|• Mayor||Michael Hippeli (SPD)|
|• Total||4.00 km2 (1.54 sq mi)|
|Elevation||225 m (738 ft)|
|• Density||230/km2 (580/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Fischbach is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Birkenfeld district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It belongs to the Verbandsgemeinde of Herrstein, whose seat is in the like-named municipality.
The municipality lies in the southern Hunsrück on the river Nahe, near Idar-Oberstein and on the Deutsche Edelsteinstraße (“German Gem Road”). The Fischbach, coming from the Idar Forest, flows through the village.
In 1438, Fischbach had its first documentary mention when the Counts of Sponheim, who until this time had been the local lords, died out. Thereafter, ownership was jointly held by the Margraves of Baden and the Counts of Veldenz. The Veldenzes’ share was taken over in 1444 by Palatinate-Simmern and then in 1559 by Palatinate-Zweibrücken. Within the framework of a territorial swap in 1776, Fischbach became wholly Badish. From 1792 to 1814, the village was part of the French Department of Sarre. After the Congress of Vienna, it ended up with the Principality of Birkenfeld, and thereby with the Duchy of Oldenburg.
The council is made up of 16 council members, who were elected by proportional representation at the municipal election held on 7 June 2009, and the honorary mayor as chairman.
The municipal election held on 7 June 2009 yielded the following results:
Fischbach’s mayor is Michael Hippeli.
Coat of arms
The municipality’s arms might be described thus: Per fess chequy gules and argent and argent a hammer and pick per saltire sable.
The “chequy” part of the escutcheon refers to the old Counts of Sponheim who held sway here centuries ago, while the hammer and pick charge below recalls the copper mining that was the village’s livelihood for hundreds of years, shaping the people and the culture.
Culture and sightseeing
- Evangelical parish church, Hauptstraße 93 – Gothic Revival red sandstone building, west tower, 1853-1855, architect Meyer, Birkenfeld; décor; in the vestibule a tomb slab, after 1720
- Hauptstraße 47 – so-called Fillmannsmühle (“Fillmann’s Mill”); three-floor quarrystone building with brick, 1924; technical equipment; waterwheel 1910
- Lindenplatz 1 – former miner’s house, house with stable on ground floor, timber-frame storey on quarrystone basement, possibly from the 16th or 17th century
There is a former copper mine, open as a tourist attraction with underground visits and crushing stamps powered by a water wheel.
Economy and infrastructure
Sons and daughters of the town
- Paul Eisenschneider (b. 5 May 1901, d. 19 April 1944 at Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp) – Communist social activist
- Elvira Eisenschneider (b. 22 April 1924, d. 6 April 1944 at Sachsenhausen concentration camp) – Paul’s daughter and fellow activist. Both were murdered by the Nazis.