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Gästehaus Eversleigh Illereichen
Marktstraße 1, 89281 Illereichen/Altenstadt, Bayern, Germany
 
The earliest records of our guest house are from the early 18th century. At the time it was said to be the home of senior officials, later it was known as 'the doctor’s house'. Apparently, it did not change hands until 1840 when it became private property after belonging to Illereichen sovereignty. In its time, the house has been utilised in various ways. It was converted extensively in the 1970s and has been used as a guest house since.
Historical evolution of the market town Altenstadt
It is not documented when the first houses of the villages belonging to the former sovereignty Illereichen came into being, thus, the earliest history of this area is mere speculation. According to the writings of Roman historian Tacitus, the Germanic peoples knew neither villages nor towns but lived in individual homesteads. Clues to prove this form of settlement can still be found in the area of the former Illereichen sovereignty, although traces have been blurred through numerous changes. Wide areas in the west were affected by flooding by the river Iller from time to time.
Migrating Alemannic tribes initially only occupied reclaimed land along the old Iller-road. At the time the existing abandoned terrain sufficed for their small numbers. The names Upper and Lower (“Lesser”) Aichheim reveal clearly that the settlements were located around the oak forests of the hill. The earliest reference to the nobility of Aichheim was found in the charter of 26 March 1128 drawn up at the governing assembly chaired by Count Eberhard of Kirchberg. Amongst the seven free witnesses appeared Adalbert von Aichheim. In the 12th/13th century the noble Freemen of Aichheim gained significant rank in the Swabian aristocracy but were not ministries of the Count Palatin of Tübingen.
 
After the demise (1330) of Berthold, the last member of the Aichheim family, the sovereignty of Aichheim went to Konrad of Rechberg who had wed Berthold’s daughter Luitgard. Thus he also took possesion of the existing Castle Aichheim. In the following years the masters of Rechberg took control of several territorial sovereignties between the rivers Iller and Lech. As the centre of their new Aichheim dominion they built a mighty castle between 1420 and 1460 and settled craftsmen on its eastern side; this settlement was named ‘Oberaichheim’ (Upper Aichheim).

The old, abandoned settlement near the Mönchsburg (monk’s castle) was henceforth called "Alte Stadt" (Old Town), from which the present-day name Altenstadt was derived.
Castle Aichheim, erected 1420-1460, demolished 1838
 
This settlement, once seat of power, henceforth led a rural existence as a small village, as did other small settlements around the new centre Übereichen (Upper Eichen), which bears the name Illereichen today. The new place Illereichen developed rapidly and had soon grown to more than twice the size of Altenstadt. Until about the year 1700, Altenstadt remained a dreamy farming village off the beaten track.
 
The present-day centre, the shopping centre at the 2031 road did not develop until about 1720. At that time, several houses were erected in Altenstadt, outside the Christian settlement, and rented to Jewish families who, since the end of the 17th century, came to live in the sovereignty of Illereichen, first in small numbers, then from 1718/19 onwards in large numbers. In the year 1721 the Jews acquired the right to settle their disputes themselves; one year later they obtained permission for the construction of a Synagogue. The Jewish congregation of Altenstadt gradually grew to an independent community alongside the Christian dual community of Illereichen-Altenstadt, although it had few liberties and rights. Around this time the sovereignty of Illereichen was held by the Westphalian Counts of Limburg-Styrum whose rule began in 1677 and lasted for almost a century. In 1772 Count (and later Duke) Karl of Palm acquired the sovereignty for the price of 450000 florins.
Illereichen and Altenstadt
 
He sold the property in 1788 for 750000 florins to Duke Johann Nepomuk Josef of Schwarzenberg, to whose son Joseph it devolved in 1789. During his reign the sovereignty of Illereichen came under Bavarian rule in 1806. In the year 1833, just before his death, Duke Joseph of Schwarzenberg sold Illereichen to the Bavarian Minister of State, Maximilian Count of Montgelas, who relinquished jurisdiction and property to the King of Bavaria in 1834.
Tower of the estate buildings of former Castle Aichheim
The Market Town of Altenstadt – today
The market town of Altenstadt of today lies seven kilometres South of the former district town of Illertissen, District Neu-Ulm (railway station 529 metres above sea level). The town is accessed by the rail link Ulm-Kempten, Road 2031, which leads through Altenstadt on its way to the Allgäu, and the motorway A 7.

The borough consists of Altenstadt in the Iller valley and Illereichen on the hill above, as well as the communities of Dattenhausen, Herrenstetten and Untereichen, incorporated in 1972 and 1976. In 1978 two further communities were incorporated: Bergenstetten and Filzingen. At the same time the joint administrative body of Altenstadt was created, consisting of the independent communities Altenstadt, Kellmünz on the river Iller and Osterberg.

In the year 1872 Altenstadt counted 921 inhabitants; today there are about 4800, this includes the incorporated communities. The joint administrative body of Altenstadt has around 7000 inhabitants.