Oberkochen

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Oberkochen
Coat of arms of Oberkochen
Coat of arms
Oberkochen is located in Germany
Oberkochen
Oberkochen
Coordinates: 48°47′02″N 10°06′19″E / 48.78389°N 10.10528°E / 48.78389; 10.10528Coordinates: 48°47′02″N 10°06′19″E / 48.78389°N 10.10528°E / 48.78389; 10.10528
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Stuttgart
District Ostalbkreis
Government
 • Mayor Peter Traub (FW)
Area
 • Total 23.57 km2 (9.10 sq mi)
Elevation 496 m (1,627 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 7,769
 • Density 330/km2 (850/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 73447
Dialling codes 07364
Vehicle registration AA
Website www.oberkochen.de

Oberkochen is a town (officially a city, despite its size) in the Ostalbkreis, in Baden-Württemberg, in Germany, central Europe.

Name[edit]

The name "Oberkochen" consists of the two german words "ober"; meaning "above" or "upper" and "Kocher"; the name of the local river. The name indicates, that this settlement lies above the river Kocher or on its upper part, which makes sense, because the river Kocher has its spring right to the south of Oberkochen and runs to the north. Therefor the village next to the north of Oberkochen is Unterkochen; from the german "unter" meaning "lower" or "under" and the name of the river again.

Geography[edit]

Oberkochen is located in and above the valleys of the rivers Kocher and Langertsbach between the area of Albuch in the west and north and the area of Härtsfeld in the east. The highest point in the area of Oberkochen is the top of the Volkmarsberg mountain (743 m above zero). Diretcly south to the city the river Kocher has it`s origin.

The city consits of two main parts: the downtown area with the city center, Spitztal, Lenzhalde and Brunnenhalde and the Heide area, which lies 100 m above the city on a hill to the northeast.

History[edit]

Timeline[edit]

(all dates after christ)

year event
1137 first mentioning of the name "Cochon" in a table of goods of the Ellwangen Abbey
1147 first mentioning of the name "Kochen" in modern spelling
1337 first mentioning of the name "Oberkochen" in the table of goods of the Ellwangen Abbey
1343 first parish in Oberkochen
1535 a general set of village rules is formulated
1551 blast furnace is established on the source of the river Kocher
1578 Oberkochen gets a new detailed set of village rules
1582 until 1583. Construction and consecrating of the first protestant church
1650 until around 1710. Arrvial of austrian settlers
1698 boundary discription of the Oberkochen district
1725 oil mill on the "Ölweiher" (german for "oil pond")
1840 nearly 30 potters (german: "Hafner") are working in Oberkochen
1864 opening of the railway line Aalen-Ulm
1876 founding of the "Württembergische Holzbohrerfabrik A. Leitz" predecessor of the present-day "Leitz GmbH & Co. KG" in Oberkochen
1916 connection to the national water supply
1945 allied bombings of Oberkochen during World War II
1946 the company Carl Zeiss is relocated in Oberkochen after the partly emigration from Jena
1967 new town hall is opened
1968 Oberkochen becomes officially a city (June 29th)
2006 The Carl Zeiss SMT AG opens a new factory with 2,500 employees in the intercommunal industrial area Oberkochen-Königsbronn

Schultheiß and mayors of Oberkochen[edit]

From 1553 until Feb 25th 1803 Oberkochen had two Schultheißen, one of the katholic Ellwangen and one of the protestant würtembergian Königsbronn. Since 1933 Oberkochen has a mayor, who wears a livery collar since Oberkochen became a city in 1968. The collar was donated by trade, commerce, industry and liberal professions.

year title name
1803 Schultheiß Johann Sebastian Gold (Ellwangen) and Kaspar Scheerer (Württemberg)
1809 Schultheiß Kaspar Scheerer (alone)
1830 Schultheiß Sigmnund Jonathan Maier (also surgeon)
1849 Schultheiß Michael Wingert (also master bricklayer)
1889 Schultheiß Johannes Betzler
1901 Schultheiß Alois Butscher
1903 Schultheiß Franz Anton Bucher
1905 Schultheiß Richard Frank
1933 mayor Otto Heidenreich
1945 mayor Richard Frank (same person as Schultheiß in 1905)
1946 mayor Rudolf Eber
1948 mayor Gustav Bosch
1977 mayor Harald Gentsch
since 1993 mayor Peter Traub

Population[edit]

During the thirty years' war (1618-1648) the population of Oberkochen was reduced from circa 500 to circa 100 inhabitants. It took nearly 200 years to reach a populatiuon of 500 again. In the 19th century the population saw a greater raise due to the industrialisation. The next remarkable growth took place after World War II, when the population quadrupled from 2,000 to 8,000 people in just 20 years. One of the main reasons for this growth was the relocation and expansion of the company Carl Zeiss. In 1968 Oberkochen became offcially a city, which is remarkable, because at this time a population of 10,000 people was a condition for towns in Germany to become a city. The reason for the premature change in the status of Oberkochen was the intense growth of the population prior to 1968, which made the mayor Gustav Bosch, as well as the responsible authorities believe, that a population of 10,000 would be reached soon. Therefore the change of the status of Oberkochen from town to city was applied for and finally granted. Despite these expectations and actions the poulation stalled instead and even saw a slight decrease. Today there are more commuters working in Oberkochen then working people living there.

year population
1618 ca. 500
1648 ca. 100
1880 1,202
1925 1,512
1939 2,002
1950 3,681
1961 7,979
1970 8,648
1980 8,118
1990 8,446
1995 8,589
2000 8,271
2005 8,206
2008 8,040
2009 7,915
2010 7,816
2011 7,755
2012 7,815
2013 7,833[2]

Coat of arms[edit]

Wappen Oberkochen.png

The blazon of the coat of arms spells: "In blue three (2:1) golden roses." (german: "In Blau drei (2:1) goldene Rosen.")

The coat of arms was introduced in 1968 and is based on the one of the "Görig von Kochen" from 1404. He owned several pieces of land in Oberkochen. The colours were chosen without historic meaning.

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Oberkochen can be reached by using the Bundesstraße 19 ("B 19"), which runs along the Kocher-Brenz-Valley from north to south. Oberkochen has two junctions to the Bundesstraße, Oberkochen-North ("Oberkochen-Nord") and Oberkochen-South ("Oberkochen-Süd"). The nearest Autobahn is the Bundesautobahn 7 with the Aalen-Oberkochen-junction, which is reached via the B19 and L1084 after a 11 km drive from Oberkochen.

Oberkochen has no traffic lights. The traffic is mainly reglemented by the priority to the right rule, roundabouts and crosswalks.

By train Oberkochen is connected through the Brenz Railway, which is used by the Regional-Express of the DB Regio company. The nearest connection to national and international train services is made via the Aalen railroad station, which is 10 km away from Oberkochen and has a direct link to it. The railroad station of Oberkochen has two platforms and is friendly for disabled persons, i.e. people using wheelchairs, through an elevator. It is possible to buy tickets for the train on a ticket machine located on the platforms.

Oberkochen does not have an own airport. The nearest airport with regular national transportation is the Stuttgart Airport (IATA: STR, ICAO: EDDS) which is a 90 km drive by car away from Oberkochen.

Education[edit]

Oberkochen has three municipal and one roman-katholic Kindergarten. There are two primary schools, the Tiersteinschule and the Dreißentalschule, which also contains a Realschule, Werkrealschule, Hauptschule and Musikschule ("music-school"). There is a Förderschule, the Sonnenbergschule also. The local Gymnasium ist the Ernst-Abbe-Gymnasium, named after the scientist Ernst Abbe. Oberkochen has no university and the next university can be found in Aalen.

The local folk high school is located in the building of the city hall. For a wider set of courses there is also a folk high school in Aalen. A municipal library was installed in the old protestant church.

Sacral Buildings[edit]

The "St.-Peter-und-Paul-Kirche" (german for: "St.-Peter-and-Paul-Church") is the local roman-catholic church and was consecrated October 25th 1900. This church was the replacement for an older church from the Baroque period.

The local protestant church is the "Versöhnungskirche" (german for: "reconciliation-church"), which was consecrated 1968. The predecessor of this church became the local library.

Despite the growing muslim community there is no mosque in Oberkochen. The nearest mosque can be found in Aalen.

Economy[edit]

After WWII, the allied troops moved parts of the Carl Zeiss Company in Jena to Oberkochen. Today, the headquarters of the Carl Zeiss AG are located in Oberkochen. Another important business is the Leitz company, which is the world-leading manufacturer for wood-processing tools.

International relations[edit]

Oberkochen is twinned with:

Honorary Citizens[edit]

awarded name profession born-died
1893 Karl Fröhner head forester ("Oberförster") 1844-1898
1894 Franz Breitenbach parson 1819-1900
1909 Emil Bucher parson 1870-1949
1909 Carl Weiger head forester ("Oberförster") 1843-1911
1953 Josef Schmid manufacturer 1887-1960
1955 Albert Bäuerle manufacturer 1901-1979
1968 Dr. Gerhard Kühn member of the board of the company Carl Zeiss 1902-1990
1968 Dr. Heinz Küppenbender member of the board of the company Carl Zeiss 1901-1989
1978 Gustav Bosch mayor of Oberkochen 1914-1979
2001 Dr. Gert Littmann member of the board of the company Carl Zeiss 1927-
2004 Dr. Dieter Brucklacher entrepreneur 1939-
2010 Bruno Balle merchant 1936-
2011 Dietrich Bantel "Gymnasialprofessor a.D." 1935-

Trivia[edit]

  • Oberkochen has not a single traffic light. It is the only such city in Germany.
  • There is a christmas market in Oberkochen. It is open on a single day in the year.
  • The local museum of Oberkochen can be visited on 12 days each year. On the first sunday of each month.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [Statistisches Bundesamt – Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31.12.2012 (XLS-Datei; 4,0 MB) (Einwohnerzahlen auf Grundlage des Zensus 2011) "Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31.12.2012"]. Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 12 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Jahresbericht 2013 in Zahlen. In: Bürger und Gemeinde. Amtsblatt der Stadt Oberkochen. 60. Jahrg., Nr. 51/52, 20. Dezember 2013, S. 961. (online)

External links[edit]