The market square could be described as Waiblingen's "Living Room", a weekly market is held here, street cafés invite you to linger, and town festivals and events take place here. Above all, however, the square is the historical centre of the old town. Here the first view is of the Old Town Hall, an impressive half-timbered building with open arcades. Behind the market fountain with the Justitia figure is the former „Fruit Box“ of the clerical administration, whose special feature is the vivid pseudo-façade simulating a stone house made of hewn ashlars. At the other end of the market square stands Waiblingen's largest and most imposing half-timbered building, the former district court, with its impressive gabled facade and its many „envious heads“ (stone masks or figures) in various shapes. The sculpture in front, "The Dovecots", reminds one of the former tradition of pigeon keeping in the official town of Waiblingen.
The market place is centrally located in the old town between the two main streets, Lange Straße in the west and Kurze Straße in the east. Despite the old B 14 ring road built in 1934, Waiblingen, as the district's main town had a high density of traffic. After 1983 and the creation of a pedestrian zone, the market square served mainly as a parking area. From the mid-1970s onwards, the old town was renovated and traffic was subsequently reduced. During this time, the half-timbered facades featuring in many of Waiblingen's living and business accomodations were exposed.
Old Town Hall (Marktplatz 4)
Until the first half of the 19th century, the town hall was the "house of the council" with small and large council chambers, while the town administration was in the town scribe's (registrar's) office. Festivities and weddings were also celebrated in the large council hall.
A town hall was first mentioned in records of the day in1476. In 1597 a new building was erected on this site (see Coat of Arms), which burnt down in 1634 during the great town fire.
The stone base floor with the massive arcades survived the destruction, thus providing the floor plan for today's Old Town Hall. It was not until 1725 - 1730 that the building was rebuilt in its present form with the bell tower and the control bell on the roof ridge and then used as the town hall until 1875. After that the boys' school (1877 - 1902) and the vocational school (1909 - 1956) were accommodated here.
The half-timbered house was uncovered in 1929. During the thorough renovation from 1975 - 1980, the later installations on the ground floor were removed, the former open market hall with arcades were uncovered, and the old staircase was restored. Since then the building has served as a restaurant.
The pendulum of the town hall clock from 1767 shows the moon goddess Luna with the transverse moon crescent on her head symbolizing the passage of time.
A fountain has always been a feature of market places. This fountain, also known as Justitia Fountain, is considered to be the oldest fountain in the city. It is decorated with a figure of the goddess of justice (Justitia) from 1688. The fountain figure was replaced by a copy in 1964. With no blindfold, but with sword and scales to weigh right and wrong.
The fountain was first mentioned in writing in 1640, but there is no evidence that a fountain figure existed before the city fire.
This well was also fed by wooden trellis pipes, later clay pipes, from the „Wasserstuben“ spring.
Fruit Box of the Spiritual Administration (Marktplatz 8)
In this building behind the Market Fountain (also known as the Big Box) the tax contributions (farm produce etc.)for the church estate were collected. The small box in the house next door was used for the storage of tax contributions for the secular administration. The large box stood directly on the castle wall, as evidenced by the remains of the wall at the rear.
After the city fire, the ruin was rebuilt in 1654. In 1701 the clerical administration was merged with the Adelberger Pfleghof and the house was sold in 1715. In 1767, the building was converted into a two-storey residential building. The ashlar painting, which was supposed to simulate a stone house with hewn ashlars, probably dates from this period, as only"stone-rich" people could afford to build houses from durable stone at that time. The baroque portal of the side front originally adorned the gable side of the market fountain, its keystone (including the cross) recalls its former use as a church property. At the edge of the house there is a corbel with a lion's head.
In the middle of the 19th century, the building was owned by the Kaiser confectionery family. This is where "Kaiser's Brustkaramellen" were made in 1889. The candy company was relocated to Bahnhofstraße in 1895. Today it is known as Fr. Kaiser GmbH | 3 Tannen-Werk.
Zacherhaus (Marktplatz 9)
Wolfgang Zacher (1606 - 1689), bailiff and chronicler, began the reconstruction of the completely destroyed city in 1640 with this building. The estate remained in the possession of the Zacher family until 1692. From 1760 the Untere Apotheke was housed here. Originally housed at Marktplatz Nr. 6, this was Waiblingen's first pharmacy, founded in 1647. In a major fire in 1771, the building was badly damaged, and from here the Neue Gasse was built as a connection to Lange Straße. In the wall of the house there is a stone tablet which refers to the history of the house and to the Waiblingen tradition.
Salzhofstatt (Marktplatz 7)
Up until 1634 the municipal salt house stood here, Waiblingen town's administration had control of the salt trade until 1807. Salt was very valuable and widely used for preserving meat (curing), in medicine, for tanning purposes and for glazing pottery. In 1734, This house was the last to be rebuilt on the market square after the city fire.
Vogthaus (Marktplatz 5)
This building, rebuilt in 1655, is the oldest known bailiwick for the city and the Waiblingen Administration. The bailiff (known as Oberamtmann from1759) was the first manorial official for the district.
Schiller House (Marktplatz 3)
This building, destroyed by the great fire in 1634, was rebuilt in 1645. From 1668 - 1695 it belonged to the baker and court relative Hans Caspar Schiller (1623 - 1695), the great-great-grandfather of the Marbach-born poet Friedrich Schiller (1759 - 1805).
The children of Hans Caspar Schiller were all born in the gatekeeper's house near the Beinsteiner Gate Tower, which was demolished in 1834.
Former District Court (Marktplatz 1)
The building with the early baroque bay window was built around 1690. The two-storey bay window with its many grimacing mask features is the only one of its kind in the city. On the two corners of the house other „envy heads“.can be seen.
From 1794 to 1819 the building housed the last official clerk's office and from 1819 to 1909 the first Higher District Court. For this reason, in 1864, in nearby Oberer Sack 7, the prison of the Official Lawcourt was built (until 1968, demolished in 1971). In 1909 the Higher District Court was moved to the new building at Bahnhofstraße 48 (today's district court).
From 1824 to 1842, Karl Mayer (1786 - 1870), a poet of the "Schwäbische Dichterschule", friend of Ludwig Uhland, Justinus Kerner, Nicolaus Lenau and Eduard Mörike, served and lived here on the market square.
In 1910, the merchant G. Villinger (1857 - 1931) had Waiblingen's first electric passenger lift installed.
Group of Figures "The Dovecots"
Karl Henning Seemann (b. 1934) created the two-figure life-size bronze sculpture after a nickname for the Waiblingeners, who used to be mocked as "dovecots" because of their pigeon keeping.
In the Middle Ages pigeons were kept in dovecotes or pigeon lofts and served the common people as Sunday and holiday roasts as pigeon meat was considered tender and tasty.
In 1740 the keeping of pigeons was restricted by order as too many pigeons were damaging farming by eating the grain in the fields. From then on, the number of pigeons allowed depended the size of the property, which meant that poor people were no longer allowed to keep pigeons.
The sculpture shows a hollow-cheeked peasant and a well-fed, rich farmer holding three pigeons in his hand and denying them to the poor.