History and catchment area of ​​the river Iller

Aerial view Upper Iller

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Iller is a right tributary of the Danube. Its Latin name was Hilaria or Hilara. The name is of Celtic origin of the word Ilara for " hurry "; later became the Latin term hilaris, which can be translated as cheerful, friendly, used for interpretation. In the Latin Life of Saint Magnus the name is interpreted to mean that it is called "friendly" just because they this is not as wild mountain river. The for better readability of the river name is written in some atlases and on street signs Jller.

The 147 km long river is formed by the confluence of the streams Breitach, Stillach and Trettach to Iller origin near Oberstdorf in the district of Upper Allgäu Ulm and flows into the Danube. In relation to their catchment area of 2152 km ² of the mountain river runoff is high. Your water flow of 70.9 m³ / s exceeds that of the Danube clearly that approach leads only 53 m³ / s at the confluence and thus could be considered a tributary of the River Iller hydrologically; with this drain the Iller is on the list of rivers of Bavaria in seventh place and in Baden -Württemberg in fifth place. From the late 3rd century until about 488 AD, it was part of the Roman defense system Danube -Iller -Rhine- Limes. Even in Roman times, sailed to the Iller from Kempten, then Cambodunum, with rafts. The majority of its course until shortly before Ulm was the church legally significant border between the dioceses of Constance and Augsburg; this limit existed until the abandonment of the diocese of Constance in 1821.


The Iller origin lies near Oberstdorf in the Allgäu top, there arises the Iller by the confluence of Trettach (right upper reaches ), Stillach (middle upper reaches ) and Breitach (left upper reaches ). The Breitach arises in the small Austrian valley, the other two source rivers in Bavaria area. On their way north they first crossed the Allgäu and passes the cities have Sonthofen Immenstadt and Kempten. The second half of its course through Upper Swabia, where her about the border between Baden -Württemberg and Bavaria follows, before she finally opens southwest of Ulm city center in the coming of the West Danube.

Tributaries of the river Iller

The tributaries of the river Iller in their order ( south to north ), divided into left and right tributaries:


  • Oh Weiler
  • Oh Gunzesrieder
  • Oh Constance
  • Walt Hofer Bach
  • Rottach b. Kempten
  • Aitrach


  • Several mountain streams: Geißalpbach, Eybach, Hinanger Bach, Leybach
  • Ostrach
  • Rottach
  • Durach
  • Leubas
  • Buxach
  • Memminger Ach

The dedication was to the transfer of its lowermost section in 2003, also a left tributary of the river Iller. Now it opens directly into the Danube.

Valley sections

The natural spatial organization of the Institute for Regional Studies differ in the course of the Iller from the Alps to the alpine upland some natural spatial units quite different type:

  • With Illertal (previously also basins and valley floors in the eastern part of the Vorarlberg - Allgäu Alps; main unit 901 ), the marginal alpine until Rough cell reaching Oberstdorf pool ( former main unit 012) in Oberstdorf, together with the narrower Headwaters side valleys Little Walser Valley ( 901.1 ), Stillachtal ( 901.2 ), Trettachtal ( 901.3 ), Valley of the Gunzesrieder Ach ( 901.4 ) and Ostrach ( 901.5 ) combined.
  • This is followed by a short ( molasses ) transverse valley which separates the hills of Akams ( 22.4) from the east subsequent Rottachberg (24.0 ).
  • The Iller Iller flows henceforth the young moraine ( 035): Until about Rottach the river runs in a southeasterly boundary layer through the valley of Niedersonthofen ( 35.04 )
  • It follows a breakthrough by marginal moraines at the interface which withdrawing north Drumlinhügelland of Kempten- Waltenhofen ( 35.03 ) and the plate of moss creek ( 35.13 ).
  • At Martin Kempter the narrow cell Illertal beginnent ( 035.04 ) with the city of Kempten. In the so-called Iller breakthrough in Kempten is also the George Island.


The river is heavily used for energy. Three of the four major German energy companies operate a total of thirteen hydroelectric power plants to dams and side channels of the river Iller. At the headwaters of the Bavarian power stations GmbH operates ( a subsidiary of Lech Werke AG ( LEW ), which belongs to about 90 % of RWE Energy ) between Altusried and Lautrach five power plants with a maximum capacity of 31 MW. The Allgäu Überlandwerk operates four hydroelectric power plants in Kempten. Downstream follow the five Iller power stations of EnBW Energie Baden- Württemberg AG between Aitrach and Dettingen with a capacity of 47 MW. Finally, located on the lower reaches three power plants in the majority- EWK GmbH belonging Lower Iller AG on Illerkanal between Old City and Illertissen. Another 0.8 MW hydro power plant will be built by 2011.

Cities and villages along the Iller

The following towns are located on the river Iller in brackets where applicable, the amount of the regular Iller level / storage target above sea level:


  • Oberstdorf ( Original height in the North: approximately 783 meters )
  • (approx. 755 m)
  • ( Ortwanger lake at the northern city limits: 724.6 m)
  • ( Rough Zeller Lake: 713.9 m)

Kempter Illertal:

  • Waltenhofen
  • (r) Sulzberge
  • (r) Durache
  • Kempten ( Allgäu), cycle-free (Calibration in the South: 675 m)

Iller Iller Beurer:

  • (r ) Dietmannsried
  • ( l) Altusried District Krugzell already over Dietmannsried
  • ( Wasserai northeast of the town: 640 m / 630 m)

Administrative district Allgaeu, Bavaria

  • ( l) Legau ( Fluhmühle: 630 m / 622 m)
  • ( Legau: 622 m / 613 m)
  • ( Weir at Wagsberg: 612 m / 603.6 m)
  • Illerbeuren against Lautrach
  • ( Iller jam Lautrach, below the village: 602 m / 594.7 m)

Border ( l) Baden- Wuerttemberg / (R ) Bavaria Upper Iller meal:

  • ( l) Aitrach, RV ( Ferthofen immediately above: 593.8 m; Dovetail with Mooshausen: 584 m / 577.5 m)
  • ( Weir west of the Schlossberg: 572.9 m / 571.9 m)
  • ( WWTP: 568.5 m)
  • ( l) Kirchberg an der Iller, BC
  • Old City, NU ( Weir between the southern district Filzingen and Kirchberg, at the junction of the Iller channel: 532.7 m / 526.7 m)
  • ( at the local level, but nominally in the unpopulated community floodplain: 516.8 m)

Lower Iller meal:

  • ( l) Illerrieden, UL
  • (r ) Vöhringen, NU, over Illerrieden ( at Iller cell just below 487 m)
  • ( just below the core site: 480 m)
  • ( Mouth: 468.3 m)

Change in the river course in Kempten

In the Middle Ages the Iller flowed in Kempten ( Allgäu) originally west of the Burghaldenstrasse hill until you umlenkte the river on the east side of the survey in the 13th century. Since the base of Kempten stone ribs which are built up by sediments of the erected Vorlandmolasse, had to be removed for flow routing in sections two sandstone horizons of this formation. Work on the for that time ambitious and daring project probably employ several generations. The exact data and processes of this unique, late-medieval river -bed method are currently being explored.

By giving up the old river bed was gained new settlement area and closed the city on to the monastery from which they had previously been separated by the river. The increased settlement was enclosed by a city wall. The flow routing has consequences up to the present, because the old Iller is still active in the underground; it corresponds to the water level of the "new" Iller. If this results in a lot of water, and the humidity rises in the backfill areas to be measured. Particularly clear example was the the theater, which was built in the late Middle Ages to Iller reason. During construction of the foyer cultivation in 1964 was abandoned for cost reasons, a closed bottom pan. As a result, it came regularly to the entry of moisture, which, for example in the toilet facilities in the basement centimeters deep water was. During the renovation in 2007, the building was then sealed consuming.

Tourism and Sport

  • The 1966 furnished Upper Swabian Baroque Road leads to Tannheim and the monastery Buxheim the Iller.
  • Almost always runs along the river Iller bike path, which is between Ulm and Oberstdorf is signposted in both directions.
  • Rafting on the river as a sport is offered mainly in the mountainous headwaters.
  • In the mouth area of ​​the Iller the main trail 4, the Main-Danube - Lake Constance Way of the Swabian Alp Association runs.
  • European Route E5 accompanied the river in the area of the Upper Iller valley.
  • The Oberschwaebischer makes pilgrimage to the spiritual places left Iller known. The loop 5 of the 2008 furnished path leads the pilgrims in the region between crack and Iller.
  • Once a year in Immenstadt the Iller Marathon takes place.


Before the construction of the Iller channel 1917, the river was a frenetic and unpredictable mountain river. So it came to severe thunderstorms and two days of heavy rains on 13 and 14 June 1910 at the entire upper part of the river Iller to several floods. On 14 June 1910, the floods swept the Iller bridge at Egelsee near Memmingen with it. Also parts of the dam between Illertissen and Teodone most. On Friday, June 16, 1910 23 against the clock water masses brought the mighty wooden bridge between the two towns to collapse. Then soldiers of the Royal Württemberg Pioneer Battalion No. 13 of Ulm were called in to help.

When Iller accident in 1957 drowned during an exercise 15 conscript soldiers of the Bundeswehr in the Iller, as a sergeant in the 2nd Company of the Airborne Battalion 19 from the Prince Franz barracks in Kempten his subordinates ordered unsecured to cross the river.

At the Fischener railway bridge in the distance Immenstadt - Oberstdorf on the Upper Iller it came on center pier at high water repeatedly Verklausungen that led to flooding. This problem should be solved by a new pillarless bridge whose construction was carried out in autumn 2011. The Iller is the first tributary of the Danube, which was for the rafting of importance. See main article rafting on the River Iller. End of the 19th century the section of the river Iller was north from Memmingen, where it flows into large bed, absorbed and thus made ​​navigable.

The Iller is crossed in Kempten three historic bridges: The King Louis Bridge, the only one of its kind in Germany and the Upper Iller bridges, the largest stamped concrete bridges in the world. All three bridges cross the deep gorge in the south of Kempten, served at least temporarily, to rail transport and are close together. Since 2012, working on the Nordspange in Kempten: A new bypass route to relieve with a new bridge over the Iller the middle ring.


The Merksprüchlein for the Bavarian tributaries of the Danube begins with the Iller: