city, Baden-Wurttemberg Land (state), southwestern Germany. It lies along the Schussen River, just north of Lake Constance (Bodensee), northeast of Konstanz. Founded and chartered in the 12th century near the Guelfs's ancestral castle (where Henry III [the Lion] was born) on the Veitsburg, it passed to the Hohenstaufens in 1180. A free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire from 1276 to 1802, it had a flourishing trading company (focused particularly on linen, material, and paper) in the 14th and 15th centuries. Parts of the city's old fortifications remain, including the 167-foot (51-metre) Mehlsack tower (1350). Ravensburg's medieval buildings include the city hall, the weighing house, the parish church, and the church of Sankt Jodok. Toys and machinery are produced, and book publishing is important. The city features a games museum, and a historical festival, Rutenfest, is held annually (July). Pop. (2003 est.) 48,476.
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