Schloss Johannisburg at the Main
|Admin. region||Lower Franconia|
|• Lord Mayor||Klaus Herzog (SPD)|
|• Total||62.47 km2 (24.12 sq mi)|
|Elevation||138 m (453 ft)|
|• Density||1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Postal codes||63701–63743 (old: 8750)|
Aschaffenburg (German pronunciation: [aˈʃafənbʊɐ̯k] ( )) is a city in northwest Bavaria, Germany. The town of Aschaffenburg is not considered part of the district of Aschaffenburg, but is the administrative seat.
Aschaffenburg belonged to the Archbishopric of Mainz for more than 800 years. The city is located at the westernmost border of Lower Franconia and separated from the central and eastern part of the administrative district by the Spessart hills, whereas it opens towards the Rhine-Main plain in the west and north-west. Therefore, the inhabitants speak neither Bavarian nor East Franconian but rather a local version of Rhine Franconian.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Sights
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Transportation
- 6 Shopping
- 7 Culture and recreational
- 8 Sports
- 9 Education
- 10 Medical
- 11 Local and regional media
- 12 Famous people
- 13 Town twinning
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The town is located on both sides of the River Main in the southwest part of Germany, 41 kilometers (25 mi) southeast of Frankfurt am Main. The second river is the small Aschaff which flows in the western part of the town into the River Main. The region is called Bayerischer Untermain or Bavarian Lower Main.
Continental, typically with warm, dry summers and cold, damp winters. Aschaffenburg usually receives less snowfall during the winter than the nearby Spessart.
Aschaffenburg counts 10 districts:
- Obernauer Kolonie
- Österreicher Kolonie (Austrian Colony)
- Stadtmitte (city center)
Nilkheim and Leider are the only districts located on the left bank of the river Main.
The following municipalities border Aschaffenburg:
The name Aschaffenburg (Ascaffaburc, Ascapha or Ascaphaburg in the Middle Ages) originally meant "castle at the ash tree river" deriving from the river Aschaff that runs through parts of the town.
The earliest remains of settlements in the area of Aschaffenburg date from the Stone Age. Aschaffenburg was originally a settlement of the Alamanni. Roman legions were stationed here, and on the ruins of their castra the Frankish mayors of the palace built a castle. In the Middle Ages the town was known as Ascaffaburc, Ascapha or Ascaphaburg. Saint Boniface erected a chapel to Saint Martin and founded a Benedictine monastery here. A stone bridge over the Main was built by Archbishop Willigis in 989. Adalbert increased the importance the town in various ways about 1122. In 1292 a synod was held here, and in 1474 an imperial diet, preliminary to that of Vienna, approved a concordat (sometimes called the Aschaffenburg Concordat).
The town suffered greatly during the Thirty Years' War, being held in turn by the various belligerents. It formed part of the electorate of the Archbishop of Mainz, and in 1803 was made over to the chancellor, Archbishop Charles of Dalberg as the Principality of Aschaffenburg.
Site of the Royal Bavarian Central Forest Academy (Koniglich Bayerischen Central Forstlehranstalt), established in 1807, "made famous by the researches of Professor Dr Ernst Ebermayer." The Academy was "dissolved in 1832, but re-organized under the Ministry of Finance in 1874"; and, as "of 30th March, 1874, united to the University of Munich."
In 1810 it was merged into the new Grand Duchy of Frankfurt, although Dalberg retained Aschaffenburg as his residence. In 1814 the city was transferred to the Kingdom of Bavaria by an Austrian-Bavarian treaty. In 1817 it was included within Bavarian Lower Franconia. From 1842–1849, King Ludwig I of Bavaria built a country house to the west of town. It was named Pompejanum after its model, the house of Castor and Pollux at Pompeii.
World War II
In World War II, Aschaffenburg was heavily damaged by Allied area bombing, including Schloss Johannisburg which was completely restored several years later. The Germans chose to defend Aschaffenburg with particular steadfastness, which resulted in the Battle of Aschaffenburg fought 28 March - 3 April 1945. The US 45th Infantry Division was forced to take the fortified city against stiff German resistance in a series of frontal assaults that involved house-to-house fighting and brutal close combat. The resulting horrific urban destruction was widespread and quite severe, as cannon fire was used point-blank to blast through structures.
Aschaffenburg displaced persons camps
At the end of World War II the US Army occupied military facilities formerly used and controlled by the Wehrmacht. These were converted for use by US military personnel as processing centres for displaced persons at the end of the war. From 1945 7,000 Ukrainians were accommodated in four displaced persons camps:
- Artillerie Kaserne — approx. 2,000 people (1945–1949)
- Bois Brulé Kaserne — 1,500 people (1946–1949)
- LaGarde Kaserne — 1,700 people (1945–1949)
- Pionier Kaserne — 2,000 people (1946–1949)
In the decades following the war, Aschaffenburg and the surrounding region experienced robust economic prosperity, partially due to its close proximity to Frankfurt am Main.
According to an online 2002 survey in Stern magazine, [Stern 14/2002], 82 percent of residents living in the Bayerischer Untermain region where Aschaffenburg is located were satisfied with the place where they lived. This was the highest level recorded in the survey making this region the #1 place to live in Germany, based on several factors including employment opportunities in the region, educational facilities, public services, transportation, recreational options, shopping, cultural facilities/events, climate, etc.
Another survey taken in 2006 by McKinsey, Stern magazine, ZDF, and web.de showed that Aschaffenburg has one of the highest ratings for quality of life in Germany.
US military presence (1945–2007)
Aschaffenburg was the location of several United States Army installations throughout the Cold War. After initially taking over the administration of the ex-Wehrmacht installations, which were then used as displaced persons camps, the American presence in the Aschaffenburg military community began after general renovations in 1948. The installation sites were known as Ready Kaserne (previously Artillerie Kaserne), Smith Kaserne (previously LaGarde Kaserne), Graves Kaserne (previously Bois Brulé Kaserne), Fiori Kaserne (previously Pionier Kaserne), and Jaeger Kaserne (previously Jäger Kaserne). These housed armour, infantry, engineer, maintenance and artillery elements of the US Army 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and various VII Corps elements including the 9th Engineer Battalion and the 1st Bn 80th Field Artillery (LANCE). Much of the US Army presence in Aschaffenburg ended in 1992 with the ending of the Cold War. The last buildings, which were primarily used for housing, were handed back to the local government in 2007.
Aschaffenburg's chief buildings are the Schloss Johannisburg, built 1605–1614 by Archbishop Schweikard von Kronberg, which contains a library with a number of incunabula, a collection of engravings and paintings; the Pompejanum, a replica of a Roman town house discovered in Pompeii commissioned by King Ludwig I. and opened in 1850; the Stiftskirche basilica, founded in 974 by Otto of Swabia, duke of Bavaria, but dating in the main from the early 12th century on, in which are preserved various monuments by the Vischers, a sarcophagus with the relics of Saint Margaret, and a famous painting by Matthias Grünewald; the Capuchin hospital; a theatre, which was formerly a house of the Teutonic Order; several mansions of the nobility; and the beautiful, historical "Altstadt" (the oldest section of Aschaffenburg).
Age distribution of current population
Aschaffenburg is located on Bundesautobahn 3 between Frankfurt am Main and Würzburg. The southern terminus of Bundesautobahn 45 is located just west of the city. Bundesstraße B 26 passes through the city. Bundestrasse B 8 used to pass through the city, but has now been rerouted along the Bundesautobahn 3. Three road bridges cross the river Main at Aschaffenburg: Ebert Bridge (a new span opened in 2008), Willigis Bridge and Adenauer Bridge. In the 1980s, a road tunnel was constructed under the Schlossplatz to improve traffic flow through the stadtmitte (city center).
After 43 years of planning and construction, the limited-access Innenstadtring or "inner-city-ring" road was completed in July 2013. It allows motorists to bypass the stadtmitte (city center) and reduces traffic congestion in Aschaffenburg, which has been a problem in recent years. Another road project called Bahnparallele is currently under construction, with a small section already opened. It's located in the district of Damm and runs parallel to the railway tracks.
There are approximately 7,500 parking spaces in the ten districts of Aschaffenburg and 8 parking garages open to the public.
Aschaffenburg has a comprehensive bus network serving all districts and the surrounding region. The 15 main bus lines which serve the districts of Aschaffenburg are run by Stadtwerke Aschaffenburg. There are several other bus lines which link Aschaffenburg with the surrounding region. Those lines are run by other companies, including the Deutsche Bahn. A new regional bus terminal opened in 2008, adjacent to the Aschaffenburg Hauptbahnhof (main railway station). The Regionale Omnibusbahnhof Aschaffenburg (ROB) was built to consolidate all of the scattered bus stops in the area around the main railway station into one central location and reduce traffic congestion in the area.
Taxis can be found at the following locations:
The normal way to obtain a taxi is to either call one of the numerous taxi operators in Aschaffenburg or go to one of the locations listed above.
Railway stations and stops
All passenger train service is provided by the Deutsche Bahn.
Aschaffenburg has an active port along the Main in the district of Leider. There is railway access to the port. In 2005, 2.8 million tons of cargo passed through the port.
A small general aviation airport (Flugplatz Aschaffenburg, ICAO-Code: EDFC) is located in nearby Großostheim. Frankfurt Airport is located 46 kilometers (29 mi) from Aschaffenburg and offers connections to destinations all over the world. The trip to and from the airport takes about 30 minutes by motor vehicle or approximately 45 minutes by InterCityExpress train.
The City Galerie, opened in 1974 and located in the city center (Stadtmitte), is the largest shopping mall in Northern Bavaria. It was one of the first indoor shopping malls to open in Germany. It was first renovated in 1984. From 1997 to 1999, it was expanded and modernized which included the opening of a new food court. In 2008, several new stores including H&M opened. Current stores include C&A, Esprit, Forever 18, Galeria Kaufhof, GameStop, H&M, Media Markt City (electronics), Müller & Penny Markt.
Aschaffenburg also has a pedestrian shopping zone (Fußgängerzone in German) closed to motor vehicles, except for deliveries. It is located in the city center (Stadtmitte). Several upscale stores have opened in this zone in recent years. There are also several restaurants and cafes. The following streets & alleys are included in this zone: Roßmarkt, Herstallstraße, Steingasse and Sandgasse.
This street, located close to the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station), has a variety of different stores.
Dammer Tor Carré
Pedestrian shopping zone located in the district of Damm, on the northern side of the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station). It opened in 2012 and includes an Edeka Stenger supermarket. It also includes a Toys "R" Us store and fitness center. A newly extended underground passageway with access to the train platforms, new main railway station and city-center is also located here.
Culture and recreational
Aschaffenburg hosts numerous festivals, fairs, exhibitions, markets and concerts throughout the year including the annual Stadtfest, held on the last weekend in August.
Theaters and entertainment venues
Museums and galleries
Aschaffenburg has numerous parks including the following:
A large recreational complex is located in the district of Leider. It includes an indoor and outdoor swimming pool complex as well as an indoor ice rink and tennis courts, which are open to the general public. There's also a marina on the Main between the Willigis and Adenauer bridges.
Viktoria Aschaffenburg is the primary football (soccer) club. The club was formed on June 24, 1904 out of the merger of FC Aschaffenburg (August 6, 1901) and FC Viktoria Aschaffenburg (April 12, 1902). It was renamed Sportverein Viktoria 01 Aschaffenburg on June 3, 1906. Their homefield is Stadion am Schönbusch (Schönbusch stadium), a modern stadium located in the Nilkheim district.
Baseball and softball
Aschaffenburg is also home to the Aschaffenburg Mohawks Baseball and Softball team. The Softball team won the 2010 German Championship. The adult baseball team won the 2011 Landesliga South Championship and will play in the highest league of the state Hessen in 2012.
There are various types of schools in Aschaffenburg serving approximately 18,000 students from the city and surrounding region.
There's a University of Applied Sciences located at Würzburger Straße: Hochschule Aschaffenburg
The three primary medical centers in Aschaffenburg are:
There are approximately 789 hospital beds, 159 doctors, 68 dentists and 38 pharmacies in the districts of Aschaffenburg.
Local and regional media
Radio and television
Born in Aschaffenburg
1900 to 1959
Aschaffenburg is twinned with:
In 2006, Aschaffenburg and Perth celebrated the 50th anniversary of their partnership.