View of the old town from the church tower

Coat of arms

Coordinates: 49°4′15″N 10°19′10″E / 49.07083°N 10.31944°E / 49.07083; 10.31944Coordinates: 49°4′15″N 10°19′10″E / 49.07083°N 10.31944°E / 49.07083; 10.31944
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Mittelfranken
District Ansbach
  Lord Mayor Dr. Christoph Hammer (CSU)
  Total 75.19 km2 (29.03 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 11,538
  Density 150/km2 (400/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 91550
Dialling codes 09851
Vehicle registration AN, DKB, FEU, ROT
Website dinkelsbuehl.de

Dinkelsbühl is a historic town in Central Franconia, a region of Germany that is now part of the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. Dinkelsbühl is a former Free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. In local government terms, Dinkelsbühl lies near the western edge of the Landkreis (or local government district) of district of Ansbach, north of Aalen.

Dinkelsbühl lies on the northern part of the Romantic Road, and is one of three particularly striking historic towns on the northern part of the route, the others being Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Nördlingen.

The town lies on the southern edge of the Franconian Heights and on the River Wörnitz, which rises in the town of Schillingsfürst. The population in 2013 was 11,315[2]


Bi-confessional Imperial City of Dinkelsbühl
Paritätische Reichsstadt Dinkelsbühl
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
Capital Dinkelsbühl
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
  City founded before 1083
   Gained Reichsfreiheit 1351
  Peace of Augsburg 25 September 1555
  Thirty Years' War 1618–48
  Peace of Westphalia 1648
   Mediatised to Bavaria 1802
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Franconia
Electorate of Bavaria

Fortified by Emperor Henry V, in 1305 Dinkelsbühl received the same municipal rights as Ulm, and in 1351 was raised to the position of a Free Imperial City. Its municipal code, the Dinkelsbühler Recht, published in 1536, and revised in 1738, contained a very extensive collection of public and private laws.[3]


During the Protestant Reformation, Dinkelsbühl was notable for being – eventually along only with Ravensburg, Augsburg and Biberach an der Riß — a Bi-confessional (i.e. roughly equal numbers of Roman Catholics and Protestant citizens, with equal rights) Imperial City (German: Paritätische Reichsstadt) where the Peace of Westphalia caused the establishment of a joint Catholic–Protestant government and administrative system, with equality offices (German: Gleichberechtigung) and a precise and equal distribution between Catholic and Protestant civic officials. This status ended in 1802, when these cities were annexed by the Kingdom of Bavaria.

Around 1534 the majority of the population of Dinkelsbühl became Protestant.[4]

Thirty Years War

Every summer Dinkelsbühl celebrates the city's surrender to Swedish Troops in 1632 during the Thirty Years' War. This reenactment is played out by many of the town's residents. It features an array of Swedish troops attacking the city gate and children dressed in traditional garb coming to witness the event. Paper cones full of chocolate and candy are given as gifts to children. This historical event is called the "Kinderzeche" and can in some aspects be compared with the "Meistertrunk" in Rothenburg. The name is derived from the two German words for "child" and "the bill for food and drink in an inn", and is called such because of the legend that a child saved the town from massacre by the Swedish Troops during the surrender. The legend tells that when the Swedish army besieged the town, a teenage girl took the children to the Swedish general to beg for mercy. The Swedish general had recently lost his young son to illness, and a boy who approached him so closely resembled his own son that he decided to spare the town.

The World Wars

Remarkably, Dinkelsbühl remained totally unscathed, except for a broken window in St. George's Minster.

Present day

The film, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962), was filmed on location in Dinkelsbühl.

Main sights

Dinkelsbühl is still surrounded by the old medieval walls and towers. There exist a lot of outstanding attractions. The image of this town is very typical for a German town of the 15th to early 17th century.

People from Dinkelsbühl


  1. "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). June 2016.
  2. http://www.dinkelsbuehl.de/ISY/index.php?get=225
  3. 1 2  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dinkelsbühl". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 277.
  4. http://www.dinkelsbuehl.de/ISY/mlib/media/DIN_Streuprospekt_GB.pdf?mediatrace=.383.
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