Bad Homburg
Bad Homburg vor der Höhe is the district town of the Hochtaunuskreis
The Hochtaunuskreis is a Kreis in the middle of Hesse, Germany and is part of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. Neighbouring districts are Lahn-Dill, Wetteraukreis, district-free Frankfurt, Main-Taunus, Rheingau-Taunus, Limburg-Weilburg.The Hochtaunuskreis and the Landkreis Starnberg...

, 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, on the southern slope of the Taunus
The Taunus is a low mountain range in Hesse, Germany that composes part of the Rhenish Slate Mountains. It is bounded by the river valleys of Rhine, Main and Lahn. On the opposite side of the Rhine, the mountains are continued by the Hunsrück...

, bordering among others Frankfurt am Main and Oberursel. The town's formal name is Bad Homburg vor der Höhe (translated as "Bad Homburg in front of the height" (= Taunus)", to distinguish it from other places of the same name), abbreviated as Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe.

Elevation: 130 to 250 m in the town (128 to 683 m in the whole area);
Position: 50° 13’ 45” N, 8° 36’ 43” E;
Population: 52000.

The town is best known for its medically used mineral waters and spa (hence the prefix Bad, "bath"), and for its casino.

Today, Bad Homburg is again one of the wealthiest towns in Germany, in part thanks to its vicinity near Frankfurt, as many of the directors and employees of the Frankfurt banks live in Bad Homburg. (The Hochtaunuskreis
The Hochtaunuskreis is a Kreis in the middle of Hesse, Germany and is part of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. Neighbouring districts are Lahn-Dill, Wetteraukreis, district-free Frankfurt, Main-Taunus, Rheingau-Taunus, Limburg-Weilburg.The Hochtaunuskreis and the Landkreis Starnberg...

 and the Landkreis Starnberg
Starnberg (district)
Starnberg is a Kreis in the southern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Fürstenfeldbruck, Munich, Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen, Weilheim-Schongau and Landsberg....

 regularly compete for the title of the wealthiest district in Germany.)

As of 2004, the town's marketing slogan was: Champagnerluft und Tradition (Champagne air and tradition).

Middle Ages origins

Local tradition holds that Bad Homburg's documented history began with the mention of the Villa Tidenheim in the Lorsch codex
Lorsch codex
The Lorsch Codex is an important historical document created between about 1175 to 1195 AD in the Monastery of Saint Nazarius in Lorsch, Germany. It consists of 460 pages in large format containing more than 3800 entries...

, connected with the year 782. This Villa Tidenheim was equated with the Old Town, called "Dietigheim". This connection is also reflected in street names. Local historian, Rüdiger Kurth, doubted these traditional stories based on his study of written sources and local factors. In 2002 Kurth initiated archaeological
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 digs by the University of Frankfurt
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main
The Goethe University Frankfurt was founded in 1914 as a Citizens' University, which means that, while it was a State university of Prussia, it had been founded and financed by the wealthy and active liberal citizenry of Frankfurt am Main, a unique feature in German university history...

 under the leadership of Professor Joachim Henning. The excavations showed that there was no evidence of settlement between the beginning of the Christian Era and the 13th century. It appears that the historical record which makes mention of Wortwin (or Ortwin) von Hohenberch – as Homburg's founder – as a documentary witness in Eberbach in about 1180 is the first concrete evidence of the town's existence.
As early as 1962, in a dig under the Hirschgangflügel ("Hart Stalking Wing") at Bad Homburg's Schloss (stately home), two burnt layers were discovered, which the man conducting the dig, Günther Binding, took as evidence of two former castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

s having been built on the site one after the other, but each having burnt down later.

Further digs by the University of Frankfurt at Bad Homburg's Schloss in April 2006, once again initiated by Kurth and under Professor Henning's leadership, led to the discovery that it was actually only one burnt layer from a half-timbered
Timber framing
Timber framing , or half-timbering, also called in North America "post-and-beam" construction, is the method of creating structures using heavy squared off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs . It is commonplace in large barns...

 building – possibly a castle with towers – which from ceramic
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous...

 finds could be dated to the 12th or 13th century. Most likely this building stood in connection with Wortwin's "castle". Quite possibly, though, a further cultural layer from an even earlier time lies waiting to be discovered underneath these remains. Investigations using methods from natural science (carbon-14 dating and micromorphological analysis) will show whether the dating can be made more precise.

Homberg acquired market rights about 1330, but the document granting these rights is said to have been lost.

The town's name, "Homburg", comes from the Hohenberg Castle. The postfix "vor der Höhe" was probably first recorded in a document in 1399.

The Hessen-Homburg noble family of landgrave
Landgrave was a title used in the Holy Roman Empire and later on by its former territories. The title refers to a count who had feudal duty directly to the Holy Roman Emperor...

s was founded with Friedrich I of Hessen-Homburg. Friedrich II (1680–1708) attained fame as Prince of Homburg. In 1866, as a result of the Austro-Prussian War
Austro-Prussian War
The Austro-Prussian War was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the...

, Homburg became Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n territory.

Spa town and imperial residence

With the coming of the spa industry in the mid 19th century, which profited greatly from the casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

 built in town, the town changed into an internationally famous spa town. Bad Homburg was particularly favoured by Russian nobility for its baths.

The spa industry began with the discovery of the Elisabethenbrunnen (Brunnen is German for "well") in 1834 (although the designation "Bad" was not conferred until 1912). The first spa building and the first casino in Homburg were built in 1841–1842 by the brothers François (1806–1877) and Louis Blanc (1806–1852), who later took over the Casino in Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

, which is why the Homburg Casino is sometimes called the "Mother of Monte Carlo". In 1860, the town was connected with Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 by a railway line, the Homburger Bahn.

In 1888, Bad Homburg became known throughout the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 because Kaiser Wilhelm II
William II, German Emperor
Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe...

 declared Bad Homburg's Schloss an Imperial summer residence, and later financed the building of the Church of the Redeemer (Erlöserkirche)
Church of the Redeemer, Bad Homburg
The Church of the Redeemer is an Evangelical church in Bad Homburg, Germany. Finished in 1908, the building is outwardly of a heavy, romanesque revival appearance, while its interior is held in a neo-Byzantine style, with rich marble wall decorations and gold mosaics covering the domed ceiling,...

  close by. His mother, too, Victoria
Victoria, Princess Royal
The Princess Victoria, Princess Royal was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert. She was created Princess Royal of the United Kingdom in 1841. She became German Empress and Queen of Prussia by marriage to German Emperor Frederick III...

, the old emperor's widow — and Queen Victoria's
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 eldest daughter — lived there for several years. King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 was also often a guest. It was he who introduced the Homburg hat and permanent turn-up trousers. He also underwent fasting cures at Homburg 32 times.

The "Bad Homburger Golf Club 1899 e.V." in the Röderweisen in Dornholzhausen — nowadays part of Bad Homburg — is Germany's oldest golf club
Country club
A country club is a private club, often with a closed membership, that typically offers a variety of recreational sports facilities and is located in city outskirts or rural areas. Activities may include, for example, any of golf, tennis, swimming or polo...

. It had its beginnings in the Bad Homburg Spa Park (Kurpark), where the old clubhouse and even playable parts of the old golf course
Golf course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...

 may still be found.

Not far away stands the Russian Chapel — actually more properly called All Hallows' Church — an Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 church whose first stone was laid in the Russian Imperial couple's presence on 16 October 1896, although they did not attend when it was consecrated almost three years later.

King Chulalongkorn of Siam (Thailand) sent a Thai garden pavilion in gratitude for a successful cure. It was erected in 1914.

Horex is a German motorcycle manufacturer. It was founded in 1920 by the Rex glassware company, which conflated Homburg and Rex to create the brand name. The headquarter was in Bad Homburg....

 was a well known German motorcycle brand of the "Horex – Fahrzeugbau AG", founded in 1923 in Bad Homburg by Fritz Kleemann.

Jewish History

In 1335, permission was given by Emperor Louis IV
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV , called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was the King of Germany from 1314, the King of Italy from 1327 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1328....

 to Gottfried von Eppstein
Lords of Eppstein
The Lords of Eppstein were a family of German nobility in the Middle Ages. From the 12th century they ruled extensive territories in the Rhine Main area from their castle in Eppstein, northwest of Frankfurt, Germany.-History:...

 to settle 10 Jews in each of the localities of Eppstein
Eppstein is a town in the Main-Taunus-Kreis, in Hesse, Germany.-Geographical situation:Eppstein lies west of Frankfurt am Main, around 12 km north east of the state capital Wiesbaden, and is at the edge of the Taunus mountains....

, Homburg, and Steinheim
Steinheim may refer to:*municipalities in Germany:**Steinheim, Westphalia, in the district of Höxter, North Rhine-Westphalia**Steinheim an der Murr, in the district of Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg...

; it is uncertain, however, whether any Jews settled in Homburg at that time. Evidence for the existence of a permanent Jewish settlement in Homburg is found only at the beginning of the 16th century. Up to 1600 it consisted of 2 or 3 families, and by 1632 these had increased to 16. The first Jewish cemetery
Jewish cemetery
A Jewish cemetery is a cemetery where members of the Jewish faith are buried in keeping with Jewish tradition....

 was purchased in the 17th century. The community continued to grow so rapidly that in 1703 the landgrave Frederick II of Hesse decided on the construction of a special Judengasse. A synagogue, built in 1731, was replaced by a new one in 1867. The Jewish community of Homburg was originally under the jurisdiction of the rabbinate of [Friedberg] but began to appoint its own rabbis in the 19th century.

A Hebrew printing house was run in Homburg by Seligmann ben Hirz Reis in 1710 until 1713 when he moved to Offenbach am Main. Among other items, he published Jacob ibn Ḥabib
Jacob ibn Habib
Jacob ben Solomon ibn Habib was a rabbi and talmudist born at Zamora, Spain. In his youth Ibn Ḥabib studied the Talmud under R...

's Ein Ya'akov
Ein Ya'akov
Ein Ya'akov is a moshav in northern Israel. Located near Ma'alot-Tarshiha, it falls under the jurisdiction of Ma'ale Yosef Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 687.The village was established in 1953 by immigrants from Kurdistan and Iraq...

(1712). Hebrew printing was resumed there in 1724 by Samson ben Salman Hanau but lack of capital limited his output. The press was acquired in 1736 by Aaron ben Ẓevi Dessau whose publications included the Shulhan Arukh (Ḥoshen Mishpat) with commentary (1742). The press was sold in 1748 and transferred in 1749 to Roedelheim. At the beginning of the 20th century, the spa of Homburg became a meeting place of Russian-Jewish intellectuals. The Jewish population numbered 604 (7.14% of the total population) in 1865, declining to 379 in 1910 (2.64%), and 300 in 1933. Of the 74 Jews who remained on 17 May 1939, 42 were deported in 1942/1943.

Modern age

While the spa business experienced a long-term decline in the wake of the two world wars, the town gained importance by becoming the site for headquarters of various authorities and administrative bodies. By autumn 1946, the military government had already ordered the founding of bizonal
The Bizone, or Bizonia was the combination of the American and the British occupation zones in 1947 during the occupation of Germany after World War II. With the addition of the French occupation zone in March 1948, the entity became the Trizone...

 authorities. Bad Homburg was chosen as the seat of the financial administrative centre. On 23 July 1947, the Bizone Economic Council instituted the "Special Money and Credit Centre" here in preparation for currency reform. The centre was headed by Ludwig Erhard
Ludwig Erhard
Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and Chancellor of West Germany from 1963 until 1966. He is notable for his leading role in German postwar economic reform and economic recovery , particularly in his role as Minister of Economics under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer...

. After the Federal Republic of Germany – West Germany – was founded with its capital in Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, the Federal Debt Administration (Bundesschuldenverwaltung), the Office for Security Adjustment (Amt für Wertpapierbereinigung) and the Federal Equalization Office (Bundesausgleichsamt) stayed in Bad Homburg.

In the 20th century, Bad Homburg became a favourite residential area among the upper classes. On 30 November 1989, one of its members, Alfred Herrhausen
Alfred Herrhausen
Alfred Herrhausen was a German banker and Chairman of Deutsche Bank. From 1971 onwards he was a member of the bank's board of directors....

, the head of the Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank AG is a global financial service company with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. It employs more than 100,000 people in over 70 countries, and has a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the emerging markets...

, was killed and his driver was injured by a car bomb in Bad Homburg. It was alleged that this was an attack by the Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

, though this has never been conclusively proven.


Coat of arms

Bad Homburg's civic coat of arms was granted in 1903 but is said to date from the 15th century on the basis of seals known from that time, although they show a saltire
A saltire, or Saint Andrew's Cross, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross or letter ex . Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on such a cross....

 rather than the two adze
An adze is a tool used for smoothing or carving rough-cut wood in hand woodworking. Generally, the user stands astride a board or log and swings the adze downwards towards his feet, chipping off pieces of wood, moving backwards as they go and leaving a relatively smooth surface behind...

s seen today (the saltire might be two unclear adzes). The reason for the adzes in the arms is not known; it is possibly dialectal canting
Canting arms
Canting arms are heraldic bearings that represent the bearer's name in a visual pun or rebus. The term cant came into the English language from Anglo-Norman cant, meaning song or singing, from Latin cantāre, and English cognates include canticle, chant, accent, incantation and recant.Canting arms –...

. The colours, with silver adzes in a blue field, have been in use at least since 1621.


  • Kaiserin-Friedrich-Gymnasium
    The Kaiserin-Friedrich-Gymnasium is one of two Gymnasiums, the other being Humboldtschule , in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Hesse, Germany....

  • Humboldtschule
  • Gesamtschule am Gluckenstein
    Gesamtschule am Gluckenstein
    The ' is a Gesamtschule in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Hesse, Germany.The school has approximate 70 teachers and more than 800 students. In school year 2006/2007 the school time at the at the was reduced from nine to eight years. So the students get their after twelve school years totally, not...

  • Maria-Ward-Schule
    Maria-Ward-Schule, Bad Homburg
    The ' is a private school for girls in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Hesse, Germany.The eponym is Mary Ward . The school has approximate 28 teachers and 400 students.- External links :*...

  • Feldbergschule (branch Bad Homburg)


  • Shmuel Yosef Agnon
    Shmuel Yosef Agnon
    Shmuel Yosef Agnon , was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon . In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.Agnon was born in Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire...

     (1888-1970), Nobel Prize-winning author
  • Louis Jacobi
  • Else Kröner
  • Károly Lotz
    Károly Lotz
    Lotz Károly Antal Pál, or Karl Anton Paul Lotz was a German-Hungarian painter.- Career :Karl Lotz was born in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany, the 7th and youngest surviving child of Wilhelm Christian Lotz and Antonia Höfflick ...

  • Karl Wilhelm von Meister
    Karl Wilhelm von Meister
    Karl Wilhelm von Meister was a German politician and diplomat.-Life and work:...

Partner towns

Chur or Coire is the capital of the Swiss canton of Graubünden and lies in the northern part of the canton.-History:The name "chur" derives perhaps from the Celtic kora or koria, meaning "tribe", or from the Latin curia....

, Switzerland Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641...

, Croatia   Exeter
Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...

, England, United Kingdom Mariánské Lázně
Mariánské Lázne
Mariánské Lázně is a spa town in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic. The town, surrounded by green mountains, is a mosaic of parks and noble houses...

, Czech Republic, In 1953, the town adopted the ethnic Germans driven out of this town, later also partnership Mayrhofen
- Twin towns : Chur, Switzerland Bad Tölz, Germany Bad Homburg, Germany Terracina, Italy Cabourg, France Bad Mondorf, Luxembourg- Transport :Mayrhofen has one railway station, which is located next to the Zillertaler Bundestrasse. The station is a terminus for all Train services operated by the...

, Austria Peterhof, Russia Terracina
Terracina is a town and comune of the province of Latina - , Italy, 76 km SE of Rome by rail .-Ancient times:...

, Italy Mondorf-les-Bains
Mondorf-les-Bains is a commune and town in south-eastern Luxembourg. It is part of the canton of Remich, which is part of the district of Grevenmacher. Mondorf-les-Bains is a spa town , and has the only casino in Luxembourg....

, Luxembourg Cabourg
Cabourg is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region of France.Cabourg belongs to the Paris Basin. The commune is located next to the sea and the back country is a plain, favourable to the cereal culture...

, France

External links

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