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Herrenberg, Germany Photos ~ 13th Century Town, Historic Church with Bell Museum & Cross-Timbered Houses

Updated on August 13, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Beautiful Herrenberg, Germany
Beautiful Herrenberg, Germany | Source

Memories of Herrenberg, Germany

The following question was at one time posed to me. "What are some of the most memorable places you've visited and why?"

Having traveled a bit mostly in the United States but also in a few other countries I gave this question some serious thought and have come up with my answer.

The quaint and historic town of Herrenberg, Germany came to mind for several reasons.

Not only is it located in the gorgeous southwestern portion of Germany which includes scenic areas such as the Black Forest and an abundance of other nearby interesting and beautiful places, but it is the home of a long time dear friend of mine.

Herrenberg, Germany
Herrenberg, Germany | Source

We spent some nights in her Herrenberg - Gültstein condo when I first arrived. We also took several trips going out in various directions to see some of the fascinating places in her home country as well as our prearranged trip into Switzerland.

When we were back in Herrenberg, we got to see more of this 13th century town center with the historic church and famous bell museum. It was so pleasurable with my friend interpreting the language and showing me her town and surrounding areas through her eyes and sharing her experiences.

This made for a memorable experience never to be forgotten.

More photos from Herrenberg, Germany

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Area around where my friend attended elementary school in Herrenberg.Herrenberg, GermanyPostcard from one of my friend's favorite restaurants.Advertising signs outside of buildings
Area around where my friend attended elementary school in Herrenberg.
Area around where my friend attended elementary school in Herrenberg. | Source
Herrenberg, Germany
Herrenberg, Germany | Source
Postcard from one of my friend's favorite restaurants.
Postcard from one of my friend's favorite restaurants. | Source
Advertising signs outside of buildings
Advertising signs outside of buildings | Source

Vacation in Germany

The closest that I could get when flying on airliners from Houston, Texas to my friend's locale was to land in Stuttgart, Germany which is a little over 18 miles (30 km) north of Herrenberg. My friend drove her car to pick me up at the airport and then returned with me back to her home.

When flying and looking down on this part of Germany, I saw vivid yellow swatches of color in the fields. I wondered what kind of a crop it was?

Field of rape plant in foreground
Field of rape plant in foreground | Source

Upon arriving and unloading my suitcases, the first thing we did was to take a walk through the fragrant fields of barley and rape. Those were the bright yellow fields of rape I had seen from the air to a nearby cemetery where my friend watered her mother's flowers surrounding her grave.

It turned out to be a great place for walking, bicycling and horseback riding. While we were doing the former we saw several people riding horses in this beautiful area.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fields of rape & horseback riding in Herrenberg - Gulltstein area.Herrenberg - Gulltstein area of Germany
Fields of rape & horseback riding in Herrenberg - Gulltstein area.
Fields of rape & horseback riding in Herrenberg - Gulltstein area. | Source
Herrenberg - Gulltstein area of Germany
Herrenberg - Gulltstein area of Germany | Source

My friend's "little bit of paradise" is on the edge of a forest called the Schönbuch which is filled with beechnut, oak and pine trees. The air was sweet with fragrance and this was a great way to unwind after being cramped up in airline seats for that transatlantic flight.

After that walk and a suggested nap for me, being awakened for supper and then bedding down again, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed the next day for our three weeks of adventure.

Flowers of the rape plant
Flowers of the rape plant | Source

Value of the Rape Plant

The rape seeds contain oil which have been used to lubricate machinery.

Hybridized forms of it are made into canola oil which is used for cooking with a side benefit of helping to reduce bad cholesterol.

The plants return nitrogen to the soil and the plants are also a high protein source of animal feed.

Thus, this pretty yellow blooming rape plant related to the mustard family and which caught my eye in wonderment when first seen from the air, is a very beneficial type of crop for many reasons.

Forest path (the Alten Rain) above Herrenberg
Forest path (the Alten Rain) above Herrenberg | Source

Ecumenical Church Service

After trips to parts of the Black Forest, viewing castles and churches and visiting towns like St. Blasien and Freiburg among other places, we once again spent a few days in Herrenberg before heading out in other directions.

One of those days happened to be Pentecostal Monday. There was an ecumenical service being held in the park high above the town and represented by Methodist and Reformed Lutheran ministers and a Catholic priest as well as lay people. When my friend inquired if I would be interested in attending the service I said yes. Even though nothing but German was being spoken I thought that it would be something interesting to experience.

Walking through a beautiful forested area above Herrenberg known as the Alten Rain, the views were stupendous looking back down upon the area.

2 photos pieced together showing Herrenberg & landscape below the Alten Rain (forested area) which was high above.
2 photos pieced together showing Herrenberg & landscape below the Alten Rain (forested area) which was high above. | Source

Flowers and Fabrics

As we approached the building in the park where the church service was to be held, people were bringing bouquets of flowers from their own gardens. These were being combined with others to make altar decorations.

Flowers being combined for the altar decorations.
Flowers being combined for the altar decorations. | Source

Already strung from the walls and ceilings above the standing and seated people were all kinds of torn and knotted together colorful scraps of fabric.

My friend explained to me the symbolism of those fabric pieces. What it meant is that despite people coming from different backgrounds and religious faiths, we are all more similar than the differences which separate us.

I thought that was a unique way of showing that.

While I understood a German word here and there, obviously I missed most of the meaning but was surprised that I recognized the tunes of some of the music being played.

Attending the ecumenical church service was a nice portion of a day and certainly something different and memorable for me.

Ecumenical church service in the park above Herrenberg
Ecumenical church service in the park above Herrenberg | Source

Forest Cemetery

After the ecumenical church service we visited one of the prettiest cemeteries that I had ever seen. It was not because the monuments were the most spectacular I had ever seen. It was the setting! It was called Wald - Friedhof which meant forest cemetery and it was where my friend's aunt was buried and where she will also reside when she enters the next life.

Forest cemetery (Wald - Friedhof) in Herrenberg, Germany
Forest cemetery (Wald - Friedhof) in Herrenberg, Germany | Source

An interesting thing I learned about German cemeteries: People are only allowed to be buried for 25 years after which the space is reused for another occupant. That being said...it is the last space filled in the cemetery when the countdown begins. So the first people buried in a particular cemetery can stay there for many years longer, on average.

Another way of reusing cemetery spaces is to remove all of the headstones and make the space into a park.

We visited one such park in Herrenberg where my friend's grandparents were buried. She associates the area of their burial with a certain tree that grew near their graves. It was a beautiful and serene setting.

An old Super 8 filming of (Herrenberg 1976) with a little bit of German language but mostly music.

13th Century Town

The older parts of Herrenberg date back to the 13th century and like so many towns in those ages, it was surrounded by a city wall for protection against marauding forces. Parts of the city walls still exist today.

We had lunch at the Hotel Gasthof Hasen and dined alfresco. The weather was crisp and sunny. It was a perfect day to explore more of this Medieval city on foot after our lunch which was topped off with steaming cups of espresso.

The year of my visit was in 1997 and at time I was told that Herrenberg consisted of about 12,000 people but with the surrounding areas that number expanded to around 26,000. Over the course of years many little villages had been incorporated into Herrenberg and such was the case with Gültstein where my friend lived at that time.

Cross timbered houses in Herrenberg, Germany
Cross timbered houses in Herrenberg, Germany | Source

Cross Timbered Houses

Also known as half timbered houses there are many of these beautiful houses and buildings in Herrenberg...so many in fact that this town is one of 100 cities and towns from north to south in Germany that is featured on the German Timber Frame Road.

Often the natural surroundings are taken into consideration when houses are constructed. Those that are surrounded by many woods and forests, such as where I grew up in Wisconsin, lumber is often used.

Adobe is often used where the local soil provides more of the building materials such as is found in places like New Mexico. Where my husband and I live in Houston, Texas a combination of materials are utilized including bricks, stone, wood, glass and steel among other things.

Cross timbered (half timbered) house in Herrenberg
Cross timbered (half timbered) house in Herrenberg | Source

It makes sense that in Herrenberg and much of Germany for that matter these half timbered houses were built.

Those that survived the bombing in both world wars are truly beautiful to see.

2 photos pieced together showing cross or half timbered houses in Herrenberg
2 photos pieced together showing cross or half timbered houses in Herrenberg | Source

Cobblestoned streets in Herrenberg that my friend grew up walking upon are now replaced with bricks.

As so often happens in older cities where buildings have survived the centuries, they are put to multiple uses over the years. Where my friend and her siblings once attended elementary school it is now a goldsmith shop. It had at one time been a former prison.

Rathaus with Stiftskirch behind it in Herrenberg.
Rathaus with Stiftskirch behind it in Herrenberg. | Source

Historic Church

In German this historic church which was originated in the 13th century is called the collegiate church. It is a dominant feature in this small town and towers over much of Herrenberg.

Located behind and above the town hall (Rathaus) in the town center, it houses a bell museum known as the Glockenmuseum in German.

During World War II bells were removed from many churches to be melted down into the making of ammunition. Fortunately for historic purposes and otherwise many were unused.

One of the many bells in the church tower in Herrenberg
One of the many bells in the church tower in Herrenberg | Source

In the church tower is the largest bell collection in all of southern Germany. The church and bell collection as well as the half timbered houses have become quite a tourist attraction. The church is the one my friend attends, and according to her, restoration has taken place about every hundred years since it was first built.

On one visit to the United States, my friend brought artistic pieces of the copper roof from her church. With parts of the removed old roof an artist created things such as wind chimes or garden décor which when sold helped raise funding for the new roof. What an innovative use for the old copper!

As you can see from this photo, I still admire my copper chicken in our garden!

Garden décor from my friend's church roof in Herrenberg.

Garden décor from my friend's church roof in Herrenberg.
Garden décor from my friend's church roof in Herrenberg. | Source

Gloriosa Herrenberg (featuring the bells ringing in the church tower)

Granite steps lead up to the Gothic styled church and from the church's tower one can see the entire town of Herrenberg including Gültstein, which along with six other surrounding smaller towns was incorporated into Herrenberg some time ago.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Views of Herrenberg from the church towerViews of Herrenberg from the church tower
Views of Herrenberg from the church tower
Views of Herrenberg from the church tower | Source
Views of Herrenberg from the church tower
Views of Herrenberg from the church tower | Source

Herrenberg, Germany

Sharing this historic and beautiful town of my dear friend's birth in southwest Germany with her as my tour guide made this most memorable for me. While we saw other great places in Germany, Herrenberg and my experiences there will always hold a special place in my heart.

Location of Herrenberg in Germany

A markerHerrenberg, Germany -
Herrenberg, Germany
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Have you ever been to Herrenberg or does this look like a place you would enjoy visiting?

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Aerial view of Herrenberg (Luftportrait der Stadt Herrenberg)

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 21 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi SweetiePie,

      The cross timbered houses certainly do have a distinctive look to them. There is a town in the State of Washington by the name of Leavenworth that has also replicated that look. Glad you enjoyed looking at the town of Herrenberg in Germany. I certainly enjoyed myself while there!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 21 months ago from Southern California, USA

      I grew up in Lake Arrowhead, and the local village was obsessed with the look of the crossed timbered buildings. They have replicated that look for many of the shops, actually. I enjoyed all the pictures from this trip to Herrenberg, Germany, and I shared our hub on Pinterest.

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Je Go,

      I love all types of good architecture. Glad you liked this look at the cross timbered houses in Herrenberg, Germany. Appreciate your comment.

    • profile image

      Je Go 3 years ago

      I am always in awe of how remarkable European architecture stands out! Gotta love this one Peggy W!

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Cyndi10,

      So happy to know that you enjoyed this virtual tour of this very beautiful town in southern Germany. It was my pleasure to be able to show it to you and others.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 3 years ago from Georgia

      What a wonderful visit you provided for us. The pictures were wonder and the description made this reader think she was there. I've never been, but you made me feel the trip would be well worth it. Voted up and pinning.

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      Stuttgart is also a beautiful place. It is no wonder your daughter enjoyed her time spent there. So glad you enjoyed this virtual tour of Herrenberg. Thanks for the votes and shares!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      One of my daughters was stationed in Stuttgart when she was in the Army. She has always raved about the country, the people, etc.

      Thanks for the virtual tour of Herrenberg today. Your photos are outstanding!

      Voted UP, etc. shared, Pinned on my travel board, and it's now on Google+.

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi tracykarl99,

      It surely was a memorable trip and one that I will never forget. So glad you enjoyed reading this. :)

    • tracykarl99 profile image

      Tracy 3 years ago from San Francisco

      What a memorable trip you had to Herrenberg. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures and your memories. :)

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Suzanne,

      Germany is indeed a beautiful country from what I have seen which is the southern part. Interesting that you had German babysitters when you were young. Thanks for the votes and shares.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      Germany is lovely and seems very familiar to me. I had German babysitters when I was a young child, and I love the language. Some of my very favorite movies are German movies.

      Great photos and videos! Voted up, awesome, tweeted, Pinned and FB'd. :)

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Margaret,

      Sounds like you had a wonderful time while visiting your son in Stuttgart. Getting to also see Paris and Normandy as well as getting to camp in the Jura Mountains...how lovely! I had a great time with my friend seeing parts of Germany and some of Switzerland. The only other time I went to Europe was with my husband and we got to see some of Spain. He has been on several business related trips to Italy and is in love with that country. Isn't traveling fun!!! Thanks for your votes and the share.

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Vellur,

      Nice to know that you enjoyed your virtual trip to Herrenberg, Germany via this hub. I enjoyed taking the photos. Glad that you liked them. Thanks for your comment and vote.

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      Since you love cross timbered houses...visiting Herrenberg, Germany would be a real treat for you! Appreciate your voting and sharing of this hub + the 5 star rating. :)

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi moonlake,

      I think that you would love visiting the quaint and charming little village of Herrenberg in Germany. Getting to visit it with my friend who lives there made it even more special for me. Thanks for your comment and the pin.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      We seem to travel in so many of the same places. I went to Stuttgart in 2008 to visit my son (he was stationed there while in the Marine Corps). This was the only time I've been to Europe - got to see Paris and Normandy as well while there for three weeks. We went camping in the Jura mountains, which was such fun. I loved Germany, and really enjoyed reading about your visit - voted up, interesting and useful - and sharing!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Thank you for the lovely trip, enjoyed it. Great hub and lovely pictures. Voted up.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Lovely pictures and I love these cross timbered houses. I really enjoyed reading this travelogue of yours to Herrenberg.

      Voted up, interesting and beautiful. Shared, pinned and tweeted. Rated 5 stars as well.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      This is one place I would like to visit. I think I will pin it to my travel board.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Vinaya,

      Perhaps someday you will get to travel to Europe and see sites like this charming town in Germany called Herrenberg. I have only been to Europe twice in my life. I truly enjoyed those visits to Germany, Spain and Switzerland. Would really like to see more someday. Thanks for your comment.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Never been to Europe, your text and pictures remind me what I'm missing in my life.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Jasmine,

      Nice hearing that you enjoyed reading and seeing photos from Herrenberg. In today's world economy, having a good job is reason enough to stay in one place as you stated. Will look forward to your discovering more about the areas in Germany where you now live. Often people do not think to write about nearby places or the places where they live but focus on vacations in other locales. I for one would like to get your impressions of Aschaffenburg and nearby Frankfurt. I have written quite a few articles about the things that can be seen in and around Houston...but can still write more. Here is to more discoveries of each others hubs!

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      I live in Aschaffenburg (near Frankfurt). I do plan to stay in Germany for a long time because my husband works here and nowadays it's not wise to take great risks, such as leaving a great job and starting again in the dark. If we lived in Italy, I'd feel more at home (coming from Croatia which is a pretty similar country). I'm trying to build a different attitude, and all jokes aside, reading articles about Germany such as this one really helps.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello vox vocis,

      Where was your original home? Hopefully if you are to live in Germany for a long time, you will grow to love it. As they say..."Home is where the heart is," and while it is nice to look back, looking forward can also be rather exciting and stimulating. In what part of Germany do you now live? I got to visit the southern part of it as you can probably tell from my hubs written on that subject. Glad that you liked the photos. Thanks for your comment.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      Cross timbered houses are typical for Germany and very nice to see. They make you feel like you're in a fairytale. When I moved to Germany three years ago, I felt horrible. I did notice the wonderful landscapes and nice cities, but knowing that I left home "for good" (never say never, I still believe and want to come back home), I kind of hated Germany. I'm getting used to it, I don't hate it, but home is home sweet home :) Loved reading your hub. It kind of softened me lol

      Amazing photo gallery!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Judi,

      You should write about Baden Baden. It is a site in Germany that I have not visited. Would love to hear about your impressions and enjoy seeing any pictures you might have taken. Thanks for commenting on this hub about my friend's town of Herrenberg. Appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Judio 5 years ago

      I LOVE Germany and have visited many times. If ever you can't find me... I'm in Baden Baden!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Charlu,

      Appreciate your glowing comment on this hub about Herrenberg, Germany. Glad that I passed on some information that you did not know. It was a fabulous trip!

    • Charlu profile image

      Charlu 5 years ago from Florida

      Spectacular hub and photos. I am in awe about them bringing the flowers to create the arrangements, the fabric and what it symbolizes and the 25 yrs is kind of different, especially the last one in deal. Absolutely loved it felt like I was walking on the cobblestone streets. All the Ups and standing ovation!!!!!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi CASE1WORKER,

      I would agree with you. The parts of Germany that I got to see were extremely clean and well kept. Glad that you liked these photos of Herrenberg and thanks for your comment.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      I always love your photos. I have been to Germany and what struck me was the cleanliness of the streets and shopping areas.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      It truly was wonderful seeing Herrenberg with my friend who could lead me to her favorite spots and explain and interpret things for me. I have wonderful memories of that time we got to spend together! Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Simone,

      Hope that you do get to see Herrenberg in Germany someday. It is truly beautiful. Swooning is OK...just try to behave yourself on the exploding stuff. Haha! Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello moneycop,

      Glad that all of these photos of Herrenberg, Germany made you feel as though you were there. Thanks for your comment.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      What a beautiful and colorful town with gorgeous houses and cobblestone streets. You have great information on the history of Herrenberg, including the historic churches and the famous bell museum. Very interesting cemetery and gardens. Love your photos and videos. Another fond memory of a beautiful vacation spot. A very good hub.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh, swoon! What a gorgeous place! I would love to see Herrenberg for myself someday. Between the natural environment, cool people, and lovely architecture, I don't know what I'd do with myself! I'd probably explode on the spot.

    • moneycop profile image

      moneycop 5 years ago from JABALPUR

      infomatic and nice pictures,

      really it was a real visit i am feeling with so many real pics and elaboration..

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi alocsin,

      You would be pleased to see all of these examples of the cross-timbered (half-timbered) houses in Herrenberg, Germany. That, and the church with the large collection of bells as well as the surrounding beautiful scenery makes Herrenberg a beautiful destination point of interest. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello teacherjoe52,

      So nice to know that you liked this hub and photos about Herrenberg, Germany. Thanks for your comment.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What an amazing town. This is going on my visit list. I love the half-timbered homes. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 5 years ago

      Very good article.

      I loved your photos and it is very informative.

      God bless you.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Darlene,

      Thanks for your complimentary comment about Herrenberg, Germany. Hope you get to see it for yourself someday.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Prasetio,

      So glad to know that you enjoyed this hub about Herrenberg, Germany. It is such a pretty town in so many ways. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi gogogo,

      Which parts of Germany have you visited? Is it anywhere near Herrenberg and the Black Forest area? Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      Darlene 5 years ago

      Beautiful photography. I'd love to visit Herrenberg.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Awesome hub about Herrenberg. Very well written and you gave us complete information about the historic town. I really enjoy this virtual tour. You fly my imagination to beautiful place at Herrenberg. Thank you very much for writing and share with us. Good job, Peggy. My vote always for you and press all buttons here, expect funny. Cheers..

      Prasetio

    • profile image

      gogogo 5 years ago

      Excellent hub, I have visited Germany many timrs, but not here.