|• Mayor||Valentin Weber (FW)|
|• Total||15.60 km2 (6.02 sq mi)|
|Elevation||180 m (590 ft)|
|• Density||330/km2 (850/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
The community lies in northwest Bavaria east of Aschaffenburg. Laufach lies in the heart of the Vorspessart (range) and stretches through its outlying centre of Hain into the High Spessart. The community’s elevation ranges from 170 to 500 m above sea level.
Laufach’s Ortsteile are Frohnhofen (898 inhabitants), Hain (1177 inhabitants) and Laufach (3204 inhabitants).
In 1084, Laufach, which was originally known as Laufahe, had its first documentary mention in an obituary from Saints Peter’s and Alexander’s Monastery in Aschaffenburg. Laufach’s name came from the stream on which it was built. Over the years, the community’s name has changed many times, from Laufache in 1182, to Loifahe in 1191, to Loupha in 1348, to Lauffach around 1528 and 1624 before settling on Laufach in the early 19th century.
The Laufach valley was settled under the protection of the Counts of Rieneck, who already held the Vogtei (position of Vogt) from the Archbishopric of Mainz and the collegiate church in Aschaffenburg. On the Rieneck free court in 1380 – where Schöffen (roughly “lay jurists”) from Laufach were specifically mentioned – sat settlers as free citizens.
In the mid 14th century, glassmakers were brought into service in the High Spessart with special incentives. Since they had to leave the forest from Martinmas (11 November) until Easter, they sought winter dwellings in Hain and Laufach. Many of these workers settled down here owing to family ties. Already by 1469, there was a mine near the “Weyber” Palace (Schloss „Weyber“, Weyberhöfe). In “Unserer lieber Frauen Teil”, presumably part of the “Liebesgrund” (“Love Ground”), copper was mined. After the Thirty Years' War, ores were mined and smelted.
In the mid 18th century, in the area of today’s sporting ground, a hammermill was built. The building of a railway in the years 1850 to 1854 had a very positive effect on the community’s industrial development. With the railway station, an important transport link with Aschaffenburg and the whole Lower Main was brought into being. In the course of time, the ironworks became a self-contained industry in which both the mining and the processing were done, yielding a finished product.
Even trades and crafts were important to Laufach quite early on. From earlier craft businesses grew highly productive operations.
In 1984, the community of Laufach celebrated 900 years of existence. On this occasion, local clubs helped bring about many different events and a memorable and unique festive week.
The longtime residents’ industry and newcomers’ determination burst from the old community core and led to thoroughly new residential areas being built.
Frohnhofen and the outlying centre of Hain thus developed themselves into purely residential areas in which the greater share of the inhabitants earned their income in the industrial and commercial businesses in Laufach, Aschaffenburg and the surrounding area. Laufach’s economy underwent a shift from agriculture to industry.
To further foster commercial-industrial growth, the Laufach-Ost commercial area was developed, covering an eight-hectare area between Laufach and Hain. Another such area was developed in 2001 on a four-hectare area between Laufach and Frohnhofen.
There are a Catholic church and an Evangelical church in the community core. Once, until 1184, people living in the Laufach valley had to go to the Aschaffenburg Mother of God Parish for church services, then from 1184 to 1250 to Bessenbach, and then from 1250 to 1810 to Sailauf.
On 28 November 1810, Laufach, together with Hain, was raised to a double parish. In 1812, a bigger church was built, which then stood on the Kirchberg (“Church Mountain”) until 1962.
In 1964, on the same spot, a new church building was consecrated to Saint Thomas More.
In 1995, Saint Peter’s Evangelical Church (Petruskirche) celebrated its 90th birthday.
Before the Thirty Years' War began in 1618, Laufach was a village with 76 Unterthanen (a word that usually means “subjects” in German, but in this case it means “men or families”) – all together 300 inhabitants. After the disastrous war, according to a description of properties from 1651, there were 12 men and 33 “hearth places” (houses). Through an energetic promotional effort by the Elector of Mainz, the depopulated Spessart was newly settled with soldiers, craftsmen and foreigners. The old family names had disappeared and new ones made their appearance. In 1668, Laufach had 72 households and 105 inhabitants.
Until Napoleonic times, Laufach belonged to Electoral Mainz. From 1803 to 1810 it belonged to the Principality of Aschaffenburg, then passing until 1813 to the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt. Since 1814, Laufach has been on Bavarian soil. At that time, Laufach and Frohnhofen counted all together 115 houses with 161 households and 1,451 inhabitants. The inflow of those driven from their homelands by the Second World War brought the population up to 2,552 in 1950. In 1967 there were more than 3,000 inhabitants in Laufach, among them 56 foreigners. With municipal reform in 1978 and the attendant amalgamation of the community of Hain im Spessart, the population rose to 4,545 all told, 2,995 from Laufach, 687 from Frohnhofen and 863 from Hain. In mid-2001, 5,267 persons were living in Laufach, among them 580 foreigners from 42 different nations.
The council is made up of 20 council members, counting the full-time mayor, Valentin Weber (Freie Wähler).
(as at municipal election held on 2 March 2008)
Coat of arms
The community’s arms might be described thus: Gules a sprig of three oakleaves Or, in base a sledge and a cross-peen hammer in saltire argent.
The oakleaves shown in the arms refer to Laufach’s location in the Spessart, which is rich in oaks. The crossed tools in the base are symbolic of the old iron mines and ironworks.
The arms were conferred on 19 September 1969.
The former community of Hain once bore its own arms.
Economy and infrastructure
- South of the church, on the Laufachbach (stream), stands the town hall, built in 1956 and last renovated in 2002, next to the new Laufach fire station.
- The other fire stations in Frohnhofen and Hain were renovated in 1992 and 1995 with the fire brigade’s involvement. The three formerly independent fire stations in the community’s three centres, under a reorganization, joined together on 1 July 2004 under the new name Feuerwehr Gemeinde Laufach.
- In 1994 the newly established Kindergarten Hain as well as the building yard in the Laufach-Ost commercial area came into service.
- In 1999 a long-held wish of Laufach’s youth came true when a youth centre was established. This was, however, closed and is now used for other ends.
- In 2000 the Frohnhofen-Ost commercial area was developed as a “home-grown model”, where Laufach building interesrs could choose from among 43 reasonably priced building plots.
- EPDA = European Plastic Distribution Association – In 2006 the European dealer in plastic products relocated the European Contact Office to Laufach-Frohnhofen. It is headed by Sabine Reinhold.
- A combined school housing both a primary school and a Hauptschule serves youth from all three constituent communities.
- In 1970, this school building was also furnished with an indoor swimming pool, which is open not only to students’ use but also to the general public’s. Recently it was renovated and the basin was given various extras.
- In 1985, Laufach got its long sought, modern school sport hall, which together with the outdoor sporting facilities may be used by other clubs outside school hours.
- After the community’s oldest gymnasium was torn down, another one was built between Laufach and the outlying centre of Frohnhofen, giving the community further sporting opportunities (among others bowling and badminton)
- "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). 31 December 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Laufach.|
- Community’s official webpage (German)
- This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia.