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Wiernsheim. Principal municipal ward and largest district.

Wappen von Wiernsheim

Following is an illustration of the history of Wiernsheim, with a brief description of the local customs and conventions, plus a final comment on the coats of arms.

Aerial view of Wiernsheim

Aerial view of Wiernsheim

History of Wiernsheim

Wiernsheim was probably founded in the times of the Frankish Kingdom, in approximately 500-700 AC, as what can be termed as an outlying settlement. The first documentary reference ever made to Wiernsheim appears in year 1186, in some records held by Frederick I of the House of Hohenstaufen.

The Wiernsheim toponym can be construed in two different ways: it was either taken from " w i n i h e r i", a personal name, or it comes down from the Latin word "v i n a r i u m”, meaning “vineyard". Derivation from the field name is considered as being only slightly probable, even if a Maulbronn district authority description dating back to 1870 adopted the "v i n a r i u m" version and, in the 17th century there were actually vineyards being cultivated in Wiernsheim. The first records dated 1186 and 1194 state that "W i n r e s h e i m" is a personal name.

From 1259 onwards, Wiernsheim fell under the property of the Maulbronn Abbey (“Kloster Maulbronn”) and in years 1504-1806 under the Württemberg Maulbronn Abbey administrative community. A reminder thereof is constituted by the golden abbot-staff - decorated with green foliage on a black background - already present in the municipality coat of arms displayed in the old Maulbronn tithing barn. The meaning of the oak twigs remains unknown, although they had formerly been taken as vine leaves, considering the winemaking practices by the abbey community. Shortly after year 1900, stars were added onto both sides of the coat of arms shield plate, as decorative seal elements. In 1939, the coat of arms was given its current form and design and in 1956, the colours of both the coat of arms and of the flag were finally defined.

With its 3387 inhabitants (updated as at the 12/2008) Wiernsheim forms the principal municipal ward and largest district. Pinache is one of the Wiernsheim wards as of the 1.1.1970, and together with Serres and Iptingen they constitute the overall Wiernsheim municipal territory as of the 1.1.1974.

In year 1999, the Wiernsheim municipality was very proud to celebrate the "Württemberg Waldenses 300 Year Jubilee”, together with its wards Pinache and Serres.

The egg as the emblem of life

The mid-October Parish Fair (a Festival) was celebrated in Wiernsheim as early as in 1892. Currently it is known as the “Martinikirbe” (St. Martin’s festival) and is celebrated on the Sunday precedent to the 11th November in all the municipality wards.
During reconstruction of the Wiernsheim Church in1907, a number of different, unbroken hen’s eggs were discovered under the roof’s woodwork joist frames. Said findings actually date back to some very old customs, wherein eggs were regarded as the emblem of life. In year 1690 it was customary that if a very small hen’s egg was found, one was supposed to hide it underneath the roof’s woodwork joist frames, in order to safeguard the household in question from being struck by lightning and thunderbolts. Eggs were considered as being particularly effective on Ascension Day and on Holy Thursday. Even more so on the latter, being it customary for the Church to bless the Easter eggs on Holy Thursdays.
In 1838 and subsequent to consultation with the local pastorate, the giving of wedding presents was suppressed in Wiernsheim, after municipal councils and representative deputies had staunchly convinced themselves of the fact that the custom was not at all decorous. By the same token, the temporary suppression of all monkey business and mischief was ordered during the Easter festivities and at Parish Fair festivals, when the grinding mill workers and farmhands of the Iptingen millers ran around through the various customer households in Wiernsheim, playing pranks whilst doing their utmost to collect eggs.

Of local customs and conventions

People hailing from Wiernsheim are referred to as "Crabby" and are often likened to rooks and ravens.

In turn, nearby neighbours such as the inhabitants of Wurmberg are referred to as "Schleiftrög", i.e. "Grinder pits", people from Mönsheim are referred to as "Buchele", i.e. “Beechnut crackers” and the inhabitants of Mühlacker are referred to as "Hondsbeitl", i.e. “Rare as dog bites”. This is due to the fact that the people in Mühlacker are particularly lucky during their festivity events because it hardly ever rains, i.e. it rains as "seldom as a dog bite". The inhabitants of Lomersheim are instead referred to as "Geißraufe", i.e. "Nanny goat feeding-troughs". Here the story goes that the Duke of Württemberg, looking down on the long, drawn-out, one-street village from the opposite Plattenwald forest, actually exclaimed: "Don’t tell me that all those nanny-goat feeding troughs also belong on my lands?" Sometimes the people in Lomersheim, likewise to the inhabitants of Kieselbronn, are referred to "Gaißeschender" or “Goat guggers ” too. People hailing from Öschelbronn instead are somewhat irreverently referred to as "Backside-smearers". The definition came about due to a custom the people in Öschelbronn had of smearing their rears with grease and then wiping their greasy hands on their leather trousers until they actually gleamed.

Coats of arms

The Wiernsheim municipality coat of arms does not have anything resembling the seals that were customary of old, when the early agricultural-based municipalities were merely identified with a so-called "trading-town emblem" that was for instance carved into a milestone or landmark. The Wiernsheim coat of arms can instead be described as follows: "A gold (or yellow) abbot-staff on a black background onto which two, silver (white) oak twigs are entwined, decorated with five, golden (yellow) six-pointed stars on both sides". The municipal colours are yellow-blue (gold-blue).

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