Klingenmuenster, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Klingenmünster with its some 2.300 inhabitants is part of an association of municipalities, named Bad Bergzabern, and is located in the South of the German Wine Route on the outskirts of the Palatinate Forest, only 15 kilometres from the French border.

Klingenmünster has undergone a very positive development over the last 30 years due to its targeted process that was also adapted to contemporary challenges. The surrounding cultural landscape was recognised as a valuable chance, as was the rich, 1.400 yearlong history, that is reflected in numerous buildings such as the castle Landeck or the Benedictine monastery and an overall high density of landmarks.

The sensitive and responsible handling of historic building substances is remarkable. This is also true for the former agricultural buildings that are remodelled into modern living space. The village core is also very attractive for the same reason, and the adjacent green spaces provide additional quality of life. Areas for new constructions are gathered around the village core and merge into the landscape. Settlement growth is only possible in a limited amount, which means the compactness of the village remains intact.

There is an excellent social collaboration, which is reflected in numerous active associations as well as in institutions such as a child care facility, youth center, children’s library, social station and an organization for neighbourly help that supports the elderly and those in need as well as their families. The village foundation and its foundation property Keysermühle, which serves as a space for many innovative projects, as well as the Castle-Landeck-Foundation instutionalized and professionalized the civic dedication.

Klingenmünster is focused on sustainable tourism that is centered around encounters with nature. Much of the work for this field is done by associations and clubs. Viticulture represents one of the most important economic factors today and is focused on high quality. The Palatinate Clinic for psychiatry and neurology enjoys a great reputation and offer 2.000 attractive jobs. There is an open exchange with the village and the clinic is a part of Klingemünster’s identity.

There is great collaboration and interconnectedness with copious regional and particularly neighbouring French municipalities – the successes in the framework of this cooperation lead to Klingenmünster being awarded the “Brückepreis 2013” of the State Rhineland-Palatinate.

Currently, Klingenmünster is working on a network for refugees residing in the village. Harmonic coexistence and integration are the first priority in this project. Further assisted living facilities for the elderly are planned for the future. Also in the planning (approval) phase is a village bypass in order to minimize traffic within the village. Without a doubt, this would result in new chances for development.

Overall, Klingenmünster succeeded to use and continuously develop its potentials through active involvement of the inhabitants. Particular value is put on a strong community and the maintenance of the cultural landscape, the building structure worth protecting and the rich history. Numerous infrastructural institutions allow for a good coexistence of all, with particularly exceptional social institutions.

Evaluated: 2016