Ute Lemme from WFWP Stuttgart/Germany sent us this report about their recent day trip:
'This time our excursion was to a small place, whose special feature is a town centre dating back to the Middle Ages, and which is designated in its entirety as a historical monument. Möckmühl is in the lovely Jagst valley, where the Seckach flows into the Jagst. One part of the town is on the fortress hill, and the larger part, the ‘valley settlement’, lies at the foot of the hill. The engraving from MERIAN, dating from about 1640, depicts the position and townscape, approximately as it still is today. The town was a vineyard community with several mills, driven by the power of the waters of the Seckach.
Thirteen of us met at 10.00 at Stuttgart Central Station. We travelled by train to Möckmühl, and were joined along the way by guests from Karlsruhe, Boxberg and Dörzbach, swelling the numbers in the group to seventeen. Our first stop was the market place where we admired the town , decorated for Easter and displaying the eponym of the town, ‘Mechita’, a Frankonian princess: Möckmühl=Mechita’s Mill. The name ‘Mechitamulin’ first appeared on old documents in 750.
As we stood in the market place with its pretty timbered houses, Ute Lemme provided a short review of the history of the town, which received its town charter in 1250. The town’s political affiliations changed often, it finally joined Württemberg in the 16th Century and was an administrative town with a court until 1808. Following this first impression of Möckmühl, we broke up into groups for lunch.
Thus invigorated, we met again for our tour. We left the town centre by way of the Jagst Gate, and made our way along the 500 year old town wall with its many picturesque towers. After the last tower, the Witches’ Tower, where in 1655 a woman accused of witchcraft was imprisoned, we ventured the climb up the fortress hill. From the top, blessed by magnificent weather, we had an impressive view of the town below and the surroundings. The fortress dates back to the 13th century, has powerful fortifications, and a castle that was built in 1902 on the foundations of the original fortress. The old castle keep is named Götzenturm after the famous ‘knight with the iron hand’, Götz of Berlichingen, who defended the castle in vain in 1517-1519 for Count Ulrich of Württemberg, and in so doing was taken prisoner.
We had the opportunity to enter the grounds of the castle, which today belongs to a Yoga group whose headquarters are in India, and to go round the castle building. In the castle courtyard, we treated ourselves to a rest and took the opportunity to take a group photograph. After visiting one of the more striking buildings in the fortress hill, we had some refreshments in an ice cream parlour back down in the valley.
Worthy of special mention is the wonderful renaissance building that is the town hall, as well as the evangelical church in the lower market place. Documents record that already in 815 there was a church where today this neo-Gothic style building from 1900 stands; here excavations brought to light the foundations of four previous churches. The cooper house dating from 1700, standing beside the church, is today an inn for cyclists.
Inspired from all the impressions and experiences we made our way back to Möckmühl station at 17.30 and enjoyed our journey back to Stuttgart. We are already making plans for our next excursion…
Women’s Federation for Peace, Stuttgart.