Marbach – the Schiller Town
Already Caroline von Wolzogen, the sister-in-law of Friedrich Schiller, praised “the charming setting located on the fruitful heights of the Neckar”. Timbered houses, houses in narrow lanes, towers and fountains mark the character of the Schiller town of Marbach, with its orchards and vineyards. It is one of the oldest country towns in Württemberg and through its rebuilding following the fire of 1693 which laid waste to the town, it is also one of the few towns of the 18th century which displays a virtually unified ensemble of buildings.
Since 1983 the old town, ringed by a wall, is protected as a historical monument. The earliest residences of the vintners and farmers, the houses in narrow lanes, are treasures of the old town. Taking a walk through these three narrow parallel lanes opens a view to the many small houses huddled close together. Most of them are situated opposite to barns which in earlier times belonged to their respective houses, but today almost all of them are used to provide more living accommodations. Often there are still grapevines growing on the houses from which the so-called house wine was pressed.
On 10 November 1759 Friedrich Schiller was born in Marbach. The history of the town is closely associated with the memory of his historical legacy: Today, together with the Deutsches Literaturarchiv and the Literaturmuseen on the Schillerhöhe, Marbach enjoys an outstanding, international reputation as a place for the cultivation of literature.
The birthplace of Tobias Mayer will be reopened as a Museum by the end of 2017. Mayer, the second favorite son of the town, was born on 17 February 1723. He was a mathematician, cartographer, and astronomer who later became a professor in Göttingen, where he died.
For his achievement of determining and defining the principle of geographic length (longitude) he was awarded the Prize from the “British Board of Longitude”. His globe of the moon, which was completed in 2009 utilizing his preliminary work with methods of the 18th century, would have been the first of its kind in the world.
In the oldest part of Marbach stands the Alexanderkirche, a gem of the Late Gothic. In spite of its enormous external appearance the inside of the church reveals a harmonic, oscillating, three-sectioned arch which yields a resounding echo. Surprisingly, the inside of the church looks rather delicate in appearance. In 2005 the Alexanderkirche obtained the last surviving three-manual Voit organ in the world, built in 1868. The Schillerglocke Concordia, the church bell mounted in the tower is a gift from the ethnic German residents of Moscow, presented to the Alexanderkirche in honor of the 100th anniversary of Schiller's birth.