Bad Frankenhausen
Bad Frankenhausen is a spa town
Spa town
A spa town is a town situated around a mineral spa . Patrons resorted to spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word comes from the Belgian town Spa. In continental Europe a spa was known as a ville d'eau...

 in the German
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...

 state of Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

. It is located at the southern slope of the Kyffhäuser
The Kyffhäuser is a range of hills located on the border of the German state of Thuringia with Saxony-Anhalt. It stands on the southern edge of the Harz. The range has a length of and a width of . It reaches its highest point at the Kulpenberg , situated in Thuringia...

 mountain range, on an artificial arm of the Wipper
Wipper (Saale)
The Wipper is a river in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, left tributary of the Saale and has a length of 85 km. The name is coming from the old German word "Uipparaha" which means "singing, springing river".-River course:...

 river, a tributary of the Saale
The Saale, also known as the Saxon Saale and Thuringian Saale , is a river in Germany and a left-bank tributary of the Elbe. It is not to be confused with the smaller Franconian Saale, a right-bank tributary of the Main, or the Saale in Lower Saxony, a tributary of the Leine.-Course:The Saale...

. Because of the nearby Kyffhäuser monument
Kyffhäuser Monument
The Kyffhäuser Monument , also known as the Barbarossa Monument or the Kaiser Wilhelm Monument , is a monument on the summit of the Kyffhäuser Mountain near Bad Frankenhausen in the state of Thuringia in central Germany.The monument, which totals 81 metres tall, was built in...

 dedicated to Emperor Frederick Barbarossa
Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick I Barbarossa was a German Holy Roman Emperor. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and crowned in Aachen on 9 March, crowned King of Italy in Pavia in 1155, and finally crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV, on 18 June 1155, and two years later in 1157 the term...

, it is nicknamed Barbarossastadt. The municipality includes the villages of Seehausen, Udersleben and (since 2007) Esperstedt
Esperstedt, Thuringia
Esperstedt is a former municipality in the district Kyffhäuserkreis, in Thuringia, Germany. Since 1 December 2007, it is part of the town Bad Frankenhausen....



Frankenhausen was first attested as a Frankish
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 settlement in the 9th century in deeds of the Abbey of Fulda. It received town privileges
German town law
German town law or German municipal concerns concerns town privileges used by many cities, towns, and villages throughout Central and Eastern Europe during the Middle Ages.- Town law in Germany :...

 in 1282 and from 1340 on was part of the County of Schwarzburg
County of Schwarzburg
The County of Schwarzburg was a state of the Holy Roman Empire from 1195 to 1595, when it was partitioned into Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. It was ruled by counts from the House of Schwarzburg....


On May 15, 1525 it was the location of the Battle of Frankenhausen
Battle of Frankenhausen
The Battle of Frankenhausen was fought on 15 May 1525. It was the final act of the German Peasants' War: joint troops of Landgrave Philip I of Hesse and Duke George of Saxony defeated the peasants under their Anabaptist leader Thomas Müntzer near Frankenhausen in the County of Schwarzburg .On April...

, one of the last great battles of the German Peasants' War
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524–1526. At its height in the spring and summer of 1525, the conflict involved an estimated 300,000 peasants: contemporary estimates put the dead at 100,000...

, when the insurgent peasants under Thomas Müntzer were defeated by troops of the allied Duke George of Saxony
George, Duke of Saxony
George the Bearded, Duke of Saxony , was duke of Saxony from 1500 to 1539.Duke George was a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece.-Early life:...

, Landgrave Philip I of Hesse
Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse
Philip I of Hesse, , nicknamed der Großmütige was a leading champion of the Protestant Reformation and one of the most important of the early Protestant rulers in Germany....

 and Duke Henry V of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Henry V, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Henry , Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, called the Younger, was Prince of Wolfenbüttel from 1514 until his death...

. Müntzer was captured, tortured and finally beheaded
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 at Mühlhausen
Mühlhausen is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is the capital of the Unstrut-Hainich district, and lies along the river Unstrut. Mühlhausen had c. 37,000 inhabitants in 2006.-History:...

 on May 27.

With the partition of Schwarzburg County in 1599, Frankenhausen became the capital of the Unterherrschaft subdivision of the County of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was a small historic state in present-day Thuringia, Germany with its capital at Rudolstadt.-History:Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was established in 1599 in the course of a resettlement of Schwarzburg dynasty lands...

, which in 1710 was raised to a principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

. Prince Günther Victor
Günther Victor, Prince of Schwarzburg
Günther Victor, Prince of Schwarzburg was the final sovereign prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen.-Biography:...

 was the last German monarch to abdicate, on November 23 (as Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt) and November 25, 1918 (as Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
Schwarzburg-Sondershausen was a small principality in Germany, in the present day state of Thuringia, with capital at Sondershausen.-History:...

). The succeeding short-lived Free State of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt merged into the newly created Thuringia in 1920.

Since 1818 a saline water
Saline water
Saline water is a general term for water that contains a significant concentration of dissolved salts . The concentration is usually expressed in parts per million of salt....

 well that had been used for centuries to extract salt has been used for saline
Saline (medicine)
In medicine, saline is a general term referring to a sterile solution of sodium chloride in water but is only sterile when it is to be placed intravenously, otherwise, a saline solution is a salt water solution...

 baths and medical purposes. Therefore in 1927 Frankenhausen received the official title of a spa town (Bad). In the 19th century the town was also famous for the manufacture of pearl buttons
Nacre , also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some mollusks as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent....

. Today it mainly depends on tourism and spa vacation.

Since 1972 Frankenhausen has been a garrison town
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

, formerly of a motorised infantry
Motorised infantry
In NATO and most other western countries, motorised infantry is infantry which is transported by trucks or other motor vehicles. It is distinguished from mechanized infantry, which is carried in armoured personnel carriers, infantry combat vehicles, or infantry fighting vehicles...

 regiment of the National People's Army
National People's Army
The National People’s Army were the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic .The NVA was established in 1956 and disestablished in 1990. There were frequent reports of East German advisors with Communist African countries during the Cold War...

, from 1990 on of the 13th Mechanized Infantry Division
13th Mechanized Infantry Division (Germany)
The 13th Mechanized Infantry Division is a mechanized division of the German Army.Its staff is based at Leipzig...

 of the German Army
German Army
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...


Peasants' War Panorama

Based on Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

' 1850 book The Peasant War in Germany
The Peasant War in Germany
The Peasant War in Germany by Friedrich Engels, 1850, is an account of 16th century uprisings.This book was written by Friedrich Engels in London, during the summer of 1850, following the revolutionary uprisings of 1848-1849. The book draws a parallel between the uprisings of 1848-1849 and the...

, Thomas Müntzer as an early revolutionary became an icon of historical materialism
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

 in East Germany. At the 450-years jubilee of the battle, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Socialist Unity Party of Germany
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany was the governing party of the German Democratic Republic from its formation on 7 October 1949 until the elections of March 1990. The SED was a communist political party with a Marxist-Leninist ideology...

 (SED) charged the rector of the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

, Professor Werner Tübke
Werner Tübke
Werner Tübke was a German painter, best known for his monumental Peasants' War Panorama located in Bad Frankenhausen.-Early Bourgeois Revolution in Germany:...

, with the creation of a monumental panorama painting. The work in a specially erected rotunda
Rotunda (architecture)
A rotunda is any building with a circular ground plan, sometimes covered by a dome. It can also refer to a round room within a building . The Pantheon in Rome is a famous rotunda. A Band Rotunda is a circular bandstand, usually with a dome...

 was finished in 1987. It is 123 m/404 ft in length and 14 m/46 ft in height and depicts more than 3000 individuals.

Despite the Politburo
Politburo , literally "Political Bureau [of the Central Committee]," is the executive committee for a number of communist political parties.-Marxist-Leninist states:...

's plans modelled on the Battle of Borodino
Battle of Borodino
The Battle of Borodino , fought on September 7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia and all Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties...

 panorama at Poklonnaya Hill
Poklonnaya Hill
Poklonnaya Gora is, at 171.5 metres, one of the highest spots in Moscow. Its two summits used to be separated by the Setun River, until one of the summits was razed in 1987...

 in Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Tübke realised a rather pessimistic vision of a resigned Müntzer standing alone among battling troops, a Bundschuh
Bundschuh movement
The Bundschuh movement was a loosely linked series of localized peasant rebellions in southwestern Germany. It played an important part in the German Peasants' War of the early 15th and 16th centuries. It was so called because of the peasant shoe the peasants displayed on their flag – symbolizing...

 flag on the ground at his side. The panorama was inaugurated by Kurt Hager
Kurt Hager
Kurt Hager , was an East German statesman, member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, was known as the Chief Ideologist of his Party and decided about many cultural and educational policies in East Germany.-Life:The son of a laborer, Hager passed the high school exam in 1931, after a visit of...

 and Margot Honecker
Margot Honecker
Margot Honecker née Feist is a former Communist politician, who was a prominent member of the political elite in East Germany...

 as deputy for her husband on September 14, 1989, thus eight weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...



  • Frankenhausen Castle, with medieval foundations from the 14th century on, served as a residence of the House of Schwarzburg
    House of Schwarzburg
    The House of Schwarzburg was one of the oldest noble families of Thuringia, until its extinction in 1971 with the death of Prince Friedrich Günther...

    . Heavily damaged during the Peasants' War, it was rebuilt in Renaissance
    Renaissance architecture
    Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

     style between 1533 and 1536. Today it houses a museum of local history.
  • The church of Our Dear Lady at the Mountain, colloquially called Oberkirche (Upper Church), built in 1382, is known for its spire, which precariously inclines to the side. The imbalance caused by sinkhole
    A sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface caused by karst processes — the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes for example in sandstone...

    s of the nearby salt mines had already started to affect it in the 17th century, for the 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...

     top partly equalises the slant of the tower. When last measured, it leant at 4.8°, increasing 6 cm/2.4 ins a year, and thus is the second most leaning tower of Germany (after the spire of the Suurhusen Church
    Leaning Tower of Suurhusen
    The Leaning Tower of Suurhusen is a late medieval steeple in Suurhusen, a village in the East Frisian region of northwestern Germany. According to the Guinness World Records it was the most tilted tower in the world, though in 2010 the newly erected Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi claimed this...

    ) and more leaning than the Tower of Pisa
    Leaning Tower of Pisa
    The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa...

  • The Kyffhäuser mountain range north of the town is the site of the Kyffhäuser Monument
    Kyffhäuser Monument
    The Kyffhäuser Monument , also known as the Barbarossa Monument or the Kaiser Wilhelm Monument , is a monument on the summit of the Kyffhäuser Mountain near Bad Frankenhausen in the state of Thuringia in central Germany.The monument, which totals 81 metres tall, was built in...

    , a huge sculpture in celebration of German national unity built from 1890 to 1896 to plans by Bruno Schmitz
    Bruno Schmitz
    Bruno Schmitz , was a German architect best known for his monuments in the early 1900s, working closely with sculptors such as Emil Hundrieser, Nikolaus Geiger and Franz Metzner for integrated architectural and sculptural effect...

     on the ruins of a former Kaiserpfalz
    The term Kaiserpfalz or Königspfalz refers to a number of castles across the Holy Roman Empire which served as temporary, secondary seats of power for the Holy Roman Emperor in the Early and High Middle Ages...


Notable people

  • Sethus Calvisius
    Sethus Calvisius
    Sethus Calvisius or Setho Calvisio, originally Seth Kalwitz was a German music theorist, composer, chronologer, astronomer, and teacher of the late Renaissance....

    , composer, born February 21, 1556 in Gorsleben
    Gorsleben is a municipality in the district Kyffhäuserkreis, in Thuringia, Germany....

    , died November 24, 1615 in Leipzig
    Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

    , grew up in Frankenhausen
  • Martin Gottfried Weiss, commander of the Dachau concentration camp, born June 3, 1905 in Weiden in der Oberpfalz
    Weiden in der Oberpfalz
    Weiden in der Oberpfalz is a district-free city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located 100 km east of Nuremberg and 35 km west of the Czech border. A branch of the German Army's NCO Academy is located here...

    , died May 29, 1946 in Landsberg am Lech
    Landsberg am Lech
    Landsberg am Lech is a town in southwest Bavaria, Germany, about 65 kilometers west of Munich and 35 kilometers south of Augsburg. It is the capital of the district of Landsberg am Lech....

    , studied electrical engineering in Bad Frankenhausen
  • Ludwig Elsbett
    Ludwig Elsbett
    Ludwig Elsbett was the inventor of the Elsbett Engine.Elsbett was one of nine children of the farmer Viktor Elsbett and his wife Maria. He grew up in agriculture, and was originally trained as a fitter for agricultural machinery...

    , inventor of the Elsbett
    The Elsbett engine is a design of diesel engine designed to run on vegetable oil. It's also known as Elko engine and was invented by Ludwig Elsbett....

     Engine, born November 8, 1913 in Salz, Bavaria
    Salz, Bavaria
    Salz is a municipality in the district of Rhön-Grabfeld in Bavaria in Germany....

    , died there March 28, 2003, studied engineering in Bad Frankenhausen
  • Doris Schade
    Doris Schade
    Doris Schade is a German television actress.-Selected filmography:* 1979: Derrick - Season 6, Episode 2: "Anschlag auf Bruno"* 1981: Die bleierne Zeit...

    , actress, born May 21, 1924 in Frankenhausen
  • Christa Wolf
    Christa Wolf
    Christa Wolf was a German literary critic, novelist, and essayist. She is one of the best-known writers to have emerged from the former East Germany.-Biography:...

    , novelist, born on March 18, 1929 in Landsberg an der Warthe
    Gorzów Wielkopolski
    Gorzów Wielkopolski is a city in western Poland, on the Warta river. It is the biggest city in the Lubusz Voivodeship with 125,149 inhabitants...

     (now Gorzów Wielkopolski), finished school in Bad Frankenhausen
  • Eva Padberg
    Eva Padberg
    Eva Padberg is a German fashion model, singer, and actress.Padberg was born in Bad Frankenhausen and grew up in Rottleben, Germany. In 1995, she applied for Bravos Boy & Girl contest; she made it among the best ten models and gained the opportunity to do a test shooting for Louisa Models in Munich...

    , fashion model, born January 27, 1980 in Bad Frankenhausen.

Twin town

  • Bad Sooden-Allendorf
    Bad Sooden-Allendorf
    -Location:The spa town of Bad Sooden-Allendorf lies in the Werra valley near the Hoher Meißner, right on the boundary with Thuringia, almost at Germany’s geographical centre, 33 km east of Kassel.-Neighbouring communities:...

    , Werra-Meißner-Kreis
    Werra-Meißner is a Kreis in the north of Hesse, Germany. Neighboring districts are Göttingen, Eichsfeld, Unstrut-Hainich, Wartburgkreis, district-free Eisenach, Hersfeld-Rotenburg, Schwalm-Eder, Kassel.-History:...

    , 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...

    , 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...

    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

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