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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ravensburg, seen from the west
Ravensburg, seen from the west
Coat of arms of Ravensburg
Ravensburg is located in Germany
Coordinates 47°46′59″N 9°36′41″E / 47.78306°N 9.61139°E / 47.78306; 9.61139
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Tübingen
District Ravensburg
Municipal assoc. Mittleres Schussental   
Lord Mayor Hermann Vogler (CDU)
Basic statistics
Area 92.04 km2 (35.54 sq mi)
Elevation 450 m  (1476 ft)
Population 47,690  (31 December 2005)
 - Density 518 /km2 (1,342 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate RV
Postal codes 88212–88214
Area code 0751
Location of the town of Ravensburg within Ravensburg district
Paritätische Reichsstadt Ravensburg
Mixed Imperial City of Ravensburg
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
Image missing
Capital Ravensburg
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
 - City founded before 1088
 - Gained Reichsfreiheit 1276
 - Mediatised to Bavaria 1803
 - Acquired by Württemberg 1810

Ravensburg is a town in Upper Swabia in Southern Germany, capital of the district of Ravensburg, Baden-Württemberg. Population: 48,000 (in 2002; 19,000 in 1933).

Ravensburg was first mentioned in 1088. In the Middle Ages, it was an Imperial Free City and an important trading centre. The "Great Ravensburg Trading Society" (Große Ravensburger Handelsgesellschaft) owned shops and trading companies all over Europe.

The historic town centre is still very much intact, including three town gates and over 10 towers of the medieval fortification.

The town's most popular festival is the "Rutenfest" in mid year.



Ravensburg was first mentioned in writing in 1088. It was founded by the Welfs, a Frankish dynasty in Swabia who became later Dukes of Bavaria and Saxony and who made the castle of Ravensburg their ancestral seat.

By a contract of inheritance, in 1191 the Hohenstaufen Frederick Barbarossa acquired the ownership of Ravensburg from Welf VI, Duke of Spoleto and uncle of both Frederick Barbarossa and Henry the Lion.

With the death of Conradin 1268 in Naples the Hohenstaufen line became extinct. Their former estates became imperial property of the Holy Roman Empire. Like many other cities in Swabia, at the end of the 13th century Ravensburg became an Imperial Free City in 1276.

The "Great Ravensburg Trading Society" (Große Ravensburger Handelsgesellschaft) was founded at Ravensburg and Konstanz around 1380 by the merchant families of Humpis (from Ravensburg), Mötteli (from Buchhorn, modern-day Friedrichshafen) and Muntprat (from Constance). The society dealt first mostly in the domestic linen and fustian. With the opening of one of the first paper mills north of the Alps in 1402 in Ravensburg, paper became another commodity, but the stores held also oriental spices, Mediterranean wines and Bohemian ores. After the liquidation of the Great Ravensburg Trading Society in 1530, Ravensburg stagnated economically. The Thirty Years' War caused a grave decline of the population. Swedish troops destroyed the old castle, now named "Veitsburg" after the St. Veit chapel at the castle grounds.

Following the Reformation a "paritetic" government emerged, meaning an equal distribution of public offices between the Catholic and Protestant confession. The city council was one half each Protestant and Catholic. For some time there was even a Catholic and a Protestant mayor at the same time, and the both confessions celebrated the village fair, the "Rutenfest", apart of each other. This system was approved at the end of the Thirty Years' War in the Peace of Westphalia (1648) which named four "Paritetic Imperial Cities" (German: Paritätische Reichsstädte): Augsburg, Biberach, Dinkelsbühl and Ravensburg.

In 1803 the Immerwährende Reichstag passed the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss, a bill which included the secularisation and mediatisation of many German states — the first meaning the confiscation of the estates belonging to the church, the second the incorporation of the imperial estates and Imperial Free Cities into larger regional states. As a result, Ravensburg first became a Bavarian exclave within Württemberg. After a swap of estates between Bavaria and Württemberg it was incorporated in the Kingdom of Württemberg in 1810.

In the 1970s, Ravensburg increased in population and territory by the incorporation of smaller communities like Eschach, Schmalegg and Taldorf.

Since Ravensburg was impoverished and depopulated after the Thirty Years' War, only a few new buildings were raised during the 18th and the early 19th century. The benefit of this economic stagnation was the conservation of a widely intact medieval city with nearly all towers and gates of the historic fortification.

During the World War II Ravensburg was strategically of no relevance. Ravensburg didn't harbour any noteworthy arms industry (unlike the nearby Friedrichshafen with its large aircraft industry), but a big aid supplies center belonging to the Swiss Red Cross. So no air raid destroyed the historical city center. In the 1980s, the Old Town was renovated and all transit traffic was banned from the city center.

Ravensburg, Blaserturm (trumpeter's tower), Waaghaus (weighing house) and Rathaus (town hall)

Economy and infrastructure

Ravensburg is today a thriving shopping town in the wealthy region of Upper Swabia. Unemployment is relatively low. The nearest large cities are Munich, Stuttgart and Zurich, approximately a two-hour drive away each. Ulm, Konstanz and Bregenz are each less than a one hour drive away.

Ravensburg is part of an urban agglomeration that also comprises Weingarten (Württemberg) and several suburbs. Ravensburg, Weingarten, and Friedrichshafen (on the shores of Lake Constance) share the functionality of a Oberzentrum (that is, the highest-ranked centre in the system of spatial planning and development in Baden-Württemberg).



Ravensburg is located at a crossing of the federal roads (national highways) B30, B31 and B32. A by-pass highway around Ravensburg and Weingarten was completed recently. The regional airport is situated at Friedrichshafen, about 15 km south of Ravensburg. The nearest national motor-ways are the A7 and A8 (approach at Ulm) and the A96 (approach at Lindau or Wangen im Allgäu).

In 1847, the railway station of Ravensbug was put in operation, part of the so-called "Swabian Railroad" from Stuttgart to Friedrichshafen, the oldest railroad of Württemberg and well-known in all of Germany by the folk-style song Auf der schwäbsche Eisebahne.

Local Businesses

Mechanical engineering has traditionally been the main industry branch in the region. Based on the demand of the paper and textile industry (now widely reduced) and a long tradition of flour, paper and other mills many engineering factories arose at the end of the 19th century. Today the primary exponents of this branch in Ravensburg are the left-overs of the former Escher-Wyss AG (a subsidiary of the Swiss Sulzer AG) which are now subsidiaries to the Austrian VA Tech and the German Voith AG.

Ravensburger AG, whose headquarters are located in the town, is a company internationally known for board games, jigsaw puzzles and children's books.

The pastry factory Tekrum (Theoder Krumm GmbH & Co. KG) is another company with an internationally-known brand name. Since January 2005 it has been a wholly-owned subsidiary to Griesson–De Beukelaer.

Other large industrial companies include

  • Vetter Pharma, a manufacturer of pre-filled injection systems
  • Omira, one of the largest dairies in Southern Germany
  • tool factory Hawera Probst (a subsidiary of Robert Bosch), the worldwide market leader in hammer drill bits
  • component supplier EBZ Engineering Bausch & Ziege (formerly Nothelfer, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Automotive)
  • packaging manufacturer Autobar Packaging (formerly Zach Verpackungen)
  • two suppliers of solar power systems, Pro Solar Solarstrom and pro solar Energietechnik


The local newspaper is the Schwäbische Zeitung.

The radio companies Radio 7 and Südwestrundfunk run broadcasting studios at Ravensburg. In Horgenzell near Ravensburg, the Ravensburg-Horgenzell transmitter transmits Deutschlandfunk on the medium wave frequency 756 kHz.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Ravensburg is twinned with:

Famous people

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Ravensburg is a city in Baden Württemberg, Germany.

Get in

Most major European airlines offer regular scheduled flights to Stuttgart and Munich airports, both of which are approximately 3 hours away by train. There are many intercontinental flights to Munich and Stuttgart has a direct connection to Atlanta in the USA. Ryanair offers direct flights from London, Liverpool and Dublin to Friedrichshafen airport, which is about 20 minutes away by train. Ravensburg has fast road connections to Ulm and Friedrichshafen. The nearest motorway (Autobahn) junctions are at Wangen (20 miles) and Ulm (60 miles).

Get around

Beeing a small city, Ravensburg's public transport network consists solely of an excellent bus network and a regional train ("Bodensee Oberschwaben Bahn"). As most of the sites and places to stay are located in the city centre and the public transport network serves the city's suburbs, visitors to the city should be able to see everything without having to use the network. The city's train station is a ten-minute walk from the main pedestrian precincts. The main bus station is next to the train station, however, most bus routes also travel across the main square ("Marienplatz").


Ravensburg's historic city centre is completely intact, due to the city being able to escape bomb damage during world war 2. There is a small city museum in the "Vogthaus" just off the main square. Ravensburg is famous for its many towers and church spires. Two of the towers ("Blaserturm" on the main square and "Mehlsack" at the top end of the city centre) are open to the public for a small fee, however, there are many steep stairs to climb to get to the top. Ravensburg offers a fantastic amount of ancient buildings and churches, some of which are used for retail and some of which are open to the public. The main tourist information office is located just off the main square next to the church of our lady ("Liebfrauenkirche"). The centre of the city is mainly pedestrianised. It is easy to explore the narrow streets, as the city centre is fairly compact. Some of the streets are quite steep.


There is plenty to do in Ravensburg, there is a fantastic amount of shops, cafes and bars, which are all located on and around the main square. There are several museums dotted around the city and several churches, all of which are open to the public. The "Veitsburg", located at the top of a steep hill overlooking the city, offers fantastic views across the ancient centre.


Ravensburg is famous locally for being a shopper's paradise. There are several large department stores, all located just off the main square. There is also a small shopping centre ("Gänsbühl"), which is a short walk from the main square. There are also many smaller shops selling everything one can think of, however, many of these, particularly the clothes and shoe shops, are very expensive, offering expensive designer articles.


The centre of Ravensburg is absolutely full of restaurants. There is a fantastic Yugoslavian restaurant located at the bottom end of the "Bachstrasse" shopping street. Other restaurants include American, Chinese, Indian, Italian and German establishments. Restaurant food in Germany is very reasonably priced and is usually accompanied by a wholesome salad. There are some "all you can eat" establishments.


The city centre of Ravensburg is crammed full of bars and pubs.


Ravensburg offers the traveller some good hotels. The "Waldhorn" hotel is a world famous high-class establishment situated on the "Marienplatz" square, offering luxurious food and accommodation, which includes standard rooms and suites. There are several more smaller hotels dotted around the city centre, including "Hotel Residenz zum goldenen Mucke" and "Hotel Storchen". The "Goldene Uhr" hotel is situated in the city's suburbs, a short bus ride away from the centre. It offers high quality accommodation at reasonable prices.

Get out

There are many flight and rail choices available. (See "Get In" section)

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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