1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hall (Germany)

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HALL (generally known as Schwäbisch-Hall, to distinguish it from the small town of Hall in Tirol and Bad-Hall, a health resort in Upper Austria), a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Württemberg, situated in a deep valley on both sides of the Kocher, and on the railway from Heilbronn to Krailsheim, 35 m. N.E. of Stuttgart. Pop. (1905) 9400. It possesses four Evangelical churches (of which the Michaeliskirche dates from the 15th century and has fine medieval carving), a Roman Catholic church, a handsome town hall and classical and modern schools. A short distance south from the town is the royal castle of Komburg, formerly a Benedictine abbey and now used as a garrison for invalid soldiers, with a church dating from the 12th century. The town is chiefly known for its production of salt, which is converted into brine and piped from Wilhelmsglück mine, 5 m. distant. Connected with the salt-works there is a salt-bath and whey-diet establishment. The industries of the town also include cotton-spinning, iron founding, tanning, and the manufacture of soap, starch, brushes, machines, carriages and metal ware.

Hall was early of importance on account of its salt-mines, which were held as a fief of the Empire by the so-called Salzgrafen (Salt-graves), of whom the earliest known, the counts of Westheim, had their seat in the castle of Hall. Later the town belonged to the Knights Templars. It was made a free imperial city in 1276 by Rudolph of Habsburg. In 1802 it came into the possession of Württemberg.