AALEN    Once an Imperial Free City, in southwestern Germany, in Swabia, east of Stuttgart and north of Ulm.   The town stands on the River Kocher, a tributary of the Neckar, and is now the administrative centre of the Ostalbkreis in the Land of Baden-Württemberg.

Aalen was founded by the Hohenstaufen, and later held by the Counts of Oettingen, 1258-1358.   After being briefly mortgaged to the Count of Württemberg, it was made an Imperial Free City by Charles IV in 1360.   It belonged to the Swabian Circle from 1500 and ceased to be a Free City in 1802-3, when it was added to Württemberg.

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