Durlach was bestowed by the emperor Frederick II on the margrave Hermann V of Zahringen, but afterwards came into the hands of Rudolph of Habsburg. It was chosen by the margrave Karl II in 1565 as residence of the rulers of Baden-Durlach, and retained this distinction though it was almost totally destroyed by the French in 1688.
Margrave Karl Wilhelm III decided that he needed more space which led to the foundation of Karlsruhe, which in 1715 became the new capital until the state was merged into the grand-duchy of Baden.
In 1938 Durlach was incorporated into Karlsruhe, which had grown bigger.
Durlach at present
Important attractions are the Karlsburg castle in the centre (erected in 1565), now with some museums, an ancient town hall, a church with an excellent organ, and in the market-place a statue of the margrave Charles II.
The Turmberg ('tower hill') is a vineyard-covered hill with a castle ruin which is crowned by a watch-tower. It offers a fine view of Karlsruhe towards the west and the River Rhine valley, and on very clear days, even farther west the Vosges in France. As the Turmberg is the northern most tip of the Black Forest, you can, looking south and east see the Black Forest. The Turmberg is climbed by the Turmbergbahn, a historic funicular railway.
(partly taken from wikipedia.org)