ELLWANGEN, a town of Germany in the kingdom of Württemberg, on the Jagst, 12 m. S.S.E. from Crailsheim on the railway to Goldshöfe. Pop. 5000. It is romantically situated between two hills, one crowned by the castle of Hohen-Ellwangen, built in 1354 and now used as an agricultural college, and the other, the Schönenberg, by the pilgrimage church of Our Lady of Loreto, in the Jesuit style of architecture. The town possesses one Evangelical and five Roman Catholic churches, among the latter the Stiftskirche, the old abbey church, a Romanesque building dating from 1124, and the Gothic St Wolfgangskirche. The classical and modern schools (Gymnasium and Realschule) occupy the buildings of a suppressed Jesuit college. The industries include the making of parchment covers, of envelopes, of wooden hafts and handles for tools, etc., and tanneries. There are also a wool-market and a horse-market, the latter famous in Germany.
The Benedictine abbey of Ellwangen is said to have been founded in 764 by Herulf, bishop of Langres; there is, however, no record of it before 814. In 1460 the abbey was converted, with the consent of Pope Pius II., into a Ritterstift (college or institution for noble pensioners) under a secular provost, who, in 1555, was raised to the dignity of a prince of the Empire. The provostship was secularized in 1803 and its territories were assigned to Württemberg. The town of Ellwangen, which grew up round the abbey and received the status of a town about the middle of the 14th century, was until 1803 the capital of the provostship.
See Seckler, Beschreibung der gefürsteten Probstei Ellwangen (Stuttgart, 1864); Beschreibung des Oberamts Ellwangen, published by the statistical bureau (Landesamt) at Ellwangen (1888). For a list of the abbots and provosts see Stokvis, Manuel d'histoire (Leiden, 1890-1893), iii. p. 242.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)