Zwingenberg, with over 700 years of history, is the oldest town on the Bergstrasse. The word ‘Zwingen’ meaning to compel, and describes how all travellers were forcced to go through the town gates in order to avoid the boggy marsh land to the west and the hills to the east and safely navigate the area.
Both the Plague and the 30 Years War left their toll on the town and it was uninhabited for a long time.In 1693 many of the buildings were set fire to by invading French troops. However after the French Revolution the town slowly came back to life again.
The Zwingenberg you see today comprises of timber built houses, dating back to the Middle Ages and it is these that give the town its charm. The church that stands on the hill was built in1258 and the ‘old town’ is full of narrow lanes and steep steps which ooze history at every corner.
The traditional industries of farming, vineyards and restaurants lie alongside the modern, technology firms with international connections that can also be found in the town.
Zwingenberg and the district of Rodau have together approximately 6,500 citizens.
Zwingenberg is situated in South Hessen, 45km south of Frankfurt and 40km north of Heidelberg in the district of the Bergstrasse.
Kaiser Joseph II, once said in 1764 on a visit to the Bergstrasse: ‘here Germany begins to be Italy’
The climate is especially good for wine growing and the area experiences the earliest springs in Germany.