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(January 1 – March 31, 2024)

Iñaki Rezola

An ancient tradition in an old city.

Carsten T. Rees

City or town?

Burkheim - Mittelstadt, Kaiserstuhl, Germany

March 31st, 2024 - 17:38:25 CEST

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© 2024 Carsten T. Rees, All Rights Reserved.


The German language does not differentiate between the two words: city and town. We use the word “Stadt“. In Medieval times the “Stadtrechte“ – the rights of the city/town - were granted by the Emperor or sovereign. The sovereign was often a grandduke, duke, margrave etc. The main part of the “Stadtrecht“ was the privilege to hold a market. Another privilege was the “Niederlagsrecht“ – passing merchants had to display their goods in the city/town for a certain period of time – thus furthering the trade. The “Stadt“ was also entitled to raise duties when entering its area with goods. And last but not least there was an own jurisdiction connected to the privilege of being a “Stadt”.

A medieval German “Stadt” did not have to be large in population or area. The “Stadt” was of political or economic importance. And usually, this led to a constant increase in population. But both, epidemics (several plagues) and wars (like the 30-year war), regularly reduced the population by 50% or more.

The little “Stadt” of Burkheim was first mentioned in the last will of the Bishop of Strassburg on the 13th of March 762 AD.

Round about the year 1316 Burkheim was granted the „Stadtrechte“. And when on the second day of Christmas in 1347 Emperor Karl IV. spent a night in Burkheim, he granted further privileges – like the right to run a ferry over the river Rhine.

In the following centuries, the history of Burkheim had its ups and downs. In 1950 Burkheim had 775 inhabitants. In 1975 Burkheim and some villages in the area joined to form the new Stadt of Vogtsburg. Burkheim brought its Stadtrechte into this new “Stadt”.

The historical part of Burkheim is very small. And it has preserved its medieval character and charme. In the panorama, you can see the old tower and gate to the “Stadt” – Rottweiler Tor – and the Rathaus from Renaissance times – the red building.


Canon EOS 5D MKIV, Canon EF 8-15mm, Nodal Ninja R1, DXO, Photomatix Pro 7, PTGui Pro, Photoshop 2024, Topaz Photo AI, Pano2VR

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