Aalen is a pleasant industrial town with half-timbered houses constructed in the 1600’s at its core. A Bronze Age settlement situated on a hill behind Kocherburg Castle near Unterkochen has become a highlight, and gold and silver coins left by the Celts who built the fortifications in the Schlossbaufeld settlement can be found in the museum. Kastell Aalen was a military castrum built by the Romans to accommodate the Ala II Flavia milliaria cavalry unit. Aalen was first mentioned as "Alon" in one of Ellwangen Abbey’s inventory lists dated 1136. The pace of the town is slow and relaxing, allowing visitors to enjoy the historic hub without the hustle and bustle associated with city life. Soak up the atmosphere in the market square, which runs along two town halls, and hunt for bargains at the delightful weekly market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a tradition that has existed since 1809.
Location: The largest town in the Ostwürttemberg region
Aalen is located about 70 km east of Stuttgart and 48 km north of Ulm, and it is well connected with the surrounding cities by rail and motorways The closest major airport is Stuttgart Airport, 82 km from the centre of Aalen. The town is divided by the Kocher and All Rivers that confluence in the centre.
Culture: Culture: The "Spy of Aalen"
The Evangelical-Lutheran St. Nicholas' Church dominates the pedestrian area. Built in 1765, this is the only major late Baroque building in Aalen, and the main church of the Evangelical-Lutheran parish. The Old Town Hall was originally built in the 14th century and was re-constructed in 1636. It features a figurine of the "Spy of Aalen", a conniving villager who, according to legend, blatantly infiltrated the emperor’s army camp as a spy, a fact he confessed before the emperor when he was seized pretending to be naive. Impressed by his cunning ways, the emperor spared the town. In the Geological-Paleontological Museum housed in the historic town hall, there is a display of more than 1,500 fossils from the Swabian Jura region. The Limesmuseum was built on the ruins of what was once the largest Roman cavalry fort north of the Alps, and exhibits objects from the Roman era. The Limesmusem is a branch of the National Archaeological Museum and the largest Roman museum in Germany.
Activities: Experience traditional festivals
The largest festival of the region, the Reichsstädter Tage ("Imperial City Days") is held every year in the centre, with attractive presentations of clubs, entertainment music, culinary offerings, and a large amusement park. It is associated with Shopping Sunday in accordance with the Ladenschlussgesetz (store-closing law). The festival takes place on the second weekend in September, and an ecumenical service is held on the town hall square on Sunday.