Castle in Bad Wurzach
|• Mayor||Roland Bürkle|
|• Total||182.26 km2 (70.37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||654 m (2,146 ft)|
|• Density||78/km2 (200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Bad Wurzach is a small town in southern Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. It is a well known health-resort destination, and home to the oldest moor-spa in Baden-Württemberg, as well as one of the biggest connected high-moor areas in Europe. It is situated 25 km northeast of Ravensburg and part of the county Ravensburg, located in the Upper Swabia region. Since 1950 the town carries the predicate Bad (spa). Area-wise it is the third-largest municipality in the state of Baden-Württemberg, second only to Stuttgart, which is the capital of the state, and Baiersbronn.
- 1 Geographical location
- 2 Town Classification
- 3 Neighboring Communities
- 4 History
- 5 Annexation
- 6 History of the Suburbanized Communities
- 7 Religions
- 8 International relations
- 9 Coat of arms
- 10 Culture and Places of Interest
- 11 Civil Works
- 12 Natural Monuments
- 13 Friedrich-Schiedel Prize for Literature
- 14 Leisure and Sports Facilities
- 15 Economy and Infrastructure
- 16 Educational institutions
- 17 Spa Service Bad Wurzach
- 18 Celebrities
- 19 References
The municipality of Bad Wurzach lies in a broad lowland between the regions Allgäu and Upper Swabia on the edge of the so-called Wurzacher Ried (Reed of Wurzach). Its height above sea-level varies between 650 and 800 meters.
The municipality of Bad Wurzach consists of the following communities:
- Bad Wurzach (population 5,399)
- Arnach (1,436)
- Dietmanns (791)
- Eintürnen (735)
- Haidgau (972)
- Hauerz (1,128)
- Seibranz (1,219)
- Unterschwarzach (1,385)
- Ziegelbach (925)
The town borders with two communities in the county Biberach, as well as two cities and four communities in the county Ravensburg. The communities are, beginning in the north and going clockwise, Eberhardzell and Rot an der Rot in the county Biberach, and Aitrach, Aichstetten, Leutkirch im Allgäu, Kißlegg, Wolfegg and Bad Waldsee in the county Ravensburg.
The town was first notarial vouched on the 13th June in the year 1273 as "Oppidum Wurzun". On the 27th May in 1333 "Kaiser Ludwig der Bayer Hans Truchsess von Waldburg granted the settlement of "Wurzun" the city-rights of Memmingen, a much larger city nearby (25 kilometers). With that upgrade the town gained the rights for lower jurisdiction, the right to hold markets, and the right and duty to erect a surrounding wall to protect itself. In 1514 the "Leinwandschau" (Examination) was established. In 1515 the construction of the nunnery "Maria Rosengarten" began. Its well preserved main tracts still stand today. On April 14 in 1525 it came to a battle between peasants in the scope of the then raging Peasants' War on the "Leprosenberg" (Leper Hill) just outside the gates of the town. In the year 1637 only 19 people still lived in the town due to the effects and consequences of the Thirty Years' War and plagues. In 1675 the governance of Waldburg-Zeil-Wurzach" was established. In 1806 the governance of Wurzach became part of the state governance of Württemberg and was allocated to the Oberamt Leutkirch (administrative district of Leutkirch), a neighboring larger town. In 1813 and 1814 during the liberation war 35,301 soldiers were being taken care of in Wurzach. The "Leprosenhaus" (Leper House) located on the aforementioned Leprosenberg functioned as military hospital for 4,003 men. In 1903 the governance of Waldburg-Zeil-Wurzach ceased to exist.
During the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II, many residents of the islands born in Great Britain were arrested and deported to Bad Wurzach. Despite wartime privations, friendships grew and a formal twinning was eventually made with St Helier, capital of Jersey.
In 1904 the railway-line Rossberg-Wurzach was opened. In 1936 the first moor-bath treatments were made available in the nunnery "Maria Rosengarten". Due to the annulment of the administrative district of Leutkirch in the year 1938 Wurzach became part of the county Wangen. In 1950 the city was granted the predicate of "Bad" along with regimen honors. With the county reform of 1972 the communities aforementioned in the town classification became part of the town of Bad Wurzach. Since 1996 the town underwent extensive restorations and repairs, as well as modernizing constructions, in the scope of a reconditioning program.
In the course of the Gemeindegebietsreform in Baden-Württemberg (county reform of 1972 in the state of Baden-Württemberg) the following, up until then solitary, communities were suburbanized and became part of Bad Wurzach:
- 1 July 1972: Hauerz
- 1 December 1972: Gospoldshofen
- 1 January 1975: Seibranz
History of the Suburbanized Communities
Around the year 950 a knight by the name of Berngarius de Arnanc was mentioned in a deed of donation. Until 1806 a tenth was paid to the monastery in nearby Wolfegg. After the monastery was handed over to the chieftain of Waldburg-Wolfegg-Waldsee the tenth was paid to him.
Dietmanns used to be a priest village which formerly belonged to the shire of Wolfegg. It was part of the administrative district of Waldsee from 1806 until 1938. After that it was allocated to the county Biberach until 1973.
Eintürnen belongs since 1500 to the shire of Wolfegg. In 1824 its status was elevated to that of an autonomnous community belonging to the administrative district of Waldsee. It was part of the county Wangen from 1938 until 1972.
Gospoldshofen The village was excluded from the town municipality of Wurzach in 1823 to become part of the administrative district of Leutkirch. Its status was subsequently elevated to that of an autonomous community. In 1938 it also became part of the county Wangen and remained so until 1972. The chieftain "von Waldburg zu Zeil-Wurzach" once used to be the landlord of this village.
Haidgau This village, in earlier days also spelled Heidgau, belonged to the shire of Wolfegg. It was first mentioned in a deed of the monastery of St. Gallen in 797. It was an autonomous community belonging to the administrative district of Bad Waldsee, and starting from 1938 to the county Ravensburg.
Seibranz was once taxable for the most part by the chieftain of Waldburg-Zeil. It used to be a community of the administrative district of Leutkirch, until it, too, shared the destiny of Arnach, Eintürnen, Gospoldshofen and Hauerz, in that it became a part of the county Wangen in 1938. It remained so until 1975.
Unterschwarzach This village was once a priest village which belonged to the chieftain "von Waldburg-Wolfegg-Waldsee". It used to be part of the administrative district of Waldesee until 1938, and then became part of the county Biberach.
The local election on the 7th of June 2009 delivered the following results:
1. CDU 52.57% (-6.33) - 11 seats (same as the year before)
2. FWV 39.84% (-1.26) - 9 seats (same as the year before)
3. Grüne Offene Liste 7.59% (+7.59) - 1 seat (+1)
Bad Wurzach has formal town twinning links with:
Coat of arms
The city's coat of arms features a crawdad. Legend has it that the inhabitants of Wurzach back then liked that little fellow, native to the town's creek called "Wurzacher Ach", so much that they used its image as their heraldic animal.
Culture and Places of Interest
Bad Wurzach lies on the Schwäbische-Bäder-Strasse (Swabian-Spa-Road) and on the Oberschwäbische-Barock-Strasse (Upper Swabian-Baroque-Street), which both pass lots of places of interest. Furthermore it lies on the Schwarzwald-Schwäbische-Alb-Allgäu-Weg (Black Forest-Swabian-Alb-Allgäu-Route).
- Leprosenhaus (Leper House). Once a leprosarium, and birthplace of the painter Sepp Mahler. The museum is dedicated to the history of the leper house. The building also contains a gallery which features the paintings of Sepp Mahler.
- Käserei-Museum (Cheese Dairy Museum). The museum shows how cheese was made in the Allgäu region a hundred years ago and back in the 1930s. To finance the museum a so-called "Cheese Share" in the form of an indulgence voucher has been made available.
- Museum für klösterliche Kultur (Museum of Monasterial Culture)
- Upper Swabian Torf Museum (Peat Museum of Upper Swabia). This museum features among other things the nature trail "Auf den Spuren des Torfstechers" (On the Tracks of the Peat Cutter).
- Torfbahn im Wurzacher Ried (Peat Railway in the Reed of Wurzach). Special trips on the light railway (track width 600 mm) are available every second and fourth Sunday of each month. The tour starts at the "Zeiler Torfwerk" (peat cuttery of Zeil), located directly on Bundesstrasse B465 (federal highway B465), and ends at the "Torfwerk Haidgau (peat cuttery of Haidgau) after a stunning ride through the moor.
- Schloss Bad Wurzach (Castle of Bad Wurzach). The castle features an extremely well preserved baroque staircase which dates back to 1728. The castle, after the dissolution of the Roman Catholic seminary, has been used as a P.O.W camp for French officers right from the beginning of the Second World War. After the occupation of the Channel Islands, civilians from there had been brought to the castle and kept there as detainees. There was very little contact in the first few years after the war between the former deportees and Upper Swabians. The first group of visitors arrived in 1970 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of their liberation. Ever since there has been lots of contact. In 2002 a twinning between the cities of Saint Helier and Bad Wurzach has been established.
- Kloster "Maria Rosengarten" (Nunnery Maria Rosengarten). The nunnery features a rococo in-house chapel dating back to 1763.
- Gottesberg ( God's Hill). On the top of the hill sits a pilgrimage church. The church is home to a "Heilig-Blut" (Sacred-Blood) relic . There's an annual Blutritt (Blood-Ride) taking place on the second Friday in July, which attracts horse riders, coachmen with their chariots, and onlookers from all over the county, and even beyond.
- Wurzacher Ried (Reed of Wurzach). The reed is an integral nature reserve and one of the biggest still intact high-moor areas in Europe. The cutting of peat has been completely stopped in 1997.
- Wachbühl. Wachbühl is a hill that rises to 791 meter above sea-level. It functions as a view point and local hiking destination. It is also the highest point of the Zeil range (Zeiler Rücken).
Friedrich-Schiedel Prize for Literature
Since 1983 the city accords the Friedrich-Schiedel-Literaturpreis (Friedrich-Schiedel Prize for Literature) every two years. The event takes place in the baroque staircase of the city's castle.
Leisure and Sports Facilities
- Thermal spa with new sauna landscape
- Public indoor swimming pool
- Public outdoor swimming pool in Hauerz
- Numerous circular hiking trails in the Wurzacher Ried
- Skating spot
- Several sports grounds including one with an artificial turf
- "Alpakahof" (Alpaka Farm). The Alpakahof is a petting zoo located at the edge of the integral nature preserve "Rohrsee" (Reed Lake). Its grounds cover 12 hectare, making it thererfore the biggest petting zoo of the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Economy and Infrastructure
Bad Wurzach lies on the federal highway B465 (Bundesstrasse B465), which leads from Kirchheim unter Teck to Leutkirch im Allgäu. The city is connected through several bus lines with Bad Waldsee, Leutkirch, Isny im Allgäu, Ravensburg and Biberach among others. It belongs to the "Bodensee-Oberschwaben-Verkehrsbund" (Lake Constanze-Upper Swabia Traffic Federation).
The railway line Rossberg-Bad Wurzach (Bahnlinie Rossberg-Bad Wurzach) had been opened in 1904 as connection to the Württembergian-Allgäu railway line (Württembergischen-Allgäubahn). After the closure through the DB Cargo AG in 2002 the city of Bad Wurzach bought the cargo railway line on 1 October 2004 to continue the operation of the railway together with the Connex Cargo Logistics company.
The biggest employer is the glassworks factory Saint-Gobain Oberland AG. The company, which now also functions as German head office, has been founded in 1946 as "Oberland Glas AG". The four factories in Germany operate under the name of the French parent company Saint-Gobain.
The Gymnasium Salvatorkolleg is a private secondary school, which takes 9 years to graduate from and leads to a university-entrance diploma. Under urban sponsorship there are also a Realschule (secondary school, which takes 6 years to graduate from), a Hauptschule (secondary school, which takes 5 years to graduate from, a full-time Werkrealschule (different type of Realschule, which also takes 6 years to graduate from), a primary and secondary school, 6 primary schools, and a Förderschule (school for students with learning disabilities). There are also 6 Roman Catholic and 5 urban Kindergartens to choose from for the parents of the city's youngest citizens.
Spa Service Bad Wurzach
The urban spa service has been founded in 1948, and allowed the city to become quickly a significant health-resort destination. Bad Wurzach is regarded as the oldest moor-spa in Baden-Württemberg. It exists since 1936, and is the only one of its kind in the Allgäu region. Since the opening of the "Vitalium" in 1999 the city also features a thermal spa. The first moor-bath treatments to combat chronic musculoskeletal affections were made available in the nunnery "Maria Rosengarten". Initially those treatments were only available to women, one year later also to men. This spa service was first operated by the sister's order of Arme Schulschwestern (Poor School Sisters). These moor-bath treatments became extremely popular over the years because of their healing effects. By 1947 already 2,800 customers had a total of 7000 treatments. Nowadays 20,000 of these treatments take place per year. Due to capacity problems and steadily increasing demand the "Kurmittelhaus" (Therapeutic Appliance House) had been opened on "Parkstrasse" (Park Street) in 1948.
In 1950 the city was granted the predicate "Bad". This prefix of the city's name indicates that there is a bath house, more specifically a therapeutic bath house, present. In Bad Wurzach it is the "Moorheilbad" (Therapeutic Moor-Bath House). In the federal republic of Germany the protected prefix "Bad" can be carried only by cities with a state-approved therapeutic bath house. In 1968 the Kurmittelhaus on Parkstrasse had gotten too small, too. Therefore the city decided to build another Kurmittelhaus, located on the slope of a small hill by the name "Reischberg", within the city. In 1977 the "Kurhotel Moorsanatorium Reischberg" (Regimen Hotel Moor-Sanatorium Reischberg) opened its doors, and was able to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2007. The construction of the "Vitalium", a health and wellness facility, in 1999 extended the touristic health and relaxation possibilities yet again, and increased the attractiveness of the Moorheilbad. The Vitalium underwent extensive structural alteration works in 2007. Added were an outdoor thermal-pool, a generous sauna landscape, and a so-called "Wohlfühlhaus" (Feel Well House) for wellness treatments. The urban spa service of Bad Wurzach is an owner-operated municipal enterprise. It consists of the health center with its attached Vitalium, the regimen hotel Moorsanatorium Reischberg, the Therapeutic Appliance House on the edge of the "Kurpark" (Regimen Park), the public indoor swimming pool, the public outdoor moor pool, and the "Kurverwaltung" (Regimen administration). The administration of the entire enterprise is managed by the head office "Kurbetriebsverwaltung". (Regimen Business Administration).
The City's Sons and Daughters
- Franz-Xaver Schnitzer (1740–1785), composer and organist
- Clemens Högg (1780–1845), SPD politician and member of parliament in Bavaria
- Oskar Graf (1782–1842), politician and member of parliament in Baden.
- Carl-Joseph Leiprecht (1903–1981), bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart
Formerly Locally Active People
- Father Agnellus Schneider (1913–2007). Father Agnellius was a writer and environmentalist who lived and worked in Bad Wurzach. He fought for the preservation of the city's moor.