Erbach im Odenwald
Aerial view of Erbach
Coat of arms
|Coordinates: 49°39′30″N 8°59′45″E|
|• Mayor||Peter Traub (Ind.)|
|• Total||62.67 km2 (24.20 sq mi)|
|Elevation||250 m (820 ft)|
|• Density||220/km2 (560/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
One geological peculiarity is the creek Erdbach's complete disappearance within Dorf-Erbach's community area. The Erdbach reappears near Stockheim. There are several places where the Erdbach disappears into the ground.
Erbach borders in the north on the town of Michelstadt, in the east on the market town of Kirchzell (in Miltenberg district in Bavaria), in the south on the community of Hesseneck and the town of Beerfelden and in the west on the community of Mossautal (all three in the Odenwaldkreis). A planned merger with the neighbouring town of Michelstadt was blocked in November 2007 by a referendum (Bürgerentscheid). For the time being, ways are being sought to deepen the two towns' cooperation, and possibly consider a merger once again in a few years' time.
Since the amalgamations within the framework of municipal reform in 1972, the district seat of Erbach has been made up of twelve Stadtteile:
|Bullau||9.98 km²||410||with the hamlet of Eutergund|
|Dorf-Erbach||4.08 km²||1,610||with the hamlet of Habermannskreuz|
|Erbach||10.89 km²||8,410||with the hamlet of Roßbach|
|Haisterbach||5.88 km²||420||with the hamlet of Marbach|
Erbach has long been the residence of the Counts of Erbach, who trace their descent back to the 12th century, and who held the office of cup-bearer to the Electors Palatine of the Rhine until 1806. In 1532 the emperor Charles V made the county a direct fief of the Holy Roman Empire, on account of the services rendered by Count Eberhard during the Palatine Peasants' War.
In 1717 the family was divided into the three lines of Erbach-Fürstenau, Erbach-Erbach and Erbach-Schönberg, who rank for precedence, not according to the age of their descent, but according to the age of the chief of their line. In 1818 the counts of Erbach-Erbach inherited the county of Wartenberg-Roth, and in 1903 the count of Erbach-Schönberg was granted the title of prince. The county was incorporated with the duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt in the 19th century.
The municipal election held on 26 March 2006 yielded the following results:
|Parties and voter communities||%
|CDU||Christian Democratic Union of Germany||36.7||11||24.3||8|
|SPD||Social Democratic Party of Germany||37.9||12||31.6||10|
|GREENS||Bündnis 90/Die Grünen||7.9||3||9.7||3|
|FDP||Free Democratic Party||4.0||1||7.2||2|
|ÜWG||Überparteiliche Wählergemeinschaft der Kreisstadt Erbach e.V.||13.5||4||27.2||8|
|Voter turnout in %||52.4||55.4|
|Term of office||Name||Party|
|1919–1933||Wilhelm Dengler (1889–1951)||SPD|
|1945||Wilhelm Dengler (introduced)||SPD|
|since 2000||Harald Buschmann||CDU|
Coat of arms
The town's arms might heraldically be described thus: Gules a bend wavy azure, thereon three mullets of six gules.
The wavy bend is taken to be a brook, and the mullets of six (six-pointed stars) were inspired by the arms formerly borne by the princely Counts of Erbach, who were lords of the Odenwald until 1806.
Culture and sightseeing
Castle of the Counts of Erbach-Erbach
Erbach Palace, the castle of the princely Counts of Erbach, was built into a residence in the style of the times in the 18th century. Since the noble house did not have the needed materials on hand, only the middle wing of the planned three-winged building was ever built. The façade is to a great extent built out of not sandstone, but rather sheeting or wood coloured to look like it.
The antique collections at the castle have remained almost unchanged since Count Franz I's time (1754–1823).
In 2005, the state of Hesse bought the castle for €13,000,000.
In the area of the orangery and the castle garden, a citizens' initiative in the 1970s managed to thwart plans to tear down the orangery and build a highrise hotel on the site
The memorial on the castle square to Count Franz I – the last ruling count – that was knocked off its pedestal and thereby broken was repaired and set back in place with support from two Darmstadt artists and some Erbach citizens. The work was financed through grants from the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege ("State Office for Care of Monuments") as well as donations.
The Erbacher Wiesenmarkt ("meadow market") was originally called the Eulbacher Markt or Eulbacher Wiesen(Vieh-)markt. Eulbach is an outlying centre of the neighbouring town of Michelstadt. It was once a regionally very important livestock, horse and farm market.
The livestock and farm market was only moved to Erbach sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century by the Counts of Eulbach. Until about 1960, the livestock and horse market with its associated horseracing and other horse sports was the main part of the Eulbacher Markt. The Schützenhaus ("Marksmen's House") standing on the way into the Wiesenmarkt, however, suggests that the Eulbacher Markt, at least in part, must already have been held in Erbach as early as the mid 19th century: it was here that the Democratic Revolutionaries met in 1848 and on what is now the market grounds beside the Schützenhaus that the Odenwald "Moot" (Volksversammlung) was held under the Michelstadt revolutionary and lawyer Ludwig Bogen's leadership.
Franz I, the last ruling count (1754–1823), introduced ivory carving in 1783, thus giving the town the nickname Elfenbeinstadt ("Ivory Town"). Many artists made their homes here and today their works and activities can still be admired at the town's Deutsches Elfenbeinmuseum Erbach. Owing to widespread bans since 1989, aimed at protecting animals, on dealing in ivory, nowadays comparable materials such as animal horns are used. Very popular as a material is prehistoric mammoth tusk, which is still found from time to time in Siberia. Besides the slightly different colour, this is comparable to elephant tusk ivory.
Sons and daughters of the town
- Norbert Busè (born 1963), filmmaker and film producer
- Oka Nikolov (born 1974), Macedonian football goalkeeper
- Jessica Schwarz (born 1977), German actress and presenter
- Timo Boll (born 1981), professional table tennis player
- Meike Weber (born 1987), footballer
- Heinrich List, farmer from Ernsbach, hid Ferdinand Strauss, a Jew, during the Nazi dictatorship, was betrayed and died in 1942 at Dachau. He and his wife have been recognized as being among the Righteous among the Nations at Yad Vashem.
Sons and daughters of the city
People connected with the town
- Serap Çileli (born 1966), author
- "Bevölkerungsstand am 31.12.2018". Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt (in German). July 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Erbach". Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 733.
- Bürgermeisterwahl 2012 Archived 19 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine
- Zeittafel: 20. Jahrhundert Archived 7 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine, abgerufen am 24. Oktober 2012
- Die Entwicklung der Sozialdemokratie in Erbach, abgerufen am 24. Oktober 2012
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