The town of Widdern is a small municipality at the mouth of the Kessach into the Jagst, in the immediate vicinity of the municipalities of Möckmühl, Jagsthausen and Schöntal with its famous monastery complex.
The sub-village of Unterkessach belongs to Widdern and won the gold medal in the state competition "Our village shall become more beautiful" in 1991 and the bronze medal in the national competition.
The smallest town in Baden-Württemberg, idyll par excellence, harmoniously embedded in the friendly and wooded nature of the Jagst and Kessach valleys.
In addition to the ruins of Widdern Castle, the former official residence of the administrator of the Würzburg bishops and Gemmingen Castle from the time of the Widdern Ganerben, there are many other beautifully preserved half-timbered houses in the town with over 1000 years of history.
Also worthy of special mention are the old bakehouse, which continues to be run by diligent members of the local history society, as well as the museum in the old railway station, the "old village smithy" museum in Unterkessach, and the "Wachthaus Am Limes", located directly on the Limes hiking trail at WP 8/52, with an exhibition on Roman numismatics of the middle imperial period and on the life of Roman soldiers at the Limes.
For all four sights mentioned, the visit should be pre-booked, as regular opening hours are limited.
Widdern, like the neighbouring communities, was already settled in Roman times. Whether this settlement was denser than some villae rusticae is not known.
Widdern was mentioned in the Lorsch Codex in 775 and received its town charter towards the end of the 13th century. In the course of the town's eventful history, the castle was destroyed and Widdern lost most of its inhabitants during the Thirty Years' War.
The town's coat of arms has been changed several times during the town's history; most recently in 1937.
Of the former Zyllhardt castle, where the "old" town hall now stands, only a beautiful cellar vault remains. An older chronicler told us that this castle was lavishly rebuilt after the Thirty Years' War by Baron von Zyllhardt in Italian style with magnificent paintings inside. The site of the castle in Widdern is said to have been bought by the innkeeper Gottfried Dieffenbach, who built the inn "Zum Schloss". In 1875, the building was bought by the municipality and was the seat of the administration until 04/2015.
The Dörnle in Widdern is a small chapel with a great past. It is said that the ringing of the Dörnle's bells helped a lost lady of the castle find her way back home from the forest. Why not take a look during a hike through Widdern?
The course of the Upper Germanic Limes can still be traced very well today in the area of the town of Widdern - in suitable conditions in the fields by the positive vegetation features, in the forest by the ruins of watchtowers 8/48 and 8/51, which are still clearly visible and easily accessible today.
The "Wachthaus Am Limes" is located on the Glasenberg between Unterkessach and Jagsthausen. Various Roman artefacts and museum replicas can be seen here, but the main focus is on the exhibition of Roman coins. Guided tours are also offered.
Opening hours and further information can be found at www.wachthausamlimes.jimdo.com.
A visit to the Unterkessach local heritage museum is well worth it! A guided tour will give you an insight into historical ways of life as well as furnishings and handicrafts.