Heilbronn (hĪlbrônˈ) [key], city (1994 pop. 122,400), Baden-Württemberg, S Germany, a port on the Neckar River. A commercial and industrial center, its manufactures include metal products, machinery, and wine. Heilbronn was the site (early 9th cent.) of a Carolingian palace and in the 14th cent. became a free imperial city. Although it suffered in the wars of the 16th cent., particularly in the Peasants' War, the city rose to great commercial prosperity in the late 16th and early 17th cent. In 1802, Heilbronn passed to Württemberg, and later in the 19th cent. it acquired industrial importance. In World War II (especially 1944) much of the city was destroyed, but many of its historic buildings have been reconstructed. Points of interest include the church of St. Kilian (13th–15th cent.) and the Götzenturm, a tower built in 1392, which is mentioned in Goethe's drama Götz von Berlichingen (1772).
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