The Foundation of Agatha Aldinger of 1681

Fellbach, Germany

The pastors of the Fellbach, Germany, Evangelical Lutheran Church recorded some very interesting points and facts about the "Aldingers" in Fellbach.

The "Aldingers" in Fellbach were regular members of the court and council, often serving as Mayors (Bürgermeisters) of Fellbach under the old-Württemberg constitution. It is a fact that the old-Württemberg constitution nearly always elected the most prosperous citizens as the mayor of the town. One reason being, the Mayor had to render account to the town budget at the end of each year. If there was a deficit in the town's budget, the Mayor had to guarantee finances from his own private fortune. As they were often mayors of Fellbach, the "Aldingers" were counted as the "better-off" in Fellbach for centuries.

In 1681 Agatha Aldinger, born Beerlin, the wife of Mayor (Bürgermeister) Michael Aldinger, donated "one drink of wine" to each pupil during the Fellbach May Day Celebration. This donation was note-worthy for a number of reasons. First, this foundations shows that the "rich" people of Fellbach expressed their wealth in a positive way as a social and charitable purpose- as Agatha Aldinger did in 1681. Secondly, the Agatha Aldinger foundation gave a rare and colorful impression of the ethnoligical traditions customary in the 17th century.

In the year 1681, the Fellbach May Day Celebration was as follows: All the Fellbach-pupils paraded through the town, parading two students together side-by-side, beautifully decorated and dressed!!! Their teacher headed the pairs of children, first 70 boys and 80 girls and these 150 children of Fellbach went to the outside tables of the honorables (including the Mayor) where each child received a present...a leather cord for each and some sheets of writing paper for those who could already write.

Afterwards, the children once again lined up, holding green branches of a birch tree in their hands. This must have been a wonderful, beautiful site in Fellbach in 1681. Subsequently, the children then sang a hymn and paraded through the streets of Fellbach, back to the school and churchyard where each received a glass of wine from the rich wine cellar of Agatha Aldinger. It is touching to compare the idyll of the pupils in 1681 with the school reality of 1997.

Back to the contributions

© 2000 by Jörg Aldinger. All rights reserved.