Erbach im Odenwald
|• Mayor||Harald Buschmann (CDU)|
|• Total||62.67 km2 (24.20 sq mi)|
|• Density||210/km2 (550/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
- 1 Geography
- 2 Politics
- 3 Culture and sightseeing
- 4 Regular events
- 5 Economy and infrastructure
- 6 Famous people
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The town lies in the Odenwald at elevations between 200 and 560 m in the valley of the Mümling.
Erbach borders in the north on the town of Michelstadt, in the east on the market town of Kirchzell (in Miltenberg district in Bavaria), in the south on the community of Hesseneck and the town of Beerfelden and in the west on the community of Mossautal (all three in the Odenwaldkreis). A foreseen merger with the neighbouring town of Michelstadt was blocked in November 2007 by a civic vote (Bürgerentscheid). For the time being, ways are being sought to deepen the two towns’ coöperation, and possibly consider a merger once again in a few years’ time. 
Since the amalgamations within the framework of municipal reform in 1972, the district seat of Erbach has been made up of 12 Stadtteile:
|Bullau||9.98 km²||410||with the hamlet of Eutergund|
|Dorf-Erbach||4.08 km²||1,610||with the hamlet of Habermannskreuz|
|Erbach||10.89 km²||8,410||with the hamlet of Roßbach|
|Haisterbach||5.88 km²||420||with the hamlet of Marbach|
The municipal election held on 26 March 2006 yielded the following results:
|Parties and voter communities||%
|CDU||Christian Democratic Union of Germany||36.7||11||39.3||14|
|SPD||Social Democratic Party of Germany||37.9||12||35.4||13|
|GREENS||Bündnis 90/Die Grünen||7.9||3||7.4||3|
|FDP||Free Democratic Party||4.0||1||–||–|
|ÜWG||Überparteiliche Wählergemeinschaft der Kreisstadt Erbach e.V.||13.5||4||17.9||7|
|Voter turnout in %||52.4||55.4|
At the elections 2006, Harald Buschmann (CDU) was confirmed in office as mayor with 51.8% of the vote, and 2012 again with 52.7%.
Coat of arms
The town’s arms might heraldically be described thus: Gules a bend wavy azure, thereon three mullets of six gules.
The wavy bend is taken to be a brook, and the mullets of six (six-pointed stars) were inspired by the arms formerly borne by the princely Counts of Erbach, who were lords of the Odenwald until 1806.
Erbach has partnerships with four towns in Europe:
- Ansião, Portugal
- Jičín, Czech Republic
- Königsee, Thuringia
- Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin, (Isère) and Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin (Savoie), France
Culture and sightseeing
Castle of the Counts of Erbach-Erbach
Erbach Palace, the castle of the princely Counts of Erbach was built into a residence in the style of the times in the 18th century. Since the noble house did not have the needed materials on hand, only the middle wing of the planned three-winged building was ever built. The façade is to a great extent built out of not sandstone, but rather sheeting or wood coloured to look like it.
The antique collections at the castle have remained almost unchanged since Count Franz I’s time (1754–1823).
In 2005, the state of Hesse bought the castle for €13,000,000.
In the area of the orangery and the castle garden, a citizen initiative in the 1970s managed to thwart plans to tear the orangery down and build a highrise hotel on the site
The memorial on the castle square to Count Franz I – the last ruling count – that was knocked off its pedestal and thereby broken was repaired and set back in place with support from two Darmstadt artists and some Erbach citizens. The work was financed through grants from the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (“State Office for Care of Monuments”) as well as donations.
One geological peculiarity is the Erdbach’s complete disappearance within Dorf-Erbach’s community area. The Erdbach reappears near Stockheim. There are several places where the Erdbach disappears into the ground.
The Erbacher Wiesenmarkt (“meadow market”) was originally called the Eulbacher Markt or Eulbacher Wiesen(Vieh-)markt. Eulbach is an outlying centre of the neighbouring town of Michelstadt. It was once a regionally very important livestock, horse and farm market.
The livestock and farm market was only moved to Erbach sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century by the Counts of Eulbach. Until about 1960, the livestock and horse market with its associated horseracing and other horse sports was the main part of the Eulbacher Markt. The Schützenhaus (“Marksmen’s House”) standing on the way into the Wiesenmarkt, however, suggests that the Eulbacher Markt, at least in part, must already have been held in Erbach as early as the mid 19th century: it was here that the Democratic Revolutionaries met in 1848 and on what is now the market grounds beside the Schützenhaus that the Odenwald “Moot” (Volksversammlung) was held under the Michelstadt revolutionary and lawyer Ludwig Bogen’s leadership.
The Deutsches Elfenbeinmuseum Erbach (“Erbach German Ivory Museum”) has been in existence since 1966 and is unique in Europe. Its exhibits are almost exclusively ivory. Visitors can also watch the resident carvers as they go about their artistic work.
Economy and infrastructure
Franz I, the last ruling count (1754–1823), introduced ivory carving in 1783, thus giving the town the nickname Elfenbeinstadt (“Ivory Town”). Many artists made their homes here and today their works and activities can still be admired at the town’s Deutsches Elfenbeinmuseum Erbach. Owing to widespread bans since 1989, aimed at protecting animals, on dealing in ivory, nowadays comparable materials such as animal horns are used. Very popular as a material is prehistoric mammoth tusk, which is still found from time to time in Siberia. Besides the slightly different colour, this is comparable to elephant tusk ivory.
Erbach lies on Bundesstraßen 45 and 47, and also on the Odenwald Railway (RMV Line 65; Frankfurt–Darmstadt/Hanau–Erbach–Eberbach). A planned Bundesstraße 45 bypass proposed since the 1970s has once again been included in Hesse state planning.
- Bosch Rexroth AG, Erbach works, Electric Drives and Controls division
- Rowenta, Erbach works (clothes iron manufacturing)
- Koziol GmbH, plastic articles
- Schule am Treppenweg (primary school)
- Astrid-Lindgren-Schule (primary school)
- Schule am Sportpark (Hauptschule and Realschule with transition level)
- Schule am Drachenfeld (special school with department for physically handicapped learners)
Sons and daughters of the town
- Oka Nikolov (b. 1974), Macedonian footballer
- Timo Boll (b. 1981), professional table tennis player
- Meike Weber (b. 1987), footballer
- Heinrich List, farmer from Ernsbach, hid Ferdinand Strauss, a Jew, during the Nazi dictatorship, was betrayed and in 1942 murdered at Dachau. He and his wife have been recognized as being among the Righteous among the Nations at Yad Vashem.
People connected with the town
- Serap Çileli (b. 1966), author
- Jessica Schwarz (b. 1977), actress
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