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The Suelm Gate after demolition of the medieval city walls; Lithograph of the Brothers Wolff 1830

The City tears down its walls - City Planning in Heilbronn

Heilbronn was still a medieval style city when it fell to Württemberg in 1802. The wall with its towers and three gates enclosed about 25 square miles, which included dense housing.

Beyond the city walls, mills were located along the Neckar river, along with a few buildings and flammable foundries and kilns . Gardens of the wealthy citizens with attached vineyards circled the inner city.

First, the old city gates were torn down, so that traffic could thread through, easily entering and leaving Heilbronn. The old gates were replaced by new classicist style gates, parts of which existed until the destruction of World War II.
On the east side of the city (in the expanded Karlstrasse), a fourth gate was opened in the city wall in 1808. Heilbronn had thereby expanded towards all four compass points.

Systematic management of Heilbronn's urban development posed a huge problem. At first, individual building sites were planned. Then, due to the accelerating growth, entire suburbs had to be planned, with generous building sites on right-angled streets.

In the 1830's an official land survey was made, upon which Heilbronn based its overall construction plan. The master builder Andreas Ludwig de Millas, brother-in-law of Adolf Cluss, was employed by the city. He completed the city plan in one year's time in 1839.

In the following decades of rapid growth, the right-angled street system multiplied by means of "construction quads". As the city expanded, more parts of the city wall were razed. The broad avenue called "Allee" was built on the east side of the city.

As of 1849, inclusion of the railroad as new means of transportation presented a further urban planning challenge. This resulted in the opening of the southern train station in 1900.

In the beginning of the 1870's, a new basic urban plan was required. The municipal council approved the first draft of the work of Prof. Reinhard Baumeister, a leading expert from Karlsruhe. His ideas formed Heilbronn's city planning of the 20th century.



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