Kurze Straße below the Market Place
In the Kurze Straße, which leads to the market square, there are several notable buildings, including the former town writer's or Registrar's office with its yellow, richly decorated timbered facing, the small, lovingly restored Art Nouveau house with the inscription "Valdemossa", the historic deanery and the former „Kleine Kasten“ (small barn or warehouse for the storage of farm produce collected as tax contributions) with the arrow slits on the ground floor.
Stadtschreiberei (Kurze Straße 11)
The striking half-timbered building was erected in 1643 and served first until 1710 and then again from 1768 to 1819 as a town writers' office. This was the most important administrative office in the city, similar to a municipal law firm. This was where all the administrative threads came together, such as the city's financial administration, the preparation of city documents, ordinances, statutes and court records, as well as all notarial and civil rights matters.
At the same time, the building was the residence of the town clerk and his family.
The half-timbered house exterior has been exposed since 1980, the truss beams show a vine painting of special charm.
At the house Kurze Straße 17
two particularly striking examples of 'Envi-heads'. (Mocking-Masks) can be seen.
Art Nouveau House (Kurze Straße 21)
After restoration in 2002, the building with the mezzanine floor under the flat roof shines again in the old splendour of the turn of the century design from around 1900.
In addition to geometric patterns and a shell ornament, two red crosses can be seen in the corrugated facade plaster, a reference to the profession of a bandage maker (manufacturer of bandages and medicinal towels). The lettering "Valdemossa" was added by the present owners for personal reasons.
Dekanat - Dean's Office (Kurze Straße 25)
The former clerical administration building was erected after the town fire of 1634 and rebuilt in 1670/75 using the material from the parsonage at Hegnach, which was demolished in 1634. Up until 1956 the building served as a Protestant parsonage and dean's residence, then from 1960 to 1988 as a local history museum. Today it houses municipal offices (including the city archive).
The baroque front door with the coat of arms cartouche dates from 1726.
The memorial plaque at the house refers to the courageous couple Hermann and Elsbeth Zeller, who lived here in the 1940s and hid Jews during Nazi rule thus saving them from deportation to the extermination camps.
In appreciation of their humane and courageous conduct, the Zeller Square near the former Karolinger School was named after them.
Kleiner Kasten - Small Box (Kurze Straße 31)
The stone base with arrow slits was part of the Württemberg castle building, which was destroyed down to its foundations in the town fire of 1634. Before 1679 the ruin was rebuilt as a manorial warehouse (Kleiner Kasten) and was used for the storage of natural contributions, eg. farm produce for which barns, so-called " Kasten (boxes)", were necessary. The house, an infant school from 1877 to 1957, has been used as a municipal administration building ever since.
Between the Dean's Office and the Kleiner Kasten there was once a large entrance with an archway to the lower courtyard and to the cellar under the present Town Hall (for more information see Station Rathausplatz). In the lower part of the courtyard was the band house (cooperage) of the castle.
Former cooperage (Kurze Straße 18)
As the basement stone with cooper tools and initials on the side wall of the house shows, the master cooper, Hans Michel Hahn (H. M. H.) and his wife Barbara Hahn (B. H.) built a cooperage here in 1685.
The ornamental framework was uncovered in 1938. A stone „envious head“ can be seen on the corner console.