Heilbronn doesn't just wow visitors with its Franconian joie de vivre. Tourists can expect gently rolling hills surrounded by sprawling vineyards, an unforgettably beautiful spot on the Neckar River and picturesque views with historical buildings.

Cycling tours, boat trips or strolls along the green riverside promenade: Tourists in Heilbronn soon realise that the city lives off, with – and sometimes even on – the Neckar River. There is even a theatre ship, the only floating stage in the whole of southern Germany. And while we're on the subject of theatre, poet Heinrich von Kleist transformed the city into a big name in world literature with his 'knightly play' Das Käthchen von Heilbronn, performed for the first time in Vienna in 1810. The Käthchenhaus, a large Gothic stone house from the 14th century, only received its name in 1843 when it was christened as such by travel guides.

The Schießhaus with its Rococo hall and rose garden plus St. Kilian's Church with its original octagonal tower – the oldest parts of which date back to the 13th century – are well worth a visit too. And so is the city's Town Hall with its ornamental astronomical clock, built in 1580. Once you've seen its wonderful spectacle, you'll never forget it. An evening spent sampling exquisite local wines could be equally as unforgettable. With over 500 hectares of vineyards, Heilbronn is one of the most important wine-growing areas in Germany. And a beautiful one at that! Even Goethe would wax lyrical about the views from the Wartberg hill, which is overgrown with vines.

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