The Imperial City of Esslingen, Eßlingen, is a free Imperial City state in the central Holy Roman Empire. Its main city and capital Esslingen am Neckar is enclaved within Wurttemberg whilst a larger exclave sits on the Wurttemberg-Luxembourg border to the west. The population is around 53,000.
The official language is German.
The Head of State is Director Ferdinand Motteler.
It uses the Württemberg Gulden (WRG).
Esslingen had long been a notable market town, and pilgrimage destination, before receiving city rights in 1229. Most of its medieval history would be dominated by long feuds with the Wurttemberg counts especially over the town of Leonberg.
Its proximity to Wurttemberg's capital Stuttgart meant it could do little to escape the horrors which befell its larger neighbour during the Fifty Years War but it retained its independence and slowly recovered from the precipitous drop in population the war has inflicted.
By the early 1700s the city had adopted a policy of strict neutrality, unwilling to be drawn into the machinations of Luxembourg, France or Wurttemberg who were eagerly eyeing up the region. This meant the city's representatives did not participate in a single Imperial Diet vote for 266 years, a record.
This neutrality was finally broken in 1968 as popular revolt brought down Mayor Volker Deffner, who was caught handing out bribes of shares in the Neckar railway. Not content that Deffner was now behind bars awaiting trial, the mob ousted the entire council and setup a new directorate in its stead. Wurttemberg almost invaded its neighbour to restore order but the anarchy expected never materialised. Though the leaders of the movement would later admit they took ideas from Syndicalism they were democrats at heart and would steer progressive laws and taxes through with popular approval.
Esslingen's economy is mostly based on light industry; it is a noted glove manufacturer. Wine from the Leonberg exclave is a valued export too. Rapid growth of Stuttgart since 2000 means that Esslingen am Necker is almost a suburb of it now and a close working relationship is necessary. The Esslingen Directorate has observer status in both the Stuttgart city council and the Wurttemberg Estates.