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The Medieval Village Built with Diamond Dust
Do the pictures look familiar? Nördlingen was the town shown in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971, when in the final scenes the glass elevator is floating over a town. From an aerial vantage point, Nördlingen is more than just a quaint Bavarian town in Germany — It is located in the middle of a giant meteorite crater called the Nördlinger Ries that is 15 million years old.
Nördlingen is an ancient village, first mentioned in recorded history in 898 AD. In 1998 the town celebrated its 1100th Anniversary. The town was also the location of two battles during the Thirty Years’ War, a war which took place between 1618-1648. The map in the second picture was made during that time. Today it is one of only three towns in Germany that still has a completely established city wall, the other two being Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl.
Stone buildings in the town contain millions of tiny diamonds, all less than 0.2 millimeters across. The impact that caused the Nördlinger Ries crater created an estimated 72,000 tons of them when it impacted a local graphite deposit. Stone from this area was later quarried and used to build the town’s ancient stone buildings.
But I would walk eight hundred and four point six seven two kilometers
And I would walk eight hundred and four point six seven two kilometers more
Just to be the man who walked one thousand six hundred and nine point three four kilometers
To fall down at your door