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Heilbronn is situated at an altitude of 157 m on the river Neckar. Helibrunna was first mentioned in 741. It obtained the status of a market town in 1146, and that of a town in 1281. From 1371 until 1802 it was a free Imperial City. The town became protestant in 1530. During the Thirty Years' War Heilbronn formed an alliance with Sweden (Heilbronner Konvent, 1633). A first period of prosperity during the second half of the 18th century ended with the occupation by the Württemberg troops in 1802, which also terminated Heilbronn's status as an Imperial City. During the 19th century the town began to flourish again, and at the end of the century was the second-most important industrial centre of Württemberg. During World War II 80% of the town were destroyed during an allied bomb raid in 1944. Soon after the war the town was rebuilt. Today Heilbronn has a population of about 120,000 inhabitants.
The church of Sankt Kilian [left, no.1087: bottom left picture, background, and right, no.1539] was built in Gothic style in the second half of the 15th century. The west tower, the first Renaissance tower north of the Alps, was completed in 1529. The important Late Gothic main altar dates from 1498.
The Town Hall [below, nos.1553 and 1113] was built in 1417 in Gothic style, and was enlarged in Renaissance style at
the end of the 16th century. The elaborate astronomical clock was created in 1579/80. The town hall was destroyed in 1944
and was rebuilt as a copy of the original in 19501953.
The Wartberg [left, no.2046: bottom], 308 m, is a popular excursion place.
The old lookout tower goes back to at least the 15th century.
The inn next to the lookout tower goes back to 1792. In 1868 the tower was heightened and received the platform with its
characteristic Neo-Gothic battlements. During World War ;II the tower was damaged but was restored in the 1950s.