürnberg Hbf and Ulm Hbf. Interregional trains run directly as far as Karlsruhe and Dresden. The local bus system is of high quality; its double-decker buses are among the few extant outside England.

Boroughs of Aalen

  • Dewangen
  • Ebnat
  • Fachsenfeld
  • Hofen
  • Unterkochen
  • Waldhausen
  • Wasseralfingen.

External links


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de:Aalen eo:Aalen it:Aalen pl:Aalen

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