"Jumping in Bretten" Bretten by Nemorino

Bretten Travel Guide: 45 reviews and 179 photos

Photo by marielexoteria

After forty years in Germany I thought I knew my way around fairly well, especially since my business travel used to get me into some rather obscure places.

But when we were sitting in the S4 tram-train and I asked Bernd_L where we were going, his answer didn't mean a thing to me. Bretten? Never heard of it.

Bretten turns out to be a town of 28,000 people located roughly 26 km east of Karlsruhe, 20 km north of Pforzheim, 47 km northwest of Stuttgart und 40 km west of Heilbronn.

It has some picturesque half-timbered houses and a Christmas Market, and was the birthplace of Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560), a humanist, university professor and religious reformer who was a friend and colleague of Martin Luther's.

If "Melanchthon" doesn't sound like a particularly German name, don't worry, it isn't. His name was originally Schwarzerdt, which in the German of that era meant "black soil", but when he was a twelve-year-old schoolboy he was so good at Latin and ancient Greek that his uncle, the humanist Johannes Reuchlin, decided he should have a Greek name and called him Melanchthon, which means black soil in Greek.

Today Bretten likes to describe itself as "The Melanchthon City", even though Melanchthon himself moved away (to Pforzheim) when he was eleven.

The main street of Bretten is now called Melanchthonstraße, and there is also a Melanchthon School and a Melanchthon House and Museum at the site of his birth house, though the original house burned down along with most of the town in the great fire of 1689.


Our excursion from Karlsruhe to Bretten was part of the 6th Annual International VT Glühwein Meeting in December 2009. This was truly an international meeting, with VirtualTourist members from England, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

Of course as VT members we took a lot of photos. Here Isa (Belsaita) is taking a picture of the Simmelturm, otherwise known as the leaning tower of Bretten.

The lead photo on this page, which shows me jumping at the Christmas Market in Bretten, was taken -- on the first try! -- by Mariel (marielexoteria), who also took jumping photos of Isa and Natalie (nhcram) and sent them all to jumpingnorman for inclusion in his huge collection of VT jumping photos.

  • Last visit to Bretten: Dec 2009
  • Intro Updated Aug 11, 2011
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Reviews (7)

Comments (26)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Don, A good jump on the first try, took me more than one attempt. Nice page on this town too!

  • alancollins's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    The tram-train sound like a brilliant idea.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    What a great little place to include in a VT Meeting! I never heard of the International VT Glühwein Meetings before. Are they still going on?

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    I was hoping you had a page about Bremen, when I saw your Bretten page. I was there a few weeks ago. It's a nice, small town and I enjoyed reading your page about it.

  • Martinewezel's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    Funny story about the little fat dog. Seems you enjoyed the meeting a lot. Nice jump!

  • MD2nd's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Great photo of your jump in Bretten, and also great shot of the blindfolded muscle-man and his revolution.

  • mustertal's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2010 at 6:33 AM

    Yet another little gem. I really must try and make the Gluhwein meeting.

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    That must have been a great little trip with some excellent VT guides. Loved the half-timbered houses and the story of the dog, no matter if it is true.

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    Nice tips and photos of Bretten. I especially like your tip about the Revolution Monument.

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2010 at 7:17 AM

    Glühwein and half timbered houses, this remembers me of Alsace!

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