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Kempten

Trip Planner Europe  /  Germany  /  Bavaria  /  Swabia  /  Kempten
(4.3/5 based on 400+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, shopping, sightseeing
Kempten is the largest town in Allgäu, a region in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. The population was ca 64.000 in 2012. The area was possibly settled originally by Celts, but was later taken over by the Romans, who called the town Cambodunum. Kempten is the oldest urban settlement (town) in Germany.HistoryPre-RomanThe Greek geographer Strabon mentions in 50 BC a town of the Celtic Estiones named Kambodunon. This is considered the oldest written reference of any German city. So far no archaeological evidence could be found that this Celtic settlement really existed.Roman eraIn 15 BC Roman troops led by Nero Claudius Drusus and his brother Tiberius conquered and destroyed an existing Celtic settlement. Later the settlement was named Cambodunum. In the following years the city was rebuilt on a classical Roman city plan with baths, forum and temples. Initially in wood, the city was later rebuilt in stone after a devastating fire that destroyed almost the entire city in the year 69 AD. The city possibly served as provincial capital of Raetia during the first century before Augsburg took over this role. Extensive archaeological excavations at the end of the 19th century and again during the 1950s at what were then the outskirts of Kempten unearthed the extensive structural foundations.The city was again destroyed in 233 AD by the Alemanni, a Suebic tribe. The original site of Cambodunum was then abandoned and the settlement moved to a strategically safer location on the Burghalde hill overlooking the river Iller.
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