Located between the Black Forest and the Swabian Alps, Rottweil has almost 139,500 inhabitants as of 2019. The old town is famous for its medieval center and for its traditional carnival (called "Fasnet" in the local Swabian dialect). It is the oldest town in Baden-Württemberg, and its appearance has changed very little since the 16th century.
In 1463 Rottweil joined the Swiss Confederacy under the pretence of a temporary alliance. In 1476 the Rottweilers fought on the Swiss side against Charles the Bold in the Battle of Morat. In 1512, Pope Julius II gave the city a valuable "Julius banner" for its services in the 1508-1510 "Great Pavier Campaign" to expel the French. In 1519, the Rottweilers left the old Swiss alliance. They joined a new one in which their membership was extended indefinitely - the so-called "Eternal Covenant".
Rottweil thus became a centre of the Swiss Confederation. The relations between the Swiss Confederation and Rottweil cooled rapidly during the Protestant Reformation. When Rottweil was troubled by wars, however, it still asked the Confederates for help.
In the Rottweil Witch Hunts from 1546 to 1661, 266 so-called witches, wizards and magicians were executed in the imperial city of Rottweil. On April 15, 2015, they were given a posthumous pardon. An official apology was given by the City Council about 400 years after their violent death.
Rottweil lost both its status as free city and its alliance with the Swiss Confederacy with the conquest of the region by Napoleon in 1803.
Lord Mayors since the 19th century
1820-1833: Max Joseph von Khuon, Schultheiß
1833-1845: Max Teufel
1845-1848: Karl Dinkelmann
1848-1851: Kaspar Rapp
1852-1887: Johann Baptist Marx
1887-1923: Edwin Glückher
1924-1943: Josef Abrell
1943-1944: Otto Mann
1944-1945: Paul Fritz
1945-1946: Franz Mederle
1946-1965: Arnulf Gutknecht
1965-1985: Ulrich Regelmann, mayor, from 1970 Lord Mayor
The late-Romanesque and Gothic-era Münster Heiliges Kreuz ("Minster of the Holy Cross"), built over a pre-existing church from 1270. It features a crucifix by Veit Stoss and noteworthy Gothic sculptures.
Kapellenkirche (1330-1340), a Gothic church with a tower and with three statue-decorated portals.
Lorenzkapelle ("Church of St. Lawrence", 16th century) in late Gothic style. It houses some two hundred works by Swabian masters and Gothic altarpieces from the 14th and 15th centuries.
The town's museum, including a notable Roman mosaic with the legend of Orpheus.
The late-Gothic town hall (1521).
St. Pelagius, a Romanesque church from the 12th century. Excavations have brought to light Roman baths on the same site.
As of 2015, ThyssenKrupp was constructing a $45 million, 807-foot (246 m) tower. The tower is a research facility for the company and is to be used to test new elevator cars and technologies. At 807 feet, it is the tallest structure in the district. The windowless building is to have 12 elevator shafts.
^Website of Dominikaner Museum Rottweil (retrieved May 22, 2014), on permanent display is a wooden table from August 4, AD 186 naming arae flaviae as municipium thus making Rottweil the oldest town in Baden-Württemberg Archived 2014-05-21 at the Wayback Machine