Germany 400AD-1400AD-Middle Ages Europe Cities, Counties, Villages

Nordlingen: An urban jewel bathed in the glitter of millions of diamonds

Fifteen million years ago, an asteroid carved the destiny of this area, forming a nine-mile crater that hid a treasure. In the intense heat of the impact, diamonds were born. Nordlingen, a city built in a crater where the subtle sparkle of microscopic diamonds can be found in every stone of its buildings.

Tourist Information

Getting thereCar
About your visitThe city is very small and can be covered in an hour on foot.
The city is part of the Romantic Road circuit.
Official Web Site
LocationNordlingen, Germany, Europe


What is Nordlingen famous for?

Nordlingen is a picturesque town located in Bavaria, Germany. What makes it really special is the fact that it is built inside an approximately 15 million-year-old meteorite crater, known as the “Ries Crater”. Over time, people built and developed the city inside this unique geological structure.


The stone buildings in the city contain millions of tiny diamonds, all smaller than 0.2 millimeters. The meteorite impact that caused the Nordlinger Ries crater created approximately 72,000 tons when it hit a graphite deposit. The stone from this area was then used to build the stone buildings.

Medieval Architecture

The town retains an authentic medieval appearance, with houses with shingle-style roofs, narrow streets, defense towers, and fortifications. This authentic medieval atmosphere makes Nördlingen an attractive place for tourists and history buffs. It is one of only three cities in Germany to keep its surrounding wall intact, the other two being Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbuhl. The area that includes today’s Nordlingen is part of the Romanian province of Raetia. A Roman villa has been excavated in the Holheim district and can be visited today.

Daniel Tower

This is one of three surviving towers from the city’s medieval fortifications. The Daniel Tower offers a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings, including the Ries Crater.

Saint George’s Church

The church in Nordlingen, also known as “St. Georgs-Kirche’, is an impressive Gothic church with an ornate facade and beautiful interior stained glass windows. It was built over several centuries and has survived to this day.

Ries Crater

A unique aspect of the city is the fact that it is built in a meteorite crater, resulting from the impact of a meteorite on the Earth millions of years ago. This remarkable geological formation provides a unique landscape and contributed to the current shape of the city.

Ries Museum

The museum in Nördlingen explores the history of the meteorite impact and the Ries crater. Here you can learn more about the event that shaped the region’s form and its impact on the environment.

Jules Verne

Nordlingen is also known for being mentioned in Jules Verne’s novel, “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, in which the heroes explore a meteorite crater beneath the town. Therefore, Nordlingen attracts tourists interested in history, architecture, and geology, offering a unique experience in a charming medieval setting.

The fountain and the Church of St. George

Kriegerbrunnen is an Art Nouveau fountain located in the center of the city. St. George’s Church is one of the largest churches in Germany. The tower is called “Daniel” and has a height of 90 m.

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Ofnet cave

The Ofnet Cave, also known as “Ofnet Grotto”, is one of the most impressive caves in Germany and is located near Nordlingen, a picturesque town in Bavaria. This fascinating cave stands out for its unique rock formations and their spectacular beauty.

The secret legends of Nordlingen

Nordlingen, a town with a rich history and well-preserved medieval architecture, is not necessarily known for legends as famous as other places.

The Legend of the White Bear

In ancient times, a giant white bear is said to have guarded the town of Nordlingen. The inhabitants believed that the bear brought good luck and protection, and its presence was considered a good sign. This legend reflects the connection between the city and nature, a sense of protection and uniqueness.

The Legend of the Ghost in Daniel’s Tower

Some residents claim to have seen or felt the presence of a ghost in the Daniel Tower, an old defense structure in Nordlingen. Although there is no concrete evidence, the story of a ghost hides the mystery of the past and adds an air of enigma to the building.

Legend of Eternal Love

It is said that Nordlingen has witnessed many love stories of its inhabitants. A legend suggests that the narrow streets and old buildings were silent testimonies of secret loves and promises made over time.

Legend of Spiritual Force

A local tradition states that the inhabitants of Nordlingen are spiritually strong, and the town itself emits a positive energy that inspires people to follow their dreams and overcome their obstacles.

Legend of the Ries Meteorite

The legend of the meteorite impact that formed the Ries crater, in which the town of Nordlingen is located, brings a supernatural and cosmic element to the history of the place. This colossal event from the past retains its mystery and fascination to this day.

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About the author


I am Catalina, and my passion for travel, mysteries, legends and archaeology drives me to explore the world and uncover its hidden wonders.