Herbrechtingen is a town in the Baden-Württemberg province of Germany, and is a twin town of Biatorbágy from 1989. Herbrechtingen was first mentioned in a charter of Charles the Great. This charter was issued probably in Düren, on 7th September 774, and it is now in the National Archives in Paris. However, the village is undoubtedly older than its first mention - as evidenced by its location, archaeological finds and place names. The ground plan of the village is determined by the flow direction of the River Brenz. It flows from the south, from the direction of Eselsburg Valley, and turns east shortly after the mouth of a stream. Thus it forms a triangle with Lange Straße (Long street) and Mühlstraße (Mill street), so the centre of the village is protected from the west and the north.

 The turn in the river made the crossing easier, there is evidence that the Romans made use of it when they constructed a road between Günzburg (Guntia) and Heidenheim (Aquileia) (around the 1st century AD) along the line of Lange Straße and at the mouth of the Stream Gänsbrunnen they crossed the River Brenz by means of a passing place or a simple bridge. The Romans left the area around 260, and the Alemanns occupied it. Various finds dating back to the 4th - 6th centuries suggest that the predecessor of Herbrechtingen was the centre of a smaller Alemann tribal group. In 537 Alemannia became a part of the Frankish Kingdom. Herbrechtingen – according to its etymology – was possibly established in the period following that. The first forms of the name of Herbrechtingen were: Hagrebertingas (774), Hairbertingas/Haribertin-gas (777), Hairbertingas, Herbertingas, Harbrittinga (9th century). The first known bearer of the Frankish personal name Haribert, Aribert or Charibert was the grandson (†567) of Klodvig. Another famous bearer of the name was Charibert, Count of Laon, who through his daughter Bertrada was the grandfather of Charles the Great. But the Charibert, after whom Herbrechtingen was named, was not necessarily the founder of the village. The suffix „-ingen” means that those living in the region always regarded this place as „the settlement of the people of Charibert (Herbrecht)”. Bissingen has a similar name: „the settlement of the people of Bisso” - and was probaly established around the same time, just as the other settlements in the region with the suffix „-ingen”, Dettingen, Heuchlingen, Setzingen, Stotzingen, etc. The old, medieval Herbrechtingen had the right to hold fairs. The right to hold fairs was first mentioned in a charter of Frederick (the Red-bearded) Barbarossa dated in 1171. In the view of dr. Heinz Bühler, the historian of the town, the right to hold fairs was probably granted by Henry III German king staying in the village at the end of August or the beginning of September in 1046. These were annual fairs held on 22nd April, the day of Saint Denis, on 11th November, the day of Saint Martin and on Shrove Tuesday. Although from 1171 the right to hold fairs was owned by the provost of Herbrechtingen, the inhabitants were considered citizens, they were free to move, and the village qualified as a town, more or less. In the second part of the 14th century Emperor Charles IV confirmed the right to hold fairs of several neighbouring villages. With this the significance of the fair in Herbrechtingen decreased, and from the 16th century it was not even mentioned. In 1664 a fair on the day of Saint Bartholomew (24th August) was mentioned, which disappeared by the second half of the 18th century. The current livestock and country fair held on Candlemas day (2nd February) was ordered in 1822. Herbrechtingen, with several monasteries in the village and its surroundings, became Evangelic (Lutheran) during the Reformation. It was largely bypassed by industrialization for a long time, with the exception of a textile mill based on sheep-farming. (The traditions of sheep-farming are reflected in many works of art). After World War II significant changes occurred in the development of Herbrechtingen. Not only the number of its inhabitants, and also the proportion of Catholics increased due to people fleeing or rather expatriated from Poland, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia, but the development of its industry started as well. In addition to residential buildings, new plants were also constructed, and provided employment. In 1965 a new village development program was started, the centre of the village and its transport were transformed, modernized, the village hall was also reconstructed and a new part was added to it. In the course of the Public Administration Reform implemented in the Federal Republic of Germany, the village was united with Bolheim, Bissingen and some smaller villages. As a result of that and the development of the villages, in 1974 Herbrechtingen was granted town status. Its population is 13 000 people.

The Germans (Swabians) expatriated from Torbágy and Bia in 1946 did not all settle in the same place, thus they soon wanted to meet again. They held a meeting in the sports hall of Giengen still in the year of expatriation, then the following year, but they also met on pilgrimages, for house-building and they kept in touch in many other ways. Such an occasion for meeting was the Sunday of the parish feast of Torbágy. In 1959 some people made the initiative that from 1960 the meetings should be held in Herbrechtingen on the day of the parish feast of Torbágy, and they also set up a committee for the celebration of the parish feast of Torbágy. In addition to Oskar Mozer, the mayor of Herbrechtingen at that time and the provincial representative for Rau, dr. Lajos Leber, the leader of Germans expatriated form Hungary, and dr. Márton Steer, the village doctor formerly of Bia and Torbágy, at that time of Herbrechtingen, also helped in making and acting upon the decision. The committee and its leader, Ferenc Bruckner, and also Dr. Gáspár Kelemen played a major role in the fact that in 1984 Herbrechtingen (by that time its mayor was Peter Kiefner) became the patron of Biatorbágy, then in 1989 the two parties signed a partnership agreement. As for our relationships with foreign towns, this was the first, which in recent years has gradually become eventful and manifold.

For further information on Herbrechtingen, visit: www.herbrechtingen.de