City history at a glance

Many important historical events, such as the Peace of Rastatt and the Baden Revolution, have shaped Rastatt over the past centuries. Two castles dating back to the reign of the Margraves of Baden-Baden remain landmarks of the town to this day. Since 1956, Rastatt has been a large district town, the largest town in the district of Rastatt and an important business location between Karlsruhe and Offenburg. Over 50,000 citizens from 127 countries now live in the baroque town.


The first documented mention of Rastatt can be found under the name "Rastetten" in a manuscript from Hirsau Abbey dating back to 1084.


the first mention of a church in Rastatt dates back to 1203. This is today's Bernharduskirche.


King Ruprecht of the Palatinate granted the town market rights in 1404. The market develops into a preferred trading center for Alsatian wine. This is why Rastatt still has the wine ladder in its coat of arms today.


Rastatt is burned down and almost completely destroyed by French troops during the War of the Palatinate Succession. After its reconstruction, Rastatt becomes the model town and residence of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden.


Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden, who ruled from 1677 to 1707, decided in 1700 to expand his initially planned hunting lodge into a modern Baroque residence: Today's Rastatt Palace is built. Around 1700, Rastatt was granted city rights.

Rastatt Castle


The Rastatt Residential Palace is one of the earliest German examples of an imitation of the Palace of Versailles. In 1705, Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden and his family moved into the side wing of the palace. Ludwig Wilhelm died just two years later in January 1707 and from then on, his wife Sibylla Augusta ruled the country as regent for 20 years.


From 1710 to 1714, Margravine Sibylla Augusta had the Favorite pleasure palace in Rastatt-Förch built.

Favorite Palace in Rastatt-Förch


in 1714, Rastatt is the scene where European history is written. The Peace of Rastatt marks the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, in which all the major European powers have been involved since 1701. Rastatt Palace is the venue for the four-month peace negotiations.


When the Baden-Baden line died out in 1771, the margraviate fell to the Protestant Baden-Durlach.

1797 to 1799

The new state government under Margrave Karl Friedrich takes various initiatives to promote Rastatt's economy. These included the organization of the Rastatt Congress, which met in the palace from 1797 to 1799, and the founding of a wagon factory.

The court court and later the Middle Rhine district government were also established in Rastatt. In the first half of the 19th century, the town of Rastatt developed into a prosperous administrative center.


Rastatt becomes the capital of the Murg district and garrison of the German Confederation.


Construction of the Rastatt Federal Fortress begins in 1842. For the town of Rastatt, this represents a major turning point in the town's development. The townscape and life in the town changed fundamentally. The authorities move away and economic development is now very limited and heavily dependent on the military.


The Karlsruhe-Rastatt railroad line is opened on May 1, 1844. The Rastatt-Oos section follows on May 6.


in 1849, Rastatt is the central scene of the Baden Revolution. From July 1 to 23, a large part of the revolutionary troops (5,500 men) withdraw into the federal fortress, while the Prussians besiege the fortress outside. On July 23, the revolutionaries capitulate to the Prussian besiegers.

The Baden revolutionary Amand Goegg announces the Offenburg resolutions from a window of Rastatt town hall on May 13, 1849


in 1890, the fortress was abandoned and then largely demolished. With the demolition of the fortress, Rastatt becomes an open city again. New industrial companies come to Rastatt and bring prosperity to the town.

Photo of the demolition of the Ludwigsfeste fortress around 1900

The First and Second World Wars

The First World War and the Great Depression put a stop to the economic upturn in Rastatt. Everyday life in the coming decades is characterized by unemployment, housing shortages and poverty. During the Third Reich, Rastatt once again becomes a garrison town and narrowly escapes destruction in the Second World War.

After the war, French soldiers moved into the barracks and shaped life in the town until their departure in the 1990s.

Parade in front of Rastatt Castle on the occasion of the visit of an American general to the French garrison


On September 15, for the first time after more than 12 years of dictatorship, the population elects a city council consisting of 12 men according to democratic principles.


The so-called "Rastatt Trials " against those responsible for the German Reich during the National Socialist era take place at Rastatt Castle before the French Tribunal général. By 1949, 235 trials against National Socialist officials were held; appeals were heard before the Tribunal supérieur until 1954.

Archive photo Dock in the ancestral hall of Rastatt Castle


Rastatt has been a large district town since April 1, 1956.


The town has been twinned with Orange in Provence, France, since 1965.

Arc de Triomphe in Organge in France


In the course of the municipal reform in the 1970s, Niederbühl, Plittersdorf, Ottersdorf, Wintersdorf and Rauental are incorporated.


Rastatt is twinned with New Britain in the USA in 1984.

New Britain City Hall in the USA


Two years later, in 1986, the town twinning between Rastatt and Fano in Italy is signed.

Place 10. September in Fano Italy


The city of Rastatt's relations extend as far as Brazil. There has been a sponsorship with Entre Rios in Brazil since 1988.


in 1991, Rastatt enters into its fourth town twinning with the Czech town of Ostrov (formerly Schlackenwerth).

Prince's Palace in Ostrov


As a farewell gift to the departing French soldiers, the international street theater festival "tête-à-tête" is held in Rastatt for the first time in 1993. It remains a highlight in the city's cultural calendar to this day.


With the opening of a Daimler AG plant in 1997, Rastatt becomes an important location for the automotive industry.


in 2001, the town of Rastatt expands its connections abroad. Woking in England is now the fifth twin town.

Town center in Woking