Bad Homburg vor der Höhe
|Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe|
|• Mayor||Alexander Hetjes (CDU)|
|• Total||51.17 km2 (19.76 sq mi)|
|Elevation||137 m (449 ft)|
|• Density||1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Postal codes||61348, 61350, 61352|
|Vehicle registration||HG, USI|
Bad Homburg vor der Höhe is the district town of the Hochtaunuskreis, Hesse, Germany, on the southern slope of the Taunus, bordering among others Frankfurt am Main and Oberursel. Bad Homburg is part of the Frankfurt Rhein-Main urban area. The town's formal name is Bad Homburg vor der Höhe (translated as "Bad Homburg in front of the height") to distinguish it from other places of the same name, abbreviated as Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe. It is best known for its medically used mineral waters and spa (hence the prefix Bad, "bath"), and for its casino.
Today, Bad Homburg is again one of the wealthiest towns in Germany (with the Hochtaunuskreis and the Landkreis Starnberg regularly competing for the title of the wealthiest district in Germany). As of 2004[update], the town's marketing slogan is Champagnerluft und Tradition (Champagne air and tradition).
Middle Ages origins
Local tradition holds that Bad Homburg's documented history began with the mention of the Villa Tidenheim in the Lorsch codex, connected with the year 782. This Villa Tidenheim was equated with the Old Town, called "Dietigheim". This connection is also reflected in street names. Local historian, Rüdiger Kurth, doubted these traditional stories based on his study of written sources and local factors. In 2002 Kurth initiated archaeological digs by the University of Frankfurt under the leadership of Professor Joachim Henning. The excavations showed that there was no evidence of settlement between the beginning of the Christian Era and the 13th century. It appears that the historical record which makes mention of Wortwin (or Ortwin) von Hohenberch—as Homburg's founder—as a documentary witness in Eberbach in about 1180 is the first concrete evidence of the town's existence.
As early as 1962, in a dig under the Hirschgangflügel ("Hart Stalking Wing") at Bad Homburg's Schloss (stately home), two burnt layers were discovered, which the man conducting the dig, Günther Binding, took as evidence of two former castles having been built on the site one after the other, but each having burnt down later.
Further digs by the University of Frankfurt at Bad Homburg's Schloss in April 2006, once again initiated by Kurth and under Professor Henning's leadership, led to the discovery that it was actually only one burnt layer from a half-timbered building—possibly a castle with towers—which from ceramic finds could be dated to the 12th or 13th century. Most likely this building stood in connection with Wortwin's "castle". Quite possibly, though, a further cultural layer from an even earlier time lies waiting to be discovered underneath these remains. Investigations using methods from natural science (carbon-14 dating and micromorphological analysis) will show whether the dating can be made more precise.
Homberg acquired market rights about 1330, but the document granting these rights is said to have been lost.
The town's name, "Homburg", comes from the Hohenberg Castle. The postfix "vor der Höhe" was probably first recorded in a document in 1399.
The Hessen-Homburg noble family of landgraves was founded with Friedrich I of Hessen-Homburg. Friedrich II (1680–1708) attained fame as Prince of Homburg. In 1866, as a result of the Austro-Prussian War, Homburg became Prussian territory.
Spa town and imperial residence
With the coming of the spa industry in the mid-19th century, which profited greatly from the casino built in town, the town changed into an internationally famous spa town. Bad Homburg was particularly favoured by Russian nobility for its baths.
The spa industry began with the discovery of the Elisabethenbrunnen (Brunnen is German for "well") in 1834 (although the designation "Bad" was not conferred until 1912). The first spa building and the first casino in Homburg were built in 1841–1842 by the brothers François (1806–1877) and Louis Blanc (1806–1852), who later took over the Monte Carlo Casino, which is why the Homburg Casino is sometimes called the "Mother of Monte Carlo". In 1860, the town was connected with Frankfurt by a railway line, the Homburger Bahn.
In 1888, Bad Homburg became known throughout the German Empire because Kaiser Wilhelm II declared Bad Homburg's Schloss an Imperial summer residence, and later financed the building of the Church of the Redeemer (Erlöserkirche) close by. His mother, too, Empress Friedrich, the old emperor's widow—and Queen Victoria's eldest daughter—lived there for several years. Edward VII was also often a guest. It was he who introduced the Homburg hat and permanent turn-up trousers. He also underwent fasting cures at Homburg 32 times.
The "Bad Homburger Golf Club 1899 e. V." in the Röderweisen in Dornholzhausen—nowadays part of Bad Homburg—is Germany's oldest golf club. It had its beginnings in the Bad Homburg Spa Park (Kurpark), where the old clubhouse and even playable parts of the old golf course may still be found.
Not far away stands the Russian Chapel—actually more properly called All Hallows' Church—an Eastern Orthodox church whose first stone was laid in the Russian Imperial couple's presence on 16 October 1896, although they did not attend when it was consecrated almost three years later.
King Chulalongkorn of Siam (Thailand) sent a Thai garden pavilion in gratitude for a successful cure. It was erected in 1914.
Horex was a well known German motorcycle brand of the "Horex—Fahrzeugbau AG", founded in 1923 in Bad Homburg by Fritz Kleemann.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2009)
In 1335, permission was given by Emperor Louis IV to Gottfried von Eppstein to settle 10 Jews in each of the localities of Eppstein, Homburg, and Steinheim; it is uncertain, however, whether any Jews settled in Homburg at that time. Evidence for the existence of a permanent Jewish settlement in Homburg is found only at the beginning of the 16th century. Up to 1600 it consisted of 2 or 3 families, and by 1632 these had increased to 16. The first Jewish cemetery was purchased in the 17th century. The community continued to grow so rapidly that in 1703 the landgrave Frederick II of Hesse decided on the construction of a special Judengasse. A synagogue, built in 1731, was replaced by a new one in 1867. The Jewish community of Homburg was originally under the jurisdiction of the rabbinate of Friedberg but began to appoint its own rabbis in the 19th century.
A Hebrew printing house was run in Homburg by Seligmann ben Hirz Reis in 1710 until 1713 when he moved to Offenbach am Main. Among other items, he published Jacob ibn Ḥabib's Ein Ya'akov (1712). Hebrew printing was resumed there in 1724 by Samson ben Salman Hanau but lack of capital limited his output. The press was acquired in 1736 by Aaron ben Ẓevi Dessau whose publications included the Shulhan Arukh (Ḥoshen Mishpat) with commentary (1742). The press was sold in 1748 and transferred in 1749 to Roedelheim. At the beginning of the 20th century, the spa of Homburg became a meeting place of Russian-Jewish intellectuals. The Jewish population numbered 604 (7.14% of the total population) in 1865, declining to 379 in 1910 (2.64%), and 300 in 1933. Of the 74 Jews who remained on 17 May 1939, 42 were deported in 1942/1943.
While the spa business experienced a long-term decline in the wake of the two world wars, the town gained importance by becoming the site for headquarters of various authorities and administrative bodies. By autumn 1946, the military government had already ordered the founding of bizonal authorities. Bad Homburg was chosen as the seat of the financial administrative centre. On 23 July 1947, the Bizone Economic Council instituted the "Special Money and Credit Centre" here in preparation for currency reform. The centre was headed by Ludwig Erhard. After the Federal Republic of Germany—West Germany—was founded with its capital in Bonn, the Federal Debt Administration (Bundesschuldenverwaltung), the Office for Security Adjustment (Amt für Wertpapierbereinigung) and the Federal Equalization Office (Bundesausgleichsamt) stayed in Bad Homburg.
In the 20th century, Bad Homburg became a favourite residential area among the upper classes. On 30 November 1989, one of its members, Alfred Herrhausen, the head of the Deutsche Bank, was killed and his driver was injured by a car bomb in Bad Homburg. It was alleged that this was an attack by the Red Army Faction, though this has never been conclusively proven.
- Georg Eberlein FDP, 1945-1948
- Karl Horn CDU, 1948-1962
- Armin Klein CDU, 1962-1980, since 1979 with official designation Lord Mayor
- Wolfgang Assmann CDU, 1980-1998
- Reinhard Wolters CDU, 1998-2003 Lord Mayor; His election was subsequently declared invalid, Wolters was thus never officially Lord Mayor. However, the decisions made by him remained in force.
- Ursula Jungherr CDU, 2003-2009
- Michael Korwisi, Alliance '90/The Greens, 2009-2015
- Alexander Hetjes CDU, since 18. September 2015
Coat of arms
Bad Homburg's civic coat of arms was granted in 1903 but is said to date from the 15th century on the basis of seals known from that time, although they show a saltire rather than the two adzes seen today (the saltire might be two unclear adzes). The reason for the adzes in the arms is not known; it is possibly dialectal canting. The colours, with silver adzes in a blue field, have been in use at least since 1621.
- Gesamtschule am Gluckenstein
- Feldbergschule (branch Bad Homburg)
- Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg (1633-1708) successful and experienced general, eponymous hero of The Prince of Homburg
- Friedrich Ludwig Abresch (1699-1782), Dutch philologist
- Isaac von Sinclair (1775-1815) writer, diplomat and friend of the poet Friedrich Hölderlin
- Ferdinand, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg (1783-1866) nobleman, last landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
- Princess Maria Anna of Hesse-Homburg (1785-1846) noblewoman, acted as the first lady of Prussia from 1810–40.
- Károly Lotz (1833-1904), German-Hungarian painter
- Louis Jacobi (1836–1910) architect and archaeologist, notable for his dig in Pompeii in 1889
- Karl Wilhelm von Meister (1863-1935), German politician and diplomat
- Heinrich Jacobi (1866–1946) architect and archaeologist of the Roman Empire, son of Louis Jacobi
- Fritz von Loßberg (1868–1942) colonel, and later general, of WW1, a strategic defence planner
- Ludwig von Salm-Hoogstraeten (1885–1944) controversial Austrian tennis player, competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics
- Rudolf von Eschwege (1895-1917), a fighter pilot in WW1, operating on the Macedonian Front
- Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888–1970), Nobel Prize-winning author (1966 together with Nelly Sachs)
- Walter Eckhardt (1906–1994) lawyer and local, national and Euro politician
- Tilly Lauenstein (1916-2002), stage and film actress 
- Heinz Schmidt (1920-1943), German Luftwaffe officer
- Judith Hemmendinger (born 1923) German-born Israeli researcher and author specializing in child survivors of the Holocaust
- Johanna Quandt (1926-2015), very wealthy business woman, major shareholder of BMW
- Wolfgang Strödter (born 1948), field hockey player and 1972 Summer Olympics winner
- Georg Schramm (born 1949), psychologist and Kabarett artist
- Lorenz Jäger (born 1951), sociologist and journalist
- Reinhard Genzel (born 1952), astrophysicist
- Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel (born 1955), parson  and director of action Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World)
- Keegan Gerhard, (born 1960), award-winning pastry chef, former host of the Food Network series Food Network Challenge
- Susanne Klatten (born 1962), daughter of Johanna Quandt, BMW heiress,  one of the richest women of Germany
- Stefan Quandt (born 1966) billionaire BMW heir,  engineer and industrialist.
Bad Homburg is twinned with:
- Chur, Switzerland
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Exeter, England, United Kingdom
- Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic, In 1953, the town adopted the ethnic Germans driven out of this town, later also partnership
- Mayrhofen, Austria
- Peterhof, Russia
- Terracina, Italy
- Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg
- Cabourg, France
- Jūrmala, Latvia
- Spa, Belgium
- "Bevölkerung der hessischen Gemeinden". Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt (in German). January 2018.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- FJW, 215; Germania Judaica, vol. 2 (1968), 369; PKG
- IMDb Database retrieved December 2017
- Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel website retrieved December 2017
- Der Spiegel, October 12, 2007, Breaking the Silence.... retrieved December 2017
- Der Spiegel, October 12, 2007, Breaking the Silence.... retrieved December 2017
- "Partnerstädte" (in German). Magistrat der Stadt Bad Homburg v.d.Höhe. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- "Town twinning". Exeter City Council. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bad Homburg.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bad Homburg vor der Höhe.|
- Official website
- Hesse (Jewish Encyclopedia)
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Homburg-vor-der-Höhe". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Official tourist website of the town of Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe
- There is literature about Bad Homburg vor der Höhe in the Hessian Bibliography
- Cultural monuments in Bad Homburg (512 data entries)
- Bad Homburg in the photograph collection of Schloss Doorn
- Bad Homburg vor der Höhe at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
- Literature by and about Bad Homburg vor der Höhe in the German National Library catalogue