Bad Frankenhausen

Bad Frankenhausen

Infobox German Location
Art = town
image_photo = Frankenhauser Schloss.jpg
image_caption = Frankenhausen Castle
Wappen = Wappen_Bad_Frankenhausen.pnglat_deg = 51 |lat_min = 21 |lat_sec = 21
lon_deg = 11 |lon_min = 6 |lon_sec = 4
Lageplan = Bad Frankenhausen in KYF.pngBundesland = Thuringia
Landkreis = Kyffhäuserkreis
Höhe = 132
Fläche = 65.85
Einwohner = 9354
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 06567
Vorwahl = 034671
Kfz = KYF
Gemeindeschlüssel = 16 0 65 003
Adresse = Markt 1
06567 Bad Frankenhausen
Website = []
Bürgermeister = Matthias Strejc
Partei = SPD

Bad Frankenhausen (officially: Bad Frankenhausen/Kyffhäuser) is a spa town in the German state of Thuringia. It is located at the southern slope of the Kyffhäuser mountain range, on an artificial arm of the Wipper river, a tributary of the Saale. Because of the nearby Kyffhäuser monument dedicated to Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, it is nicknamed "Barbarossastadt". The municipality includes the villages of Seehausen, Udersleben and (since 2007) Esperstedt.


Frankenhausen was first attested as a Frankish settlement in the 9th century by deeds of the Fulda abbey. It received town privileges in 1282 and from 1340 on was part of the County of Schwarzburg.

On May 15, 1525 it was the location of Battle of Frankenhausen, one of the last great battles of the Peasants' War, when the insurgent peasants under Thomas Müntzer were defeated by troops of the allied Duke George of Saxony, Landgrave Philip I of Hesse and Duke Henry V of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Müntzer was captured, tortured and finally beheaded at Mühlhausen on May 27.

With the partition of the Schwarzburg County in 1599, Frankenhausen became the capital of the "Unterherrschaft" subdivision of the County of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, that in 1710 was raised to a principality. Prince Günther Victor was the last German monarch to abdicate on November 23 (as Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt) and November 25, 1918 (as Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen). The succeeding short-lived Free State of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt merged into newly created Thuringia in 1920.

Since 1818 a saline water well that had been used to extract salt for centuries served for saline baths and medical purposes. Therefore Frankenhausen received the official title of a spa town ("Bad") in 1927. In the 19th century the town was also famous for the manufacturing of pearl buttons. Today it mainly depends on tourism and spa vacation.

Frankenhausen since 1972 is a garrison town, once of a motorised infantry regiment of the National People's Army, from 1990 on of the 13th Mechanized Infantry Division of the German Army.

Peasants' War Panorama

Based on Friedrich Engels' 1850 book The Peasant War in Germany Thomas Müntzer as an early revolutionary became an icon of historical materialism in East Germany. At the the 450-years jubilee of the battle the Socialist Unity Party of Germany ("SED") charged the rector of the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts Professor Werner Tübke with the creation of a monumental panorama painting. The work in a specially erected rotunda was finished in 1987. It has 123m/404ft in length, a height of 14m/46ft and depicts more than 3000 individuals.

Despite the Politburo's plans modelled on the Battle of Borodino panorama at Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow, Tübke realized a rather pessimistic vision of a resigned Müntzer standing alone among battling troops, a Bundschuh flag on the ground at his side. The panorama was inaugurated on September 14, 1989 by Kurt Hager and Margot Honecker as deputy for her husband, thus eight weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall.


*Frankenhausen Castle with foundations of the medieval era from the 14th century on served as a residence of the House of Schwarzburg. Heavily damaged during the Peasants' War it was rebuilt in Renaissance style between 1533 and 1536. Today it houses a museum of local history.
*The church of Our Dear Lady at the Mountain, coloquially called "Oberkirche" (Upper Church) built in 1382, is known for its spire, which precariously inclines to the side. The imbalance caused by sinkholes of the nearby salt mines already occurred in the 17th century as the Baroque top partly equalises the slant of the tower. Today it leans at 4.5° [ Sunday Telegraph (U.K. newspaper) Number 2,406: 22nd July 2007] , increasing 6cm/2.4inch a year, thus the second most leaning tower of Germany (after the spire of the Suurhusen Church) and more leaning than the Tower of Pisa.
*The Kyffhäuser mountain range north of the town is the site of the Kyffhäuser Monument, a monumental site of commemoration of German national unity built from 1890 to 1896 on the ruins of a former Kaiserpfalz according to plans by Bruno Schmitz.

Notable people

* Sethus Calvisius, composer, born February 21, 1556 in Gorsleben, died November 24, 1615 in Leipzig grew up in Frankenhausen
* Martin Gottfried Weiss, commander of the Dachau concentration camp, born June 3, 1905 in Weiden in der Oberpfalz, died May 29, 1946 in Landsberg am Lech studied electrical engineering in Bad Frankenhausen
* Ludwig Elsbett, inventor of the Elsbett Engine, born November 8, 1913 in Salz, Bavaria, died March 28, 2003 ibid. studied engineering in Bad Frankenhausen
* Doris Schade, actress, born May 21, 1924 in Frankenhausen
* Christa Wolf, novelist, born on March 18, 1929 in Landsberg an der Warthe (now Gorzów Wielkopolski) finished school in Bad Frankenhausen
* Eva Padberg, fashion model, born January 27, 1980 in Bad Frankenhausen.

Twin town

* since 1990.



* "Deutscher Städteatlas"; Band: IV; 2 Teilband. Acta Collegii Historiae Urbanae Societatis Historicorum Internationalis - Serie C. Im Auftrag des Kuratoriums für vergleichende Städtegeschichte e. V. und mit Unterstützung der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, hrsg. von Heinz Stoob †, Wilfried Ehbrecht, Jürgen Lafrenz und Peter Johannek. Stadtmappe Bad Frankenhausen, Author: Heinz Stoob. ISBN 3-89115-032-6; Dortmund-Altenbeken, 1989.

External links

* de icon
* [ 1525 Memorial - Panorama Museum]

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