The history of the Lower Tower

The Lower Tower and the Upper Tower and their respective gates grant access to the enclosed town

The Tower also served the penal system. In former times, the "Tower Imprisonment" – exacerbated with bread and water – was a prison sentence frequently given by the Town Court. The Tower Guard watched over the prisoners, checked travellers passing through, rang the bell at specified times and if there was a danger and closed the door when darkness fell.

The Tower was supposed to be torn down around 1860. That it still stands today is thanks to the government of Royal Prussia. At the behest of King Frederick William IV of Prussia, instead of being torn down, the foundations were renovated.

When in 1862 construction of New Street diverted most traffic around the town, the Lower Tower no longer blocked traffic and remained in Hechingen as a landmark.

The Lower Tower today still bears proof of the annexations as part of the 1972 amalgamation of parishes. Its passageway contains, carved in stone, the coats of arms of eight parishes which were formerly independent and today are regions of Hechingen: Bechtoldsweiler, Beuren, Boll, Schlatt, Sickingen, Stein, Stetten and Weilheim.

A quote on the north façade serves as a reminder of the constructor: "I was built from the ground to the highest point by Count Eitel Frederick"