|• Mayor||Wolfgang Küber|
|• Total||26.20 km2 (10.12 sq mi)|
|Elevation||182 m (597 ft)|
|• Density||79/km2 (200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Rieneck lies in the Würzburg Region between the southern foothills of the Rhön (range) and the east side of the Spessart (range) on the lower reaches of the River Sinn, 12 km northeast of Lohr am Main, and 39 km northwest of Würzburg.
The town has only the Gemarkung (traditional rural cadastral area) of Rieneck.
In 790, Rieneck had its first documentary mention. The town’s current name comes from its former lords, the Counts of Rieneck, who themselves had taken the name from a Middle Rhenish noble family that had died out. In the mid 12th century a castle was built on the banks of the Sinn. With this arose a settlement, which as of 7 June 1311 was described as an “oppidum” (town). Among the Counts’ descendants is found the family of Ministeriales Voit von Rieneck, which itself also later earned local importance. As the castle was being converted into a knightly castle in 1168, Count Ludwig of Rieneck acquired the County in the Spessart. The comital family, whose seat was at Lohr am Main, died out with Count Philipp III on 3 September 1559. Rieneck ended up in 1673 in the hands of the Counts of Nostitz. The Amt of the County of Rieneck, which the Counts of Nostitz had sold in 1803 to the Counts of Colloredo Mansfeld, was in favour of the Principality of Aschaffenburg mediatized in 1806 and passed with this state in 1814 (by this time it had become a department of the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt) to Bavaria. In the course of administrative reform in Bavaria, the current community came into being with the Gemeindeedikt (“Municipal Edict”) of 1818.
The town’s Jewish community, which had existed for many years, came to an end with Kristallnacht (9 November 1938). Behind the house at Schloßberg 10 at the Warriors’ Monument, a plaque recalls the persecution and murder of the town’s Jewish inhabitants in the Holocaust.
Rieneck Castle, the town’s landmark, changed hands many times over the years. Since 1959, it has housed a modern Jugendburg (a youth meeting and training centre) run by the Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder, a Christian Guiding and Scouting organization. The castle’s sponsor is the Bildungs- und Erholungswerk Burg Rieneck (BEW e.V., “Rieneck Castle Educational and Recreational Works”). Worth seeing is the extraordinary Romanesque chapel built into the 8 m-thick walls of the Dicker Turm (“Thick Tower”) in a cloverleaf shape. This special shape of chapel is unique in Continental Europe. Another is found only in the British Isles in a similar defensive tower.
Within town limits, 2,315 inhabitants were counted in 1970, 2,096 in 1987 and in 2000 2,127.
The mayor has been, since 1 October 2006, Wolfgang Küber (RJWU). He managed to beat his opponent Edith Reuter of the Bürger Forum Rieneck (BFR) in a runoff election. The election also made for a certain interest nationally (through, among others, radio station Bayern 3’s coverage) after Edith Reuter, owing to a mistake in a formal announcement by Wolfgang Küber, was left as the only candidate on the ballot. Only after the voters had been given the possibility to enter a candidate who specifically suited them and only when a substantial number of them had decided on Küber could he force a runoff.
Wolfgang Küber stood in this election for the Rienecker Junge Wähler Union (RJWU). Since he is also a member of Die Grünen, however, he is also Bavaria’s seventh serving “Green” mayor.
|Time in office||Mayor|
|2003 – 30 September 2006||Waldemar Horn (died in office)|
|1 October 2006 – present||Wolfgang Küber|
Municipal taxes in 1999 amounted to €849,000 (converted), of which net business taxes amounted to €97,000.
Coat of arms
The town’s arms might be described thus: Quartered, first and fourth Or three chevrons gules, second and third barry of ten of the same, the whole surmounted at the fess point by a wheel spoked of six argent.
Town seals are only known as far back as the 19th century. No official approval for the arms is known. However, the arms show the two historically most important lordly families’ arms. The two quarters with horizontal golden and red stripes are both based on the arms formerly borne by the Counts of Rieneck, and the other two, with the chevrons, are based on the those formerly borne by the Counts of Hanau. The wheel is the Wheel of Mainz. The tinctures were laid down in writing in 1898.
Economy and infrastructure
Rieneck’s economic potential lies in forestry (more than 2 000 ha of woodland) and above all in tourism (2002: 33,500 overnight stays). The local economic structure is made up mainly of producing businesses, trade and service provision. The greater part of Rieneck’s workers commute to the nearby regional centres of Lohr am Main (Bosch Rexroth AG), Karlstadt and Würzburg.
Rieneck lies at the foot of Rieneck Castle and is surrounded by a charming natural landscape with mixed broadleaf forests (Spessart oak). The sweeping Sinn valley floodplain (Sinntalaue), which in the late 1990s was made a nature conservation area, offers rare animals, like the beaver, and protected plants, like the snake’s head, a home.
Transport links to and from Rieneck are to be had through the railway (Flieden–Gemünden line) and the Main-Spessart local bus service. The nearest InterCityExpress stop is the railway station at Würzburg, 50 km away, and the nearest airport is 100 km away, at Frankfurt.
On Rieneck’s outskirts, on the former “Hohenroth” estate, has been found since 1978 the SOS-Dorfgemeinschaft Hohenroth, an SOS Children’s Village belonging to SOS-Kinderdorf Deutschland, the organization’s German branch. Just under 160 handicapped people (as at October 2007) live there in families who care for them, and they work in their own workshops, market gardens, dairies and bakeries. The products, which are made to Demeter guidelines, can be bought in the Village’s own farm shop. The 140 ha of cropfields, meadows and woodland around the Village are inviting to those who like extensive walks, which can end at the café. Although with the inhabitants of Hohenroth there are close social and ecclesiastical ties with Rieneck, Hohenroth is officially a Stadtteil of Gemünden am Main.
- "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). 31 December 2013.
- Gedenkstätten für die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. Eine Dokumentation, Band 1. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Bonn 1995, ISBN 3-89331-208-0, S. 189
- Description and explanation of Rieneck’s arms
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rieneck.|
- Rieneck tourism site
- Rieneck Castle
- History of the County of Rieneck
- Private homepage about Rieneck by Matthias Freitag (history, pictures, links)
- Rieneck. article in: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4. Aufl. 1888–1890, Bd. 13, S. 823 f.