Waldenbuch lies in the midst of the beautiful Aichtal, on the northern edge of Schönbuch nature park.
One could think that Waldenbuch is named after the beautiful forest surrounding it. However, its name in fact comes from Waltenbuoch (Warlord’s forest). This comes from the Alemannic word, Walto, which is short for Waltheri (warlord) and is in honour of the Alemanni, who drove the Romans out of the area in the 5th century.
However, the first people who really liked it here were the Celts. They settled in the Waldenbuch region between the 8th to 7th centuries BC. Others have also taken Waldenbuch into their hearts, even if their stay was only brief.
Approximately 200 years ago, the famous traveller, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, said of Waldenbuch: “Waldenbuch is a quaint place situated between hills. It has meadows, fields, vineyards, a forest, and a stately hunting lodge.” This is an accurate description, even today.
It is no wonder then that as Alfred Eugen Ritter’s company began to outgrow the limited space available in Bad Cannstatt, that he chose Waldenbuch to be its new headquarters. However, it was not the landscape that was primarily decisive in his decision, but rather, a perfect opportunity.
“The Kreuzigerwerke” was built in Waldenbuch in 1922/23. It was a chocolate factory that came up for sale in 1930 and offered sufficient land for further expansion. Alfred Ritter’s chocolate factory moved to Waldenbuch on 1 July the same year. The entire workforce from Bad Cannstatt continued to be employed by the company. Every day they were transported to and from Waldenbuch by bus. The company’s continuing growth also meant new jobs in Waldenbuch. This helped improve quality of life in the small town.
Today, there are hardly any established Waldenbuch families who don’t have at least one family member that has worked “in chocolate”. This defines and connects us – even today.
However, RITTER SPORT was, and is, not only a fixed feature of working life in Waldenbuch. It is also a cultural feature, for example, in the form of the RITTER SPORT sports stadium. When production expansion, and therefore expansion of the company’s land, once again became necessary, we bought the land belonging to the municipal sports grounds that bordered us. As compensation, we financed a brand new sports stadium for the city and its citizens.
The close connection between Waldenbuch and RITTER SPORT is also demonstrated by its social commitments in a wide variety of areas. Alongside this, is its commitment to local associations and the church community.
In 2005, the RITTER SPORT chocolate shop and RITTER MUSEUM expanded the town’s cultural highlights by two. However, Waldenbuch has got other sights to offer besides these. Waldenbuch’s stately hunting lodge, noted by Goethe, has accommodated the Museum für Volkskultur (people’s culture) in Württemberg since 1989. The town church, St. Veit, dates back to the 14th century and is part of a walking tour of the town. This walking tour takes visitors past interesting sights in Waldenbuch, such as its old timber framed houses and the town well. You can also see remains of Waldenbuch’s first inhabitants, the Celts, in the neighbouring nature park.
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