In Esslingen am Neckar medieval meets modern - a city for strolling in, a city to see and be seen: crocked alleys and historical edifices of stone bear witness to 12 centuries of history just waiting to be discovered.
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There are not many cities in Germany that give you so much visible history to experience. More than 1,200 years of architecture. An Old Town of national fame with 860 historical buildings, squeezed together within a small space, criss-crossed by narrow-cobbled alleys and enchanting canals, surrounded by the Neckar and vineyards and towered over by the castle hill. But Esslingen is more than just medieval. It´s also a modern city full of innovation and famous for its economical power and its University of Applied Sciences.
Esslingen abounds in things to discover: Kessler, Germany´s oldest sparkling-wine producer which is housed in a former monastic building; the tiny Baroque bridge houses perched on the Inner Bridge where coffee and high spirits are served; a lively cultural scene with galleries, theatres and historical vaulted cellars where cabaret and music festivals take place. Not to forget: the Esslingen inhabitants themselves. Forward-looking and at the same time moulded by the pride and self-confidence of a former Free Imperial City. The magazin Merian once called them Mediterranean Swabians - no one has ever disagreed!
Esslingen - the happening place
Festivals have a long tradition in Esslingen. The season begins in July with the Esslingen "Bürgerfest" (Citizens´ Festival). Here, the entire town centre turns into a huge outdoor party. "Karibische Nächte", the open-air film festival at the Esslingen "Burg" as well as the very popular Onion Festival at the beginning of August are all just the right thing for real festival fans. For sheer size, nothing anywhere can top the Esslingen Medieval Market and Christmas Market in November, one of Germany´s most adventurous Christmas markets.