The Stadtarchiv is not only historic in being one of the oldest buildings in town, but also because of what it contains. With over 10,000 documents charting the town's administrative history from the 13th century, the documents it contains are incredibly varied and numerous. Some of the information can be viewed in the main hall of the building, which is open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Not to be confused with the more interesting Dicker Turm, this is a reminder of Esslingen's more modern industrial heritage, than the Dicker Turm's centuries old medieval history. Easily spotted high over the city, to your left as you exit the station, the tower has the words DICK painted hilariously in big letters down the giant phallic symbol. If you mistakenly follow the inappropriate signs to the tower, thinking it is the 13th century Fat Tower, you'll find yourself in the industrial zone. If you make it to the base of the tower, however, you'll find a few trendy bars and restaurants trying to make the most of any post-industrial chic, as well as a multiplex cinema.
I absolutely love these, and Esslingen has a few. I know that medieval Europe used to have plenty of city bridges crowded with homes and shops, but that fashion died out in most parts of the world, especially Britain, probably because of safety reasons. Whenever I see these now I have to look on in amazement, and possibly take a picture or two.
As you cross into the town from the train station, or when you return if you miss it on the way in, you can cross the 13th century Innere Brucke across the Neckar canal. Like a typical medieval bridge, this one is so cluttered with buildings that it's hard to even tell if you are actually on a bridge at all unless you are alert. It is a wonderful example of its kind, and also includes a small chapel in the middle, which now serves as a memorial to the victims of the Third Reich.
This is the other main square after the Marktplatz, and it is smaller and more cluttered, and possibly the prettier for it. It contains the big yellow Gelbes Haus. You can find it behind the Altes Rathaus.
The current town hall is a bit of a wallflower compared to the pink monster opposite, but its Baroque style would be a pleasant addition to many a town center. It also serves as a great starting point for a walk up to the Burg. Walk through its central passageway and start to climb the innumerable stairs to its summit.
The Neues Rathaus was built in 1748, before the old town hall became a Rathaus anyway. Despite the Altes Rathaus still hosting some of the town hall meetings, the Neues Rathaus is the home of the mayor and the real seat of the town's politicians.
The largest of the squares in the town is the Markplatz, and a good location from which to navigate your way through the town's numerous sights. Here you will find the Stadtkirche St Dionys, as well as the Speyrer Zehnthof and the Spitalkelter behind it. It also connects to the Rathausplatz. It holds markets on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.
Esslingen has a number of bridges crossing the Neckar, and while Innere Brucke is the one with all the history, the bridge on Agnespromenade, as you approach the Marktplatz from the south, offers some sensational views as the canal splits in three at this section.
The oldest gothic church in southwest Germany
The construction of the Frauenkirche, the "Church to our Beloved Woman" began in 1321. The church was meant as a protest aginst the paternalism of the clergy of Speyer who owned the Stadtkirche.
Between 1321 and 1332 first the choir was built, followed by the hall (1350 - 1408) and the late-gothic tower with 236 feet in height (finished in 1508).
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Pubs and Restaurants at the Hafenmarkt
There are some nice pubs and restaurants at the end of the Marketplace, where they serve local dishes for reasonable prices... Try the suebian home made Kaesespaetzle, or the a Zwiebelkuchen, Gaisburger Marsch and not only the super tasty beer... Try also their nice local wine from there... It's only sold and consumed there... Enjoy!
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At the right hand end of the Seilergang to the Hochwacht is the Dicker Turm, or Fat Tower, the large round tower on the hill. This construction was added to the Burg's defences in 1527.
Munster St Paul's
This ministry with its clean, simple lines was built directly in the former city walls, and was first consecrated by Albertus Magnus in 1268. It can be found in the Marktplatz, to the west.
On the left of the Burg's wall overlooking the town is the Hochwacht, or High Sentry, a second, rectangular tower. The Hochwacht was added to the Burg's defences in 1578.
The Maille and it's park...
Enjoy also the wonderful old scenery behind the park... It's worth to have a walk there after sunbathing...
- Historical Travel