KEMPTEN’S HISTORY – BE AMAZED

Squares in Kempten

Choose your square!

Almost every town has them. Important buildings. Buildings like town halls and churches give a town its face. The local gastronomy finds its home here too. Their beauty, unique charm and central location turn them into a meeting point for the young and the young at heart. We’re talking about squares – the squares (‘Plätze’) in Kempten.


The Allgäu metropolis has lots of historic and unique squares. Locals and visitors, children and grown-ups can all enjoy them equally. Seating areas, cafes and restaurants invite visitors to take a rest or sample some of the fine food. Unique fountains and buildings give Kempten’s squares their very own charm.

St.-Mang-Platz

The beautiful St.-Mang-Platz borders the church of the same name. Focal points of the square, near the river Iller, are the St.-Mang-Brunnen fountain built in an Art Nouveau style as well as the current entrance to the underground showroom Erasmuskapelle. A bronze band between the gravel represents the outline of the former Erasmuskapelle along with a bronze plate. Several graves from the imperial town’s cemetery were discovered during reconstruction work to redesign the square and today an ossuary houses some of these remains beneath the square, marked with a bronze plate on the ground. There is also a group of medieval houses located at St.-Mang-Platz, the Mühlberg-Ensemble at St.-Mang-Platz 8, 10 and 12. Number 12 is allegedly the oldest house in Kempten. The ‘Rotes Haus am St.-Mang-Platz 3’ is a listed building that dates back to late-medieval times.

Rathausplatz

The historic town hall on Rathausplatz, at the heart of the Swabian town, is particularly remarkable. You have to take a close look at this listed building from the outside to notice all of the details. Not to be overlooked is the beautiful fountain in front of the town hall. Rathausplatz was the centre of the imperial town during the time when it was split into the double town. Today this square – like many others in Kempten – is a favourite meeting point thanks to its many cafes and restaurants. Lots of different events also take place on this historic square, including the Kempten Christmas market, the 'Stadtfest' and the opening of the 'Kemptener Jazzfrühling'.
Stiftsplatz
Bordering the Hildegardplatz, Basilika St. Lorenz and Kornhausplatz you will find the Stiftsplatz, one of many squares in Kempten. The historic brewery restaurant ‘Zum Stift‘ is nearby. The prominent building with its oriel tower at Stiftsplatz 1 is a real eye-catcher on the square. Celebrations take place in the festival tent on the grounds of the annual Allgäuer Festwoche. Stiftsplatz is a perfect starting point for a round tour of the imperial town, a guided tour of the state rooms of the Residenz or a visit to the Kempten-Museum in the Zumsteinhaus.
August-Fischer-Platz
August-Fischer-Platz is located in front of the 'Forum Allgäu Kempten' shopping center at the entrance to the pedestrian zone on Bahnhofstrasse. The Kempten terminal station used to be where the shopping center used to be. Operations ceased in 1969.
Sigmund-Ullmann-Platz
Sigmund-Ullmann-Platz is hidden behind the historic town hall square. The listed pink Müßiggenzunfthaus is located here. This served as a meeting place for the Ostrich Society or Müßiggengel, a guild of wealthy citizens of the former imperial city founded in 1419. Today DER SALON is housed in the Müßiggenzunfthaus. Cultural events take place there regularly. Rooms for official or private events as well as a rehearsal room for cultural workers can be rented. On the occasion of the year of monument protection, the Müßiggengel fountain of the same name was erected in 1976. Two panels come from the old fountain from 1791, which stood in Pulvergasse until 1960.

Hildegardplatz

The Hildegardplatz is located to the south of the Basilika St. Lorenz, the first baroque church building in southern Germany following the end of the Thirty Years’ War. The square has existed on the same spot since the seventeenth century. The popular weekly market takes place here every Wednesday and Saturday. The market fountain in the centre of the Hildegardplatz symbolises the unification of the former imperial town with the ecclesiastical town to become the present, unified Kempten. Between the Basilika St. Lorenz and the Marstall, you will find the Serrohäuser. These living quarters were used by the servants at the abbey of Kempten. We also recommend visiting the nearby Kempten-Museum in the Zumsteinhaus. Restaurants and cafes at the Hildegardplatz or the bordering Hofgarten invite tired legs to take a break.

Kornhausplatz

The imposing building of the Kornhaus on this square gives the Kornhausplatz its name. The building goes back to Prince Abbot Rupert von Bodman and was a key building in the former ecclesiastical town. Built between 1698 and 1700, the Kornhaus was used in different ways in the course of history. It was a storehouse for cereal, a weekly farmers’ market, Allgäu Museum and a sight for festivities and seminars. A fountain in the shape of a water curtain gives this square its unique charm.

Residenzplatz

The Residenzplatz is located right in front of the prince abbot’s residence. Today used as local and district court, the building was constructed as a Benedictine monastery in 750 AD. After its destruction during the Thirty Years’ War, the building of the Residenz and church became Germany’s first Baroque monastery. Take a look for yourself and see the unique living quarters of the former prince abbots on a guided tour of the state rooms of the Residenz. The water basin in front of the Residenz, one of the numerous fountains in the Allgäu ‘metropolis’ recalls the water supply of the former ecclesiastical town. It also symbolises the former ‘Schlangenbach’, a braided canal system. The Anna-Schwegelin-Brunnen was built in memory of the last woman sentenced to death as a witch in Germany. The benches on the flat steps or the green area in front of the Residenz are perfect for taking a rest.

SQUARES & FOUNTAINS

History comes alive

Apart from various historic squares oozing extraordinary charm, there are also historic fountains to discover in Kempten, all telling their very own story. At the same time they also offer welcome refreshment on hot summer days.