Bechtheim

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Bechtheim
Coat of arms of Bechtheim
Coat of arms
Bechtheim   is located in Germany
Bechtheim
Bechtheim
Coordinates: 49°43′40″N 8°17′32″E / 49.72778°N 8.29222°E / 49.72778; 8.29222Coordinates: 49°43′40″N 8°17′32″E / 49.72778°N 8.29222°E / 49.72778; 8.29222
Country Germany
State Rhineland-Palatinate
District Alzey-Worms
Municipal assoc. Wonnegau
Government
 • Mayor Jutta Schick
Area
 • Total 13.34 km2 (5.15 sq mi)
Elevation 131 m (430 ft)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
 • Total 1,838
 • Density 140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 67595
Dialling codes 06242
Vehicle registration AZ
Website www.bechtheim.de

Bechtheim is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Alzey-Worms district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It belongs to the Verbandsgemeinde of Wonnegau, whose seat is in Osthofen.

History[edit]

The Frankish nobleman Bero supposedly took his lordly seat here in the 6th century and founded “Beroheim” (–heim means “home”), out of which developed Bechtheim. Saint Lambert’s Basilica was founded in the 8th century by the Cathedral Foundation of Liège, in whose ownership the municipality found itself then.

In 793, Bechtheim had its first documentary mention in a document from Fulda Abbey. In the Lorsch codex the place was named in 1070. First the Lords of Bolanden and thereafter, as of 1267, the Counts of Leiningen held ownership rights to Bechtheim. The latter nobles pledged their holding several times. In 1700, the so-called Simultaneum was also introduced into Bechtheim, whereby Protestant churches could also be used by Catholics, although this spawned quarrels between the two denominations. In 1722, Bechtheim was granted market rights.

In 1934, a “wine partnership” was concluded with Erfurt. In 1964, through the association Heimattreue Erfurter (“Erfurters Loyal to the Homeland” – made up of those from Erfurt living in West Germany), contacts with Bechtheim were newly forged. In particular, the Martinsfest on 10 and 11 November was from then on jointly held in Bechtheim. After German reunification in 1990, the City of Erfurt also officially resumed the partnership.

The rural area toponym Pilgerpfad (“Pilgrims’ Path”) was first documented in 1392 as an dem bilgerim phade,[2] and recalls a north-south route (from Bingen to Speyer) of Saint James’s Way.

Politics[edit]

Municipal council[edit]

The council is made up of 16 council members elected by proportional representation and the honorary mayor as chairwoman. The municipal election held on 7 June 2009 yielded the following results:[3]

  SPD CDU FWG Total
2009 3 7 6 16 seats
2004 4 7 5 16 seats

Mayors[edit]

  • 1984 - 2009 Ortsbürgermeister Wolfgang Thomas (FWG)
  • 2009–present Ortsbürgermeisterin Jutta Schick (FWG)

Coat of arms[edit]

The municipality’s arms might be described thus: Azure a bear rampant argent armed, langued and gorged gules, in his paws a staff Or held palewise.

Bechtheim’s oldest seal from about 1500 already shows the same charge as today’s arms do, and as all others since this earliest known one have done, although the composition has not always been the same. For instance, in the late 19th century, the arms were Argent a bear rampant sable armed and langued gules (that is, a black bear on a silver background with red tongue and claws, and without the collar and the staff). Over the years, the bear gained a cherry in its mouth, now missing, and also the collar and the staff. It is possible that the bear is canting for an older form of the municipality’s name, Berchtheim (“Bear” is Bär in German, pronounced like the first three sounds in the older name). The arms in their current form were conferred in 1958.[4]

Economy and infrastructure[edit]

Winegrowing[edit]

Bechtheim is characterized to a considerable extent by winegrowing, with 654 ha of vineyards under cultivation, 70.2% with white wine varieties and 29.8% with red. After Worms (1 490 ha), Nierstein (783 ha), Alzey (769 ha), Westhofen (764 ha) and Alsheim (704 ha), Bechtheim is Rhenish Hesse’s sixth biggest winegrowing municipality, and one of the biggest in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Transport[edit]

There was once the railway line between Osthofen and Gau Odernheim.

Famous people[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]