Amorbach is a town in the Miltenberg district
Miltenberg (district)
Miltenberg is an administrative district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the city of Aschaffenburg, the districts of Aschaffenburg and Main-Spessart, and the states of Baden-Württemberg and Hesse .-History:During the Middle Ages there was continuous...

 in the Regierungsbezirk
In Germany, a Government District, in German: Regierungsbezirk – is a subdivision of certain federal states .They are above the Kreise, Landkreise, and kreisfreie Städte...

of Lower Franconia
Lower Franconia
Lower Franconia is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria , Germany ....

 (Unterfranken) in Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, with some 4,100 inhabitants (as of December 2006).


Amorbach lies at the edge of the Bavarian Odenwald
The Odenwald is a low mountain range in Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany.- Location :The Odenwald lies between the Upper Rhine Rift Valley with the Bergstraße and the Hessisches Ried in the west, the Main and the Bauland in the east, the Hanau-Seligenstadt Basin – a subbasin of...

 and in 2003 celebrated 750 years of existence.


The town began as a Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

, (Amorbach Monastery
Amorbach Abbey
Amorbach Abbey was a Benedictine monastery located at Amorbach in the district of Miltenberg in Lower Franconia in Bavaria, Germany.- History :...

, or Kloster Amorbach), which bit by bit grew into a settlement until in 1253 it was raised to the status of a town. Over the years, the town lying in Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

’s, Bavaria’s and Baden
Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

’s border area changed lordly hands several times. Between 1803 and 1806, it was a residence town of the Principality of Leiningen. Only in 1816 did it become definitively Bavarian. In 1965, Amorbach became an open-air resort (Luftkurort).


The following centres have been amalgamated with the town:
  • 1 April 1973: Boxbrunn
  • 1 January 1975: Beuchen
  • 1 January 1976: Neudorf
  • 1 January 1976: Reichartshausen

Culture and sightseeing

Abbey church and organ

The Benedictine abbey formerly owned by the Princely House at Leiningen with its noteworthy library and the princely abbey church with its world-famous Stumm organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

 draw thousands of visitors each year. In 1782, after eight years of work by organ-building brothers Johann Philipp Stumm (1705–1776) and Johann Heinrich Stumm (1715–1788), the organ was ready. In their work at Amorbach, the greatest and most important in the then already highly esteemed Stumm organ-building dynasty’s 200 years of plying this trade, this style and Klangideal (“sound-ideal”), a synthesis of Southern German and French organ building, could be thoroughly realized. The imposing work’s original sound-producing hardware went unchanged over more than two centuries. In the dying years of the 19th century and on into the early 20th, a number of further organ stop
Organ stop
An organ stop is a component of a pipe organ that admits pressurized air to a set of organ pipes. Its name comes from the fact that stops can be used selectively by the organist; some can be "on" , while others can be "off" .The term can also refer...

s were added according to the preferences of the time.

Behind the organ’s impressive 16-field façade with its 124 sounding and up to seven-metre-tall organ pipes are found several ranks of pipes in their original configuration and piping on the slider chest, reconstructed in 1982. All 14 pedal ranks are freestanding behind it. Furthermore, also standing there, in three levels, is the swell box, added in 1982, along with its attendant works. It contains an assembly of ranks added after 1868, with one dedicated to the sound of French Romantic organ music. With its 5,116 pipes and 30 percussion devices shared across 66 stops, and played from four manuals and one pedalboard, the organ has an inexhaustible wealth of sound. Not only the soloistic qualities of each register but also the outstanding acoustics in the former abbey church make a performance on this organ an experience. Thus, the Amorbach Stumm organ is of world importance.


Unique, at least in Europe, is the Sammlung Berger mit Teekannenmuseum (“Berger Collection with teapot museum”). Besides impressive exhibits of modern art by Arman
Arman was a French-born American artist. Born Armand Pierre Fernandez in Nice, France, Arman is a painter who moved from using the objects as paintbrushes to using them as the painting itself...

, Michael Buthe
Michael Buthe
Michael Buthe was a German artist. From 1964 to 1967 he studied art at the Werkkunstschule Kassel. Thereafter he studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf as master student of Joseph Beuys. From 1985 to his death 1994 he worked as a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf...

, Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

, Christo, Keith Haring
Keith Haring
Keith Haring was an artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s.-Early life:...

, Otto Reichart, Rebecca Horn
Rebecca Horn
Rebecca Horn is a German installation artist and film director most famous for her body modifications such as Einhorn , a body-suit with a very large horn projecting vertically from the headpiece, and Pencil Mask, a mesh harness for the head with many pencils projecting out...

, Yves Klein
Yves Klein
Yves Klein was a French artist considered an important figure in post-war European art. He is the leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by the art critic Pierre Restany...

, Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein was a prominent American pop artist. During the 1960s his paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City and along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and others he became a leading figure in the new art movement...

, Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik was a Korean American artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the first video artist....

, Niki de Saint-Phalle, H. A. Schult, Daniel Spoerri
Daniel Spoerri
Daniel Spoerri is a Swiss artist and writer born in Romania, who has been called "the central figure of European post-war art" and "one of the most renown[ed] [artists] of the 20th century." Spoerri is best known for his "snare-pictures," a type of assemblage or object art, in which he captures...

, Ben Vautier
Ben Vautier
Ben Vautier , also known simply as Ben, is a French artist.Vautier lives and works in Nice, where he ran a record shop called Magazin between 1958 and 1973...

, Dick Higgins
Dick Higgins
Dick Higgins was a composer, poet, printer, and early Fluxus artist. Higgins was born in Cambridge, England, but raised in the United States in various parts of New England, including Worcester, Massachusetts, Putney, Vermont, and Concord, New Hampshire.Like other Fluxus artists, Higgins studied...

 and others, the museum also show Europe’s biggest teapot collection with 2,467 representative teapots from throughout the world and roughly 500 miniature teapots.

Tithe barn

The tithe barn in Amorbach, built in 1488, has for five hundred years had a central importance to the town. Originally built to store tithes in the form of produce for the Electors of Kurfürsten, it was – after extensive remodelling in the 1960s – run as a cinema.

The Kulturkreis Zehntscheuer Amorbach e.V. (“Amorbach Tithe Barn Cultural Circle”), which outfitted the building in 1991 as a cabaret theatre, has taken upon itself, besides the programmes offered in this establishment, to maintain and renovate the building, which stands in the historical town centre. The preliminary high point of this process came when this club bought the tithe barn in 2001.

Over the past few years, bit by bit, the toilet facilities have been modernized and expanded, the slanted floor from the barn’s time as a cinema has been evened and the whole inside and outside plastering together with the paint has been renovated or renewed. Rounding out the whole are a sound and light facility and a kitchen that met with requirements. For the façade, traditional colours and techniques were used under professional guidance. Since the new furnishings were introduced, the interior has distinguished itself with its comfortable atmosphere and special flair. Two thousand five hundred hours of volunteer work and well over €120,000 were needed to achieve all this. Funding for this effort came from – among other things – donation drives, benefit concerts and the club’s financial reserves. The work is not yet fully done; there is still much to do.

Regular events

  • Amorbach Abbey Concerts in the former Benedictine
    Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

     Abbey church;
  • Cabaret programme at the cabaret theatre Zehntscheuer Amorbach (“Amorbach Tithe Barn”).

  • Daily at 12:00 and 15:00, the world-famous Stumm organ (1782) with its 5,116 pipes is played in a permanent, changing programme.

  • Each year on Mother’s Day
    Mother's Day
    Mother's Day is a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, yet most commonly in March, April, or May...

    , the so-called Gangolfsritt (“Gangulphus
    Saint Gangulphus of Burgundy is venerated as a martyr by the Catholic Church. Gangulphus was a Burgundian courtier whose historical existence can only be attested by a single document: a deed from the court of Pepin the Short dated 762...

    ’s Ride”), a procession of horses through the town, takes place.

Economy and infrastructure

Today Amorbach woos recreation-seeking tourists with its state recognition as an open-air resort (Luftkurort) and its many Baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 buildings. Even Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor W. Adorno was a German sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist known for his critical theory of society....

, who regularly frequented Amorbach, adds to the level of awareness about the town. After his death, one of the hotels in town created an Adornozimmer (Zimmer means “room” in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....


Amorbach is the family seat of the Princely House at Leiningen. In 1992, the town was awarded the Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage, is the representative platform of 250 heritage NGOs active in 45 countries across Europe...



In Amorbach, Bundesstraße
Bundesstraße , abbreviated B, is the denotation for German and Austrian national highways.-Germany:...

469 meets Bundesstraße 47. The railway station lies on the Seckach
Seckach is a town in the district of Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.-References:...

Miltenberg is the seat of the like-named district in the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia in Bavaria, Germany.- Location :...

 railway line (KBS 709), also known as the Madonnenlandbahn.


  • Karl-Ernst-Gymnasium
    Gymnasium (school)
    A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

  • Theresia-Gerhardinger-Realschule
    The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It has also existed in Croatia , Denmark , Sweden , Hungary and in the Russian Empire .-History:The Realschule was an outgrowth of the rationalism and empiricism of the seventeenth and...

  • Parzival-Hauptschule
    A Hauptschule is a secondary school in Germany and Austria, starting after 4 years of elementary schooling, which offers Lower Secondary Education according to the International Standard Classification of Education...

  • Wolfram-von-Eschenbach-Grundschule (primary school).

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Johann Amerbach
    Johann Amerbach
    Johann Amerbach was a celebrated printer in Basel in the 15th century. He was the first printer to use the Roman type instead of Gothic and Italian; he spared no expense in his art....

    , printer and publisher in printing’s early days;
  • Stephan Alexander Würdtwein (b. 12 October 1722; d. 11 April 1796), Auxiliary Bishop of Worms, historian;
  • Vince Ebert, scientist-cabaret performer and writer;
  • Klemens Schnorr, German organist and musical scientist;
  • Karl von Tubeuf, German phytopathologist (1902–33 professor in Munich);
  • Oskar Martin-Amorbach, (b. 27 March 1897; d. 11 October 1987 in Roßholzen), painter and professor in Munich and Berlin;
  • Franz Joseph von Stein
    Franz Joseph von Stein
    Franz Joseph von Stein was Archbishop of München und Freising from 1897 until 1909.Born 4 April 1832, Amorbach, on 10 August 1855, aged 23, he was ordained a priest of Würzburg, Germany and consecrated by Archbishop Friedrich von Schreiber and Bishops Joseph Georg von Ehrler and Joseph Franz von...

    , Bishop of Würzburg (1879–98) and Archbishop of Munich and Freising (1898–1909);
  • Philipp Weber, cabaret performer and writer;
  • Danny Galm
    Danny Galm
    Danny Galm is a German footballer. He currently plays for 1. FC Kaiserslautern II. He has previously played for VfB Stuttgart II, Eintracht Frankfurt U23 and Energie Cottbus. He joined Stuttgarter Kickers in February 2009, but transferred to Kaiserslautern after they were relegated from the 3....

     (b. 1986), professional footballer with Stuttgarter Kickers
    Stuttgarter Kickers
    Stuttgarter Kickers is a German association football club that plays in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, founded on 21 September 1899 as FC Stuttgarter Cickers...


Further reading

  • Norbert Schmitt “Amorbacher Familienbuch 1618-1913, mit Angaben über die Familien von Amorbach (Stadt), Beuchen; Boxbrunn (mit Neidhof), Buch (mit Walkmühle); Gönz (mit Sansenhof; bis 1878); Gottersdorf (mit Kummershof; bis 1908); Neudorf, Otterbach (mit Schafhof); Reichartshausen und Zittenfeld, sowie Schneeberg und Hambrunn (1618-1688)”; Verlag = Pfarrgemeinde St. Gangolf, Amorbach, 1998

External links

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