TRAVEL
11/05/2014 07:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Meet Nördlingen, The Little Town In A Crater

Well this place is a hole bunch of fun.

The town of Nördlingen -- a stop on Germany's Romantic Road -- sits entirely within a crater, made when a half-mile-wide meteorite smacked into Earth about 15 million years ago.

The town's founders likely weren't aware they were settling in such a phenomenon -- in fact, people thought Nördlingen was built near a volcano until the 1960s.

Either way, the little spot's perfectly round shape is all too pleasing to the eye.

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A common misconception is that Nördlingen's city walls are built right on the rim of a crater. The city does sit entirely within a crater, but that crater is actually about 15 miles in diameter -- aka it extends far, far beyond the village boundaries.

You can see the rim from Daniel, the town's affectionately-named bell tower. When you climb him, you'll also see Nördlingen's network of quaint medieval alleys with an old-fashioned water mill, a converted monastery and orange-topped Bavarian houses. There's even an upcoming Christmas market!

Nördlingen is a member of Cittaslow, a coalition of "Slowcities" across the world where living takes a more toned-down pace. In order to be a member, towns must be, according to the Cittaslow philosophy, "still curious of the old times" and "rich of theatres, squares, cafes, workshops, restaurants and spiritual places... towns with untouched landscapes."

In that case, slow us down to crater town, please!

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