Frankweiler, Germany – Cullman’s Sister City

Frankweiler, Germany, was the hometown of our founder, Col. John G. Cullmann. A permanent partnership was formed in 1987 between Cullman and Frankweiler. Frankweiler is situated on the eastern slopes of the Haardt Mountains, about 6 km north of Landau “The Garden Town.” It is a municipality in Sudliche Weinstrasse district in Rhineland-Palatinate in western Germany.

From the Frankweiler web site (translated from German): Frankweiler is known on the Southern Wine Route as the “Riesling Wine Village.” As one of the most beautiful places on the German Wine Route, Frankweiler has maintained its village character for centuries.

A prominent village point is the Protestant parish church of St. George, with its early/late Gothic tower. On this, a cap was put on in the baroque style until 1788, when a flat-roofed hall building with three-sided gallery was added.

Above all, Frankweiler is known for the many old village fountains that can be found everywhere in the village. No other village on the wine route has more wells.

If you walk through the wine-growing village, you will also notice the numerous wine tasting rooms set up by winemakers, in which you will have the opportunity to taste and get to know different types of wine. Between racy, piquant and sparkling Riesling wines, they also have the opportunity to taste every other grape variety of all quality levels.

For a relaxing holiday in the South Palatinate, Frankweiler offers its ideal surroundings. The vineyards, lying approximately 200-300 meters above sea level, with paved paths for hiking through the vineyards. Also, at 447 m high overlooking Frankweiler, the Ringelsberg has numerous well-marked trails where you can make wonderful trips around Frankweiler. The most famous hiking trail leads along the widely visible quarry and ends at the Ringelsberghütte, which offers with its terrace a broad view over the Upper Rhine plains, the Odenwald, and the Black Forest, to the Strasbourg Cathedral to France. But you can also enjoy this view from Oberdorf, which is why Frankweiler is often referred to as the “Balcony of the Southern Wine Route”.

In the vicinity you can also find good cultural and exciting entertainment. Frankweiler is only about 7 km away from the wine and garden town of Landau in the Palatinate, which offers a very varied program. Furthermore, you can visit indoor and outdoor pools, or the various animal and hiking parks to spend an adventurous holiday. Even “big city air” is easy and quick to reach, because the cities of Speyer, Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Karlsruhe are only 30 – 50 km away.

The organizations Cullman Friends of Frankweiler and Frankweiler Friends of Cullman were organized in an effort to maintain and encourage cultural exchanges and personal relationships between Cullman, Alabama, and Frankweiler, Germany. The two groups have made many visits back and forth since our partnership began. For more information on our partnership with Frankweiler, Germany, contact the Cullman County Museum at 256-739-1258.


Friends Across the Ocean - Friends Across Time: A brief history of the association between the citizens of John Cullmann's hometown (Frankweiler, Germany) and their counterparts in Cullman, Alabama.

(Borrowed from the Cullman Friends of Frankweiler Facebook page.) When the citizens of Cullman began the town's one-hundredth birthday, thoughts naturally turned to John Cullmann, founding father and his native land of Germany. Small seeds were planted during the centennial year of 1973 when Hans Krause, representative of Lufthansa Airline of Germany presented Cullman's Mayor, W.J. Nesmith with a book compiled by the airline containing information about John Cullmann with greetings from the Burgermeister of Frankweiler, Germany, Cullmann's hometown. In August of 1975 these seeds began to bear fruit when five visitors from Frankweiler, past Burgermeister Friedrich Fliehmann, his wife and daughter and the Burgermeister of that time, Theodor Pfaffmann and the city clerk of Frankweiler were present at the dedication of the Colonel Cullmann house, home of the Cullman County Museum. Many wondered if the Colonel had any direct descendants left in Germany since both of Cullmann's sons, who came to America, died young. The only possible direct descendants would have been through his daughter who remained in Germany with her mother. A little detective work turned up a great-great-granddaughter of John Cullmann, Ellen van der Linden, of Konigstein, Germany. Also, there was a great-great nephew who lived in Cullman, Stanley Johnston. His sister, Julia Emanuel, of Lancaster, South Carolina was a great-great niece. In 1985, Ellen van der Linden, visited Cullman and met with Stanley and his sister. An invitation from Gunter Stiess, Burgermeister of Frankweiler, was extended to Mayor Jack Sides to attend a special ceremony in John Cullmann's birthplace of Frankweiler, Germany. This ceremony was to honor Colonel Cullmann's contribution as the founder of the City of Cullman. In May of 1987, a delegation of 19 Cullman citizens, led by Mayor Jack Sides, and his wife, Ruth, attended the celebration marking a permanent partnership between the two cities. The next year, a group of 47 visitors from Frankweiler arrived in Cullman for a visit and thus began a tradition of exchanging visits every two years. Those who have had an opportunity to experience this special bond between the two cities, either as a host or guest, have many fond and special memories.