Achalm is a ruined castle located above the towns of Reutlingen and Pfullingen. Situated on the top of a hill at the edge of the Swabian Alb the ruins of the 11th century castle are topped by a look-out tower from 1838.
Achalm Castle was built around 1030 by Gaugraf Egino and Rudolf of Achalm. The name Achalm appears to refer to a nearby stream, the Ach which comes from the River Alm. The castle was expanded in the 11th Century with a second tower. However the von Achalm family died out shortly thereafter. The castle passed through several owners including the House of Welf. In 1234 the son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, King Henry VII, rebelled against his father, the Emperor. The owner of Castle Achalm, Heinrich of Neuffen, sided with the rebellious King Henry VII. Following the Emperor's victory over his son Henry VII, Castle Achalm became the personal property of the Emperor's family, the House of Hohenstaufen. Castle Achalm remained a Hohenstaufen property for a time. The castle then passed into the control of the House of Württemberg. In 1377 Graf or Count Ulrich of Württemberg marched from the castle to attack the town of Reutlingen. While he besieged the city, troops from the Swabian Cities League marched to defend the city. Ulrich's troops were defeated and Reutlingen remained a Free Imperial City.
Over the following centuries, the castle began to lose its military value and began to collapse. During the later years of the Thirty Years' War, in 1650, the castle was partially destroyed to prevent enemy forces from using the castle for shelter. Later the stones were removed to build houses in the village. In 1822 the future king and emperor William I had a stone look-out tower built on the foundation of the old tower. The tower was repaired and renovated in 1932 to prevent it from collapsing.References:
Trullhalsar is a very well-preserved and restored burial field dating back to the Roman Iron Ages (0-400 AD) and Vendel period (550-800 AD). There are over 340 different kind of graves like round stones (called judgement rings), ship settings, tumuli and a viking-age picture stone (700 AD).
There are 291 graves of this type within the Trullhalsar burial ground, which occurs there in different sizes from two to eight metres in diameter and heights between 20 and 40 centimetres. Some of them still have a rounded stone in the centre as a so-called grave ball, a special feature of Scandinavian graves from the late Iron and Viking Age.
In addition, there is a ship setting, 26 stone circles and 31 menhirs within the burial ground, which measures about 200 x 150 metres. The stone circles, also called judge's rings, have diameters between four and 15 metres. They consist partly of lying boulders and partly of vertically placed stones. About half of them have a central stone in the centre of the circle.
From 1915 to 1916, many of the graves were archaeologically examined and both graves of men and women were found. The women's graves in particular suggest that the deceased were very wealthy during their lifetime. Jewellery and weapons or food were found, and in some graves even bones of lynxes and bears. Since these animals have never been found in the wild on Gotland, it is assumed that the deceased were given the skins of these animals in their graves.