Around the church

The hospital of the Holy Spirit

The hospital of the Holy Spirit in Blaubeuren, a former nursery home, was founded in 1420 - relatively late compared to other cities. As a place of care, the hospital had an important role in the medieval city: it was a retirement home, orphanage, poor house, homeless shelter and hospice all in one. For centuries it was one of the most important buildings in the city after the church and the town hall. Hospitals were preferably built on rivers because of the high water consumption. The oldest part of the complex is the northern wing with the hospital chapel, which still shows original frescoes from 1430. The adjacent buildings were gradually added and bear witness to the success of the institution. During centuries, there was a saying in Blaubeuren: “Thank God, our hospital is making gains every day”. The municipal retirement home was housed here until 2008. Today, the residents live in a modern nursing home near the Community hospital.

The tactile model

Nestled on the southern edge of the Swabian Alb and embedded in the ancient Danube valley, Blaubeuren's old town lies on an alluvial fan that slopes down to the Ach. From a bird's eye view you can clearly see the immediate proximity to the monastery and Blautopf, but also the clear separation between the monastery area and the city. The old town's urban structure has largely been preserved as it was in the Middle Ages. In the center of the city stands the mighty town hall on the market square. Coming from Ulm, the long-distance trade route led through the Lower Gate into the city to the town hall, where it turned west and continued along Marktstrasse through the Upper Gate onto the Jura towards  Bad Urach and via Tübingen to Strasbourg. The medieval city walls, gates and towers were demolished fom 1831.

Church square and cemetery chapel

In the Middle Ages the church was surrounded by a cemetery, the so-called churchyard. The imprint of the ossuary, the former cemetery chapel and the gravestones on the outer wall of the choir are reminders of this time. Around 1600 the churchyard was moved out of the city. The reasons for this were a lack of space within the city walls, but also hygiene. The cemetery chapel, which was no longer needed here, was initially converted into a hospital archive. The building was extended and the hospital administrator set up his office, which was accessible via a footbridge from the hospital. From here, thanks to the two bay windows, he had a view of the entire road from the Lower Gate up to the town hall.

Peter and Paul City Church

The church, built in the late Gothic style, has been used as a Protestant town church since the Reformation. The single-nave building is dated to the beginning of the 15th century. The choir and west facade were built at the same time as the new monastery church was built around 1495. A lantern was added to the church tower in the 17th century. The frescoes from the 15th century and the Neubronner Altar, a former epitaph that shows the german reformer Martin Luther standing under the cross, are valuable in terms of art history.

Stone and fountain

Until 1983, all traffic on the B28 squeezed through Blaubeuren's old town. With the construction of the local bypass, the burden on the city center could be eliminated, and a renovation of the old town improved the reclaimed space. The church square was finally redesigned with a modern fountain. The black and green banded stone is a serpentinite from the Hohentauern in the Austrian Alps. A five-jet fountain head made of cement represents the cement industry that shaped Blaubeuren over the last two centuries, as well as the city's abundance of water.

History of Blaubeuren

The earliest traces of humans in the Blautal and Achtal dates back to the Paleolithic period. Finds from the Neanderthal period (up to around 50,000 BC) as well as from early modern humans (from around 40,000 BC) have been found in the Hohle Fels and the Great Grotto. The Hohengerhausen and Ruck castles were built in the 11th century. At that time there were already mills on Ach and Blau and there was a Baptist chapel not far from the Blautopf. The monastery was founded on this site in 1085. To supply the construction site, a market was created, from which a settlement developed. The town of Blaubeuren was first mentioned in a document in 1267. In 1471 Blaubeuren was given the coat of arms with the “Blaumännle”.

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