The crater in which the town was built spans 25 kilometers across. An impact from a meteorite of this size would have had quite the impact on the Earth at the time, estimated to be about 14.5 million years ago. On other historical notes, the town of Nördlingen is currently only one of three towns to have a fully intact and established city wall in Germany. Remains of a Roman castle dating back to 85 A.D. were also found buried beneath the now thriving city.
Nördlinger Ries crater is the official name for the site, and the impact created some geological formations seen nowhere else in the world.
Stone buildings created with local rocks contain millions of tiny diamonds, forged by the pressure from the ancient meteorological impact. An estimated 72,000 tons of tiny diamonds were created in the violent impact, but they are all less than 2 millimeters across, so residents won’t be cashing in anytime soon. The town has also been seen in a movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as it was the town seen in the final scene of the 1971 classic.
The town’s origins become quite evident when seen from above, but it is hard to imagine that for 1,000 years of its existence that no one knew the catastrophic origins of the localized depressionthey all lived in. Nördlingen is very unique, from buildings composed of millions of diamonds to the fact that it lies in a meteorite crater, it is definitely a place to see.