Pfullingen on the Web
Welcome to Pfullingen on the Web with information on my German
hometown. You can skip this boring (almost) text-only page and go directly to
the pictures. Of course, you will miss a lot of
facts on Pfullingen then...
Where is Pfullingen?
Pfullingen is a nice little town in south-west Germany with slightly
more than 17,000 citizens. It lies in the state of Baden-Württemberg
and belongs to a region generally known as Swabia ('Schwaben' in German).
The geography of this area is dominated by the Swabian Jura (or Swabian Alb),
a range of highlands stretching east-west through southwest Germany. The
northern edge of the Swabian Jura is marked by a steep rise of a few hundred
meters, with a lot of valleys penetrating the highlands. The Swabian Jura
is tilted towards the south and reaches the level of the surrounding lands
when it meets the river Danube, which is its southern edge. The Black Forrest
bounds the Swabian Jura to the west, and the Ries Meteorite Crater to the
The city of Pfullingen is located right at the exit of one of the
northern valleys of the Swabian Jura formed by the Echaz river. It is about
40 km south of Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg.
The earliest document on Pfullingen dates back to 937 AD, when German emperor
Otto the Great granted fishing privileges of the Echaz river to a citizen
of Pfullingen. But archaeological evidence goes back much further. The area
of Pfullingen was settled already 5000 years ago during the
Neolithic. After having been part of the Roman Empire for more than two
centuries, Alemannic tribes conquered the region after they crossed the
northern defense lines of the Roman Empire (the so-called Limes) in 260 AD.
Originally, the Alemanni were living on the coasts of the Baltic Sea before
they started moving south in the 3rd century. (Although Germans love beer,
the name Alemanni comes from 'all the men' and is not related to an
alcoholic beverage of similar sound.) The clan of Phulo, an Alemannic
prince, decided to settle in the valley of the Echaz river, thus founding
the town of Pfullingen.
The Name: It's Origin...
With many cities and villages in southwest Germany, Pfullingen shares the
-ingen suffix (e.g. Reutlingen, Tübingen, ...). The abbreviated version
-ing is very common in Bavaria (e.g. Garching, Straubing, ...). These names
actually are not place names, but designate clans related to a certain
Alemannic prince, and mean, e.g. in the case of Pfullingen, 'the people of
Phulo'. So, in early days, people weren't going to a place called Pfullingen,
but to the 'Phulo-ingen', the 'people of Phulo'. In the course of time, the
original meaning of Pfullingen as a clan designation disappeared and turned
into a place name.
... and How to Pronounce It
The most important point to keep in mind (in particular for
too-lazy-to-speak-Americans) is that both the p and the f at the beginning
of Pfullingen are pronounced, so it's not just 'Fullingen'! If you are
wetting your vis-à-vis you are probably doing right. Also note that
the g in Pfullingen is pronounced like the g in golf, and not like the g's
The Municipal Insignia
The coat of arms of Pfullingen, displayed on top of this page, consists of
antlers and a pillow. The antlers are explained easily, since they are the
symbol for the county (and, after the Napoleonic Wars, kingdom) of
Württemberg to which Pfullingen belonged since the Middle Ages. The story
behind the pillow is a bit longer...
Since people have long forgotten about the origin of the name of the city,
they made up their own stories about how Pfullingen got its name. They
noticed the similarity with the word 'Pfulba', an old Swabian dialect
expression for pillow, and came up with the following tale: One day, the
count of Württemberg was hunting in the woods of the Echaz river valley,
but he got separated from his party. It was becoming dark, so the count
decided to go to rest and to search for the hunting party the following day.
Of course, his attendants were looking for him, too, and they found him
asleep in the woods the next morning. They woke up the count and asked him
how he slept. 'Wia uf ma Pfulba' ('Like on a Pfulba=pillow') did the count
reply, indicating that he slept very well in that place, which henceforth
was known as Pfulbingen or Pfullingen.
This tale became very influential so that finally the 'Pfulba' was put into
the insignia of Pfullingen. Hence the pillow doesn't mean that the citizens
of Pfullingen are a bunch of lazy and sleepy people...
So you now should be prepared sufficiently for a brief
Tour of Pfullingen.
More information (in German) on Pfullingen can be found on the homepages of
(the local highschool) and of City
Comments? Questions? Please mail to
Please visit my personal homepage.