Wangen im Allgäu

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Wangen im Allgäu
Center of Wangen
Center of Wangen
Coat of arms of Wangen im Allgäu
Coat of arms
Wangen im Allgäu   is located in Germany
Wangen im Allgäu
Wangen im Allgäu
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Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Tübingen
District Ravensburg
 • Lord Mayor Michael Lang
 • Total 101.28 km2 (39.10 sq mi)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 26,548
 • Density 260/km2 (680/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 88239
Dialling codes 07522
Vehicle registration RV

Wangen im Allgäu is a historic city in southeast Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It lies north-east of Lake Constance in the Westallgäu. It is the second-largest city (Population: 27,157 in 2005) in the Ravensburg district and is a nexus for the surrounding communities. From 1938 to 1972, Wangen was the county seat of the Wangen rural district.


Wangen in Allgäu lies on the north bank of the upper Argen River. The Lower Argen flows past northwest Wangen and unites southwest of the city with the Upper Argen. The city today is shaped by its historical town center as well as by numerous nearby districts.

Neighboring municipalities

Several settlements border Wangen. Their names are as follows: Amtzell, Vogt, Kißlegg, Argenbühl, and Achberg (Ravensburg district), Hergatz and Hergensweiler (Lindau district), and Neukirch (Bodensee district).


Imperial City of Wangen
Reichsstadt Wangen
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
Capital Wangen im Allgäu
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  City founded before 815
 •  Gained Reichsfreiheit 1286
 •  Joined Swabian League 1349
 •  Became a protectorate of St Gallen 477–88
 •  Mediatised to Bavaria 1802
 •  Ceded to Württemberg 1810
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Swabia
Kingdom of Bavaria

The city was first mentioned in 815 under the name "Wangun" in a monastery document.

In 1217, Emperor Fredrick II declared in a document that Wangen should remain in royal hands. In 1286, King Rudolph I granted Wangen the status of free imperial city.

During the late Middle Ages, the city's growth was amplified by its central location at the crossroads between Ravensburg, Lindau, Leutkirch, and Isny and the growing trade through the Alps.

A picture of Wangen during the 17th century
The Ravensburg Gate

Wangen's production and export of manufactured goods, particularly scythes and canvas, gave the city a tremendous positive trade balance. This surplus money was used to acquire lands outside of the city walls, thus giving Wangen a safeguard against economic fluctuations.

During the German Mediatisation, in 1802, Wangen lost its status as a Free City and was incorporated into the Kingdom of Bavaria; it later changed hands in 1810 to the Kingdom of Württemberg.

In 1936, the city was officially named "Wangen in Allgäu"

From 1938 up unto its dissolution and integration into the Ravensburg district in 1972, Wangen was the capital of the Wangen rural district. In 1973, Wangen was officially designated by the Baden-Württemberg state government to Großen Kreisstadt (large district town) due to its population having reached 20,000.

In 1999, the largest flood in the most recent 50 years of Wangen's history completey flooded the lower city. The city was again flooded in 2006 by the upper Argen River.

During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the national team of Togo stayed in Wangen.

Main sights

Despite several major fires in 1539, 1793, and 1858, the old part of the town remains a juxtaposition of architectural elements ranging from those of the early middle ages to those of the late baroque era.

The Oberstadtkirche St. Martin ("St Martin's Upper City Church") is one of Wangen's oldest buildings. The church was already present in the 9th century; it was renovated numerous times in the following years. It contains both Romanesque and Gothic architecture.

The Ravensburg Gate is the city's prime landmark. It was first mentioned in 1472, but was probably changed to its current appearance in 1608. The building is decorated with Renaissance-era artwork. Similarly aged relics of the old city include the Lindau Gate and the Pfaffenturm tower.

The local history museum, Heimatmuseum in der Eselmühle, was opened in 1974 in a former mill acquired by the city in 1969. The museum displays the original mechanisms of the mill in addition to a collections from various spans of the city's history.

Population growth

Year Inhabitants
1300 ca. 700
1450 ca. 1,400
1522 ca. 1,500
1794 1,450
1823 1,308
1855 1,926
December 1, 1871 ¹ 2,357
December 1, 1880 ¹ 2,873
December 1, 1900 ¹ 3,848
December 1, 1910 ¹ 4,831
June 16, 1925 ¹ 5,837
June 16, 1933 ¹ 7,005
Year Inhabitants
May 17, 1939 ¹ 8,045
September 13, 1950 ¹ 10,526
June 6, 1961 ¹ 13,317
May 27, 1970 ¹ 14,561
December 31, 1975 23,127
December 31, 1980 23,259
May 27, 1987 ¹ 23,588
December 31, 1990 24,589
December 31, 1995 25,721
December 31, 2000 26,254
September 30, 2005 27,157

¹ Census


Local council

As of the June 13, 2004 elections, the Wangen city council has 33 members from four different political parties (CDU, FWV, GOL, SPD).

Mayors since 1804

  • 1804–1810: Franz Josef von Bentele
  • 1811–1819: Mathias Tschugg
  • 1819–1826: Rudolf Salis
  • 1826–1829: Martin Schnitzer
  • 1829–1847: Christian Nepomuk Weber
  • 1847–1859: Leopold Wocher
  • 1860–1894: Jacob Trenkle
  • 1894–1922: Rudolf Trenkle
  • 1922–1933: Fritz Geray
  • 1933: Gottlob Pfeiffer (provisional)
  • 1933–1939: Dr Friedrich Wilhelm Erbacher
  • 1939: Heinrich Fischer (provisional)
  • 1939–1942: Carl Speidel (on behalf of Heinrich Fischer)
  • 1942–1945: Max Steinegger (provisional)
  • 1945: Karl Geiger (provisional)
  • 1945: Franz Büchele (provisional)
  • 1945–1946: Josef Max Kraus (provisional)
  • 1945–1968: Wilhelm Uhl
  • 1968–2001: Dr Jörg Leist
  • 2001–present: Michael Lang

Sister/Twin cities

Economics and infrastructure

Wangen was once a center of the German textile industry before the decline of German textile manufacturing.

Inter-city transport

Wangen lies on the A96 Autobahn between Lindau and Memmingen, in addition to federal highways 18 and 32. The town is part of the AulendorfKißlegg – Wangen - HergatzLindau and UlmMemmingenKißlegg – Wangen – HergatzLindau train lines. It lies on the bus route between Ravensburg and Isny. The city also belongs to the Bodensee–Oberschwaben public transportation association.


Wangen has a Gymnasium (Rupert-Neß-Gymnasium), a Realschule (Johann-Andreas-Rauch-Realschule), a Hauptschule (Hauptschule Karsee), a Werkrealschule (Anton-von-Gegenbaur-Schule) and a special school (Martinstorschule), three combined secondary and elementary schools (GHS Niederwangen, Praßberg-Schule and Freie Waldorfschule Wangen (, and six elementary schools (Berger-Höhe-Schule, Deuchelried, Grundschule im Ebnet, Leupolz, Neuravensburg, and Schomburg).

The Wangen district has two vocational schools (Friedrich-Schiedel-Schule and Kaufmännischen Schule Wangen), in addition to the Heinrich-Brügger-Schule medical school.


Wangen is serviced by the Schwäbische Zeitung newspaper as well as the local Regio TV television station.


Wangen is the seat of a local tax office. It has a district court, which belongs to the Ravensburg regional court district, which in turn belongs to the Stuttgart court district.


  • From 1943 to 1945, Wangen served as the backdrop for the propaganda movie Quax in Fahrt
  • From April 14 to May 13, 2004, the city and its surrounding areas served as a setting for the Tatort television series.
  • The Wangen Juze Tonne e. V is the oldest autonomously run youth center in Germany.
  • The Jugendmusikschule in Wangen is the largest school of music in Baden-Württemberg.

See also


  1. "Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2013 (Einwohnerzahlen auf Grundlage des Zensus 2011)". Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 2014.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links