Aalen is a former Free Imperial City located in the eastern part of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, about 70 kilometres east of Stuttgart and 48 kilometres north of Ulm. It is the seat of the Ostalbkreis district and is its largest town. It is also the largest town in the Ostwürttemberg region. Since 1956, Aalen has had the status of Große Kreisstadt. It is noted for its many half-timbered houses constructed from the 16th century through the 18th century.
Economy 13,946 (46.5 percent) were employed in the manufacturing sector, 4,715 (15.7 percent) in commerce, catering, hotels and transport, and 11,306 (37.7 percent) in other services. Altogether in Aalen there are about 4,700 business enterprises, 1,100 of them being registered in the trade register. The others comprise 2,865 small enterprises and 701 craft enterprises. In Aalen, metalworking is the predominant industry, along with machine-building. Other industries include optics, paper, information technology, chemicals, textiles, medical instruments, pharmaceuticals, and food.
Notable enterprises include SHW Automotive (originating from the former Schwäbische Hüttenwerke steel mills and a mill of 1671 in Wasseralfingen), the Alfing Kessler engineering works, the precision tools manufacturer MAPAL Dr. Kress, the snow chain manufacturer RUD Ketten Rieger & Dietz and its subsidiary Erlau, the Gesenkschmiede Schneider forging die smithery, the SDZ Druck und Medien media company, the Papierfabrik Palm paper mill, the alarm system manufacturer Telenot, the laser show provider LOBO electronic and the textile finisher Lindenfarb, which all have their seat in Aalen. A branch in Aalen is maintained by optical systems manufacturer Carl Zeiss headquartered in nearby Oberkochen.
Aalen has a population of over 68,575 people.
Aalen is twinned with: Saint-Lô, France • Christchurch, United Kingdom • Tatabánya, Hungary • Antakya, Turkey • Cervia, Italy.