Nördlingen (map) is located approximately 115 km (71 mi) east of Stuttgart, and 145 km (90 mi) northwest of Munich. The city lies within the Ries Basin, a 25 km crater caused when a meteorite struck the earth 15 million years ago. The city is surrounded by a wall, built in the 14th century, which follows the rim of the crater.
Another attraction in the town is Saint George’s Church’s 90-metre (map) steeple, called “Daniel”, which is made of a suevite impact breccia that contains shocked quartz. Other notable buildings are the town hall (which dates to the 13th century), St. Salvator church (map) and the Spital, a former medieval hospital.
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Walk Along the City Walls. The city walls are completely preserved and available for touring. It represents the longest continuous walkable battlements in Germany. The fortification includes 11 towers and 5 gates. It takes about an hour and 2.6 km to circumnavigate the city.
Bayerisches Eisenbahn Museum (map). 100 trains on display. On Sundays in the summer, you can take a 2 hour return trip to Dinkelbuhl on an old-fashioned locomotive.
The “official” first mention of Nördlingen comes in 898 CE when “Nordilinga” is used. The 1100th birthday festivities took place in 1998.
Stone buildings in the town contain millions of tiny diamonds, all less than 0.2 millimetres (0.0079 in) across. The meteorite impact — from a 1-kilometre-wide (0.62 mi) asteroid — that caused the Nördlinger Ries crater created an estimated 72,000 tonnes (71,000 long tons; 79,000 short tons) of them when it impacted a local graphite deposit. Stone from this area was later quarried and used to build the stone buildings.