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Markgröningen - Picture perfect and rich in history

71706 Markgröningen City center: 0 km
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71706 Markgröningen City center: 0.2 km
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The first thing you notice as you arrive in the centre of Markgröningen is the town hall. Wide, red, and imposing, it is a stunning example of 15th century architecture, complete with an incredibly detailed outer façade. This medieval red and white décor is repeated throughout the town, creating a picturesque effect. One of the best examples of this is at the famous Spital, a former hostelry, which was consecrated in 1297. The Spital remains at the centre of most of the action in the town–this is where the festivities of the famous Shepherd’s Run begin. On the last weekend of August, shepherds from all over the area gather in Markgröningen to demonstrate their shepherding prowess and then race barefoot across a nearby field. The winner wins a sheep, of course, and is crowned Shepherd King. Unsurprisingly, the Run is incredibly popular with locals and visitors alike.

Location: Markgröningen–country living

Markgröningen is not a large town–it is estimated that only around 15,000 people live within the township–but it benefits from its proximity to the city of Ludwigsburg (10 km away) and Stuttgart (20 km away). The town itself is surrounded by rolling countryside in one of Germany’s most productive agricultural areas.

Business: Commuter haven

While the agricultural and tourist trades maintain a healthy economy in Markgröningen, the small size of the town and its historic nature means that most people leave the town to find work in the nearby cities of Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg. Proximity to these major cities means that Markgröningen is popular with commuters who want the country life but with a city salary.

Culture: Honouring the past

Despite two wars, Markgröningen’s historical centre remains very well preserved, and this is largely down to a strong respect among locals for the past. Visit the 600-year-old Gasthaus Krone, nowadays home to a Greek restaurant, and the Zum Ratsstüble restaurant for images and mementos from the past, and speak to locals for stories about old customs and traditions, such as the famous Schäferlauf (“Shepherd’s Run”).

Activities: Run with the shepherds

You can find a gym or a swimming pool anywhere, but no other town has its own annual Shepherd’s Run. Although the race itself has been going since 1828, over the past few decades it has been expanded over an entire weekend, incorporating markets, dances, processions and a whole host of different activities. It is unmissable–even for non-shepherds.