Swabia (region) : Nordlingen
Nordlingen is a city in Bavaria.
Nördlingen is located near a Roman settlement built on the road 70 km northwest from Augsburg (an important point on the Via Claudia Augusta route from Italy) and has a population of about 20,000.
The city lies within the Ries Basin, a 25km crater caused when a meteorite struck the earth 15 million years ago. This is one of the best preserved craters on earth and was used by US astronauts to train for the moon landing.
The city is surrounded by a wall, built in the 14th century, which tracks the rim of the crater. In the center of the city is St Georgskirche. From here, 5 main roads radiate to the wall, which has 12 gates.
The "official" first mention of Nördlingen comes in 898 when "Nordilinga" is used - the 1100th birthday festivities took place in 1998.
Nördlingen grew to prominence because of its importance in trade in the area. It was a Free City and the local fair was one of the most important in this region in the Middle Ages. Testimony to that can be seen in the numbers of houses and buildings which still exist that used to house tradesmen's goods or a market for their wares.
The town walls and fortifications had been built in the 14th century and Nördlingen was the site of a battle between Catholic and Protestant forces in the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century. Nördlingen eventually lost its independence and became part of Bavaria at the start of the 19th century and is now the administrative centre of the Donau-Ries area.
Nördlingen has a railway station to the east of the town. Nördlingen is on a regional rail line, which generally connects to the main rail hubs through the town of Donauwörth to the south. Deutsche Bahn  operates hourly train service to Munich (€21, 2 hours), Augsburg (€12, 1 hour), and Stuttgart (€18, 2 hours).
The city is very small and can be covered by foot. The tourist offices runs daily tours in the summer at 2pm and 8:30pm for €3.