Schwäbisch Hall, known by the locals simply as "Hall", is an idyllic town with 37,000 inhabitants that owes its prosperity to a thriving trade and services sector. Companies from the property finance, solar energy and telecommunications sectors have their headquarters here. A number of schools and educational institutions, including a recently established campus of nearby Heilbronn University, attract many young people to Schwäbisch Hall. Goethe-Institut course participants are always welcome to listen in on lectures and seminars. The renowned Hochschule für Gestaltung, a private college, offers innovative programs in media design. The Goethe-Institut discovered Schwäbisch Hall's charm and quality of life very early. Course participants have been coming here to learn about the most beautiful aspects of German language and culture since 1965.
Schwäbisch Hall is renowned for its outdoor summer theater performances on the open-air staircase at St. Michael's and at the Globe Theater. Two museums, the Hällisch-Frankische Museum and the Hohenloher Freilandmuseum, bring to life the history of the region and city since the Middle Ages. Paintings by old masters are exhibited in the medieval Johanniterhalle, a former church dating back to the 12th century. The private Kunsthalle Würth, a spectacular art gallery designed by the Danish architect Henning Larsen, is dedicated to modern art. In the spring, performers and music lovers from Germany and abroad meet in Schwäbisch Hall for the JazzArtFestival, and every two years the leading lights in the world of German-speaking literature gather here for the LiteraturLive festival. There is no doubt: This town's architectural masterpieces harbor an open and youthful cultural scene.
Whether by land, water or air, Schwäbisch Hall and the surrounding area offer a wealth of leisure-time activities, from sports flying to swimming, hiking and cycling. And there's no better way of recovering after these exertions than enjoying tasty dishes made with organic ingredients from the Hohenlohe region. Incidentally: Schwäbisch Hall has more traditional festivals and markets than there are months in the year, with such diverse events as the Summer Night Festival, the Festival of Light to the historical Kuchen- und Brunnenfest, which commemorates the annual cleaning of the salt springs when salt was the town's economic lifeblood. Other highlights include the Baker's Oven Festival at the Open Air Museum and the Christmas Market, which features traditional handicrafts.